a.k.a. Hipster, Visionary, Designer, Inventor, Innovator
Path to create value: Creator
Creator is a creator whose biggest driving force is novelty. Creators can be found in all areas of the job market—from politics, through arts and sciences, to all branches of industry including IT.
Creators’ minds circulate around high-level concepts. They feel the happiest when they derive new ideas and produce original content that amazes their environment. Creators treat professional life not as a series of jobs or positions but as a life-long odyssey from solving one type of problem or developing one concept to another.
Creators are generalists with an ability to look at problems from a helicopter point of view. They recognize global issues, feel the sentiment and customers’ needs, and to some extent, predict future trends. Even though landing in the spotlight is not their primary motivation, creators often end up on the scene representing their projects. They decide to do it even if they fear from crowd and public presentations because they deeply believe in the project and feel responsible for it.
Creators need to find their personal space in which they can hatch their creative ideas. Therefore, even if they are in a group, they might seem detached or living in their own world at times. They like people though! They can understand people’s needs, that’s also why they often come up with functional solutions that change people’s lives.
STRENGTHS AT WORKPLACE
Creativity and Thinking Out of The Box
Creators are, obviously, creative by nature. They never suffer from the lack of ideas but rather, from excessive amounts of ideas rushing through their heads. New concepts come to their minds much faster than creators are able to act!
Creators usually have synthetic minds which can connect apparently unrelated dots. They can also see between the lines and find meanings and associations between concepts and solutions from various disciplines—associations overlooked by others, sometimes for centuries. It is why creators often make great artists and content creators.
They also have highly plastic minds. They can extrapolate and learn something new from every situation—even if there was no intention to teach them anything in the first place.
For instance, they can infer a lot of information about local habits and customs on travel from observing how people behave while standing in a queue for groceries. Or, after playing a video game dedicated to building a new civilization, they improve n their diet as they better understand that all the elements in their body play together and if they miss just one, their health will start deteriorating. Et cetera.
They also enjoy novelty at work. They don’t shy from new challenges but quite the opposite: they ask for it. New situations excite them—if they could choose to conduct one project in two different ways, one of them more challenging and experimental than the other, they might choose for the new experience—just for the sake of it.
Creators naturally think big. They don’t find pleasure in solving highly specific issues that appear in one case in a billion, or solving a problem that a dozen of people in the world have ever experienced. They like to think in global terms, and solve global issues that affect thousands, or even millions of people at a time.
For this reason, their environment often appreciates their efforts in service for the public good as a sign of good heart and empathy. Well, to be real, this approach doesn’t have much to do with empathy but rather, it results from with the way that the creator’s mind operates. Creators just love solving global problems. It doesn’t mean that they are not empathic—many of them are. And many are not.
Ideologists with Insane Levels of Energy
Creators prefer to focus on projects which they have a deep belief in, on many levels. First of all, they always assess the value of the project before they even start—from different angles. They consider the value of this project for the society in absolute terms as well as the level of novelty—which has an additional, intrinsic value for creators.
They also consider other important aspects of the project such as ethics or environmental implications. They only start working on the project once they develop a holistic feeling that it hits all the marks—which can take a long time, often years!
However, if a creator finds such an all-rounded project that aligns with their inner mission, then an incredible dose of energy comes with it. Creators often hear questions and concerns from their friends and family such as, “Where do you take all this energy from? Can you stop for a minute and sit still? When was the last time you took vacations? Do you suffer from ADHD?”
Creators are fierce and restless at work. There is a simple reason for it: working on their own concepts doesn’t cost them energy but rather, quite the opposite—it charges them with even more energy! They seem to have a divine power of sorts that carries them day in and day out.
Their endurance amazes their environment as well. Their family and friends like to ask to them, “Why do you keep on trying? It’s not good for you!” Well, as long as creators see the purpose, they keep on going as the path towards the goal is a pleasure in itself for them, regardless of the outcome. Even if at some point, life pushes them to step down and resign from playing an active role in pursuing their mission, they don’t regret a minute spent on chasing after their dreams.
Courage To Do What’s Necessary
For the sake of the vision, creators are willing to get out their comfort zone and take one for the team. This is why they often end up as project leaders, even though they are not born as natural managers and they don’t get personal satisfaction from the fact that others listen to their instructions.
They also often land on stage and represent projects, even though fame and recognition are not their motivation. They just know that they are the right person to talk about the project, as they know the project inside out and deeply believe in the concept.
The creator’s drive to develop their ideas is inspiring and contagious to others. While talking about what they do, they don’t talk too much about themselves, but instead, they focus on the concepts, the solutions, and how these solutions will influence other people’s lives. They are truth-tellers, and they picture things as they are.
For this reason, they sound authentic to their audiences and easily find followers for their projects—even if they have no formal training in sales, public speaking, and such. Their charisma works even if they have no stage presence! Therefore, if you see a leader on stage and at first glance, they don’t appear inspiring to you, yet they have a massive following, it might be a sign that they are creators.
Strong Intuitive Mind
Regardless of the field they work in, creators develop a strong intuitive mind. They try lots of projects which helps them develop and train their intuition in practice. They learn all the facts, however, when making decisions, they still rely on intuition more than anything else—which makes perfect sense given that their projects are often visionary and often require taking a glimpse of the future.
Sane and Methodological
Even though creators often make moves that might seem unpredictable and surprise their environment, in fact, they have purpose in everything they are doing. At the end of the day, they are down to Earth, and always confront their actions with the ultimate goals of their projects. They might try lots of solutions, but it doesn’t mean that they will make unnecessary moves. Taking detours and trying to multiple scenarios is just the part of the plan, not a mistake.
So, even though creators might seem chaotic to their environment, it’s usually a consequence of the fact that they have constant trains of thoughts running through their heads, which they can’t just shut down. And, they don’t feel the urge to share all their thoughts, plans, subplots, and sub-scenarios with the outer world daily.
Responsible By Nature
For creators, their project is them. Or, in other words, they are their projects. Therefore, they take the full responsibility for their projects and don’t hide behind other people’s shoulders when these projects fail. It is also why they often become trusted leaders, even if they don’t represent the common perception of how a leader should look or behave.
WEAKNESSES AT WORKPLACE / CAREER PITFALLS
Problems With Accepting Repetitive Tasks
Firstly, creators despise repetitive, boring tasks. Let’s be real: almost nobody likes procedures, regulations, and bureaucracy at work. However, creators suffer from bureaucracy much worse than anyone else and it eats a lot of their vital powers. Furthermore, if a creator loses interest in a project or in a task as it turns out to be less interesting or less influential than it seemed at the beginning, it becomes a challenge for them to revive their enthusiasm and finish what was planned.
For this reason, creators often prove themselves at unpredictable projects without a roadmap—as these projects require imagination and thinking out of the box—but at the same time, they can be the worst performers in the tasks which other professionals find easy. For this reason, given their overall performance at work, they often don’t score as high in their employers’ books as they effectively should.
Being a visionary was mentioned above as a strength. However, it can also be a weakness in the workplace. Creators have hard time contributing to projects they don’t have a strong belief in—even if they need to conduct these projects for the time being, for instance when a difficult situation in the job market pushes them to take commercial projects just to meet ends.
A creator would despise nothing more than, e.g., writing a commercial text about a product that they don’t believe is any good at all, or coding a piece of software for a company that provides services harmful to their users in some way. If creators ever agree to do such tasks, it is usually only because it’s a temporary day job that pays their bills while they can develop projects that truly interest them at night. In such circumstances, they are at work only with their body, not their mind.
Creators’ creativity feeds on the sense of value. They feel powerless and demotivated when it comes to fulfilling someone else’s vision that, in their eyes, has no value. In that case, all their inborn enthusiasm and creativity simply evaporate.
This is why creators often feel miserable and unhappy at the early stages of professional careers, when they need to take simple jobs just to prove themselves to their employers—before they get more responsible and imaginative tasks. Or, when they are still looking for their professional identity—before finally settling on one vision that they are willing to turn into their life mission.
And even then, they often have a tendency to question and doubt what they do and why they do it. Even creators who are not formally artists, but rather, work in highly technical disciplines, are prone to existential crises and can occasionally feel a deep need to disconnect from the world to deeply rethink their while ideology once again.
Self-Critical and (Sometimes) Critical to Others
The biggest enemy of a creator is themselves. When it comes to work, creators are perfectionists, highly self-critical of themselves and their own creations. They often feel that nothing they ever did was good enough, regardless of what other people might say about it.
No matter how much they have already accomplished, they feel that they might have made better decisions, worked more, squeezed more out of the opportunities they’ve got, and spent their time in more efficient ways. And, no matter how hard they work, they still don’t feel like they were dedicated enough.
Creators are tormented with the obsession of improving themselves day in day out. They suffer from regrets for all their missteps from the past. For this reason, regardless of whether they work as artists or rather, as white-collar professionals at financial institutions, stock exchange, IT industry, government or elsewhere, creators tend to exhibit self-destructive thoughts and behaviors throughout their careers. In extreme cases, it can result in addictions or sickness.
Some creators also project this perfectionism onto others. Namely, they expect that the teams working on their projects will be equally dedicated and obsessed about the concept as them. For a creator, the vision always comes first, and people come second.
Therefore, even if they are truly empathic, creators can defend their point of view in harsh words if they feel that the situation requires it. Or, let another team member know in a blunt and straightforward way that their work doesn’t stand up to the expectations.
For this reason, some creators make cruel bosses who expect utter commitment from their crew. As an example, the ruthless ways in which Steve Jobs or Elon Musk handled their own employees used to make headlines around the world.
Of course, it is not a rule by any means—many creators effectively learn how to be patient and understanding towards those who work for them. As a creator, you should always monitor yourself when it comes to handling people and manage your expectations.
Being a risk-taker can be either good or bad. However, creators often cross the limits regarding how much they are willing to risk for the sake of their vision. They follow their vision without caring about plan B (or lacking any plan B). As a result, they often end in dark places at some points in their careers.
Famously, selling PayPal shares for a lavish sum of 180 million dollars made Elon Musk a rich person. Yet, he risked almost all his money to launch his next two high-risk initiatives, Tesla and SpaceX. And then, he found himself on the edge of bankruptcy multiple times in the process. Even since saying goodbye to PayPal, he never hesitated to invest his private capital and put the inheritance of his kids on the line in the visionary projects he believed in.
But there is even more to it than just risking all your money. Some creators sacrifice their life in the name of their ideas and beliefs. Famously, Socrates was an idealistic supporter of the state in the ancient Athens where he lived. In 399 BC, he was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning. His supporters begged him to flee but he refused, accepting the judgment in the name of his political views.
To bystanders, such behavior is a sign of a shear madness. However, to creators, the vision is just bigger than life. From their perspective, putting all their money—and sometimes also their life—on the line in the name of their vision is the most rational decision they can ever make.
Obsession and Lack of Distance
As mentioned before, creators develop a close association with their jobs. In their minds, they not only represent their projects—they are their projects. On the one hand, it makes them feel responsible for the project outcomes. On the other hand, however, they take failures personally. They can mentally crash if the project they were working on for years, fails. They can also have issues with keeping the work-life balance—their thoughts naturally circle around their vision, and new ideas come to their minds 24/7.
They can also become so obsessive about their project or vision that they stop seeking advice—which can have long-lasting consequences, both for the project and for themselves. Creators are non-apologetic when it comes to projects. In order to become truly successful, they need to learn how to compromise and share power.
At the end of his life, Steve Jobs had a little portion of Apple’s shares. He had to give away the vast majority of his company in the process to let the company grow and thrive. Similarly, all the successful creators learn when it is worth giving away the power to make sure that their projects still work out their way.
Can Be Seen As Poor Students At School
Given their focus on novelty and creating out-of-the-box solutions, in the early stages of the education process, creators often score high in one or two of their favorite school subjects and barely pass the rest of the tests. For that reason, they need understanding parents and teachers who can steer them in the right direction and let them pursue their passion.
Unfortunately, in the public education system, the focus is still put on “filling the gaps” so that most of the time is spent on general education. Regardless of which type of a value-builder you are, it is crucial to have a supportive environment around you to grow to your full potential as a creator. However, creators need this supportive environments in the beginnings of their careers even more than others.
Hard Time Finding an Understanding and Competent Boss
Creators need to find an open environment where their creativity can be appreciated and nourished. Many creators cannot develop properly and reach their full potential only because they encountered a boss who doesn’t understand and support their creative nature. They can have a hard time following procedures and directions from micromanaging bosses. Therefore, it is essential for creators to find a boss whom they can resonate with, who trusts them, and who gives them free hand at work.
Creators also demand a lot from their bosses as they don’t have a natural sense of authority. They enjoy working for an expert in their field—with someone who impresses them enough to lead them. If they don’t feel that they can admire their boss’ knowledge and experience, they might feel deeply dissatisfied or even quit their jobs.
Some bosses also feel insecure when interacting with someone who clearly has the spark, thinks independently, can create new concepts, and inspire people. Only self-confident, highly professional, and responsible managers give such employees the autonomy to pull off their projects their way. It can be a challenge for a creator to find such a match in their boss.
Can’t Work With Just Anyone
Some professionals are flexible about choosing collaborators and can work with almost anyone. Well, most creators don’t fall into this category. Namely, they either immediately click with other people at work or never manage to find the common tongue—and it’s hard for them to change this state of affairs.
In particular, they have a hard time functioning among too many other creators, each of them focused on pursuing their own vision. That’s why, as a rule of thumb, “one creator per room is enough.” That’s why creators usually flock around professionals with a different profile, especially the specialists, linchpins, or contributors—as these professionals can help them bring their vision to life.
Hard Time Finding the Right Environment and Circle of Friends
Creators can also be misunderstood in their environment. They often daydream. They ponder various scenarios of future events depending on their own decisions and external factors such as technology, politics, economy, or climate change. They often spend time alone, deep in thoughts, and live the future rather than the present day. For this reason, they might be seen as weirdos or as individuals not well suited for living in society—especially at an early age, before their talents get noticed and developed.
Many creators grow into inspiring thought leaders only after they manage to survive dark high school times when they were avoided or even ostracized for their lifestyle and views. Elon Musk and Steve Jobs were both bullied at school. Jennifer Lawrence was bullied to such an extent that she had to change schools a few times, running from her perpetrators. When Justin Timberlake accepted his Innovator Award at the iHeartRadio Awards (2015), he revealed that he was labeled “weird” as a child only because he was into art and music, while everybody else was into sports. And so the list goes.
For creators, especially at a young age, it can be challenging to find soulmates—other individuals driven by ideas and who can understand and accept them. Only a creator can fully understand another creator after all.
When it comes to career development, creators can also be dragged down by their closest environment. Their family and friends often treat them as helpless dreamers, and advise them to “get back to Earth.” And as a result, creators often burn out and stop creating before their careers ever get to the groundbreaking point.
As an example, the famous Hollywood actress Melissa McCarthy was trying to pull off her career in acting despite her environment convinced that she can never make it given her physique and emploi. She set a hard deadline for herself: she resolved that in case she doesn’t land a role that would give her some stability by the age of 30, she would quit.
Less than one week before her thirtieth birthday, she landed the role on “Gilmore Girls”—and this is when her career started for real. In a way, her career was hanging on a string… And how many creators did resign from their dream careers, missing their private deadlines and bending under pressure? Well, many.
Furthermore, even after succeeding at what they aim for, creators often remain misunderstood by their environment. Although intuition guides them throughout their professional careers, in the eyes of the bystanders, they might seem to be simply lucky. “Why him or her, and not me?”—many people ask themselves this question looking at a successful creator.
While more often than not, the creator had to stay persistent, listen to the voice of intuition, take risks and act against the odds, and take many detours in their career to get to where they are now—and only their inner drive to create and innovate kept them going for all these years.
Rough Start Into the Professional Career
After coming to the end of the university education process, creators usually experience challenges with choosing the right profession and starting a career. It is mostly because none of the popular professions fully addresses the scope of their interests and ambitions.
For more, most of the creator-friendly professions are highly competitive. In these areas of the job market, the distribution of income is highly uneven: a small percentage of professionals achieve a high status and earn considerable money while the vast majority barely meets ends. It is true e.g. in arts, politics, or in science.
Therefore, creators often need to make important and difficult career decisions early on and decide to take risks in the name of their long-term career development. Due to the nature of their work, they can only observe the results of their work and personal development in a long term—often, many years—from the day when they start creating value.
Even if a creator decides to become an employee in a company, the start in a new working environment can still be rough. Employers don’t have a habit to give the floor to fresh employees so that they can affect their own ideas—especially if they are newbies to the field. Earning the trust and getting to the position in which you are in power to propose new concepts and projects takes a long time.
For these reasons, creators often need to spend a few years in the job market collecting various experiences before they finally find their niche—a subfield in which they can start creating, building a reputation, and influencing others. And even then, developing a career is still a long process. In many professions, creators need to develop their personal brand before they ever manage to live off of their work. And these can be painful years.
Creators feel that they create value for others (and often change other people’s lives), yet their own basic needs—such as the need to be catered and feel safe—are not satisfied. As Maslow’s pyramid indicates, we all have basic needs which need to be covered before it comes to fulfilling higher needs such as the need to influence the world. Creators have those high levels of Maslow’s pyramid covered, but the low levels are often empty for a long time.
Paradoxically and tragically, creators often feel that they can help anyone but themselves. However, despite feeling undervalued and underappreciated in the job market, deep inside, most creators know their worth and potential at all times—otherwise, they wouldn’t pursue the careers they have chosen.
The Danger of Getting Detached from Reality
One crucial question that any creator should ask themselves—especially in the beginnings of their career—is, “What am I passionate about, and do I know enough about this discipline to propose viable new solutions?” The issue is that many creators focus on visionary, often futuristic, concepts without having any technical aptitude and insight to do sanity checks along the way. And then, instead of innovating, they end up as talking heads producing ideas detached from reality.
We live in a culture that promotes and facilitates becoming a creator. Kids are encouraged to propose solutions to large societal problems at school. Universities open multiple majors where most of the classes involve debating the current state of affairs in some discipline (from ecology through business development, to politics) and writing essays proposing how to improve the situation. Yet, the discussion is rarely supported by fundamental training in building solutions.
For instance, as a group assignment, students of a business school need a propose a solution for improving the budget of a municipality. So, they propose solving the problem by rebuilding a large part of the city infrastructure—despite no one on the team has any idea about city planning, architecture, or logistics. And, they get a grade for the “coolness” of the idea—rather than for the feasibility of the solution. In that way, the education process promotes “creativity” by throwing ideas without validating them in reality.
While in the real world, successful creators are down to Earth and develop enough technical aptitude to know better than anyone how feasible their ideas are. For instance, the reason why Elon Musk hires an army of engineers in all his companies is not that he has no clue how to effectively put his concepts to life. He simply doesn’t have enough time anymore to do all the necessary hands-on work. Thus, he delegates his own plan of action to other people rather than looking for saviors who would figure out how to create the master plan and build his projects for him.
Conscious and responsible creators know about this necessity to understand the fundamentals. They highly value and nourish their technical skills. They often make sacrifices and spend years learning the technicalities of the industry in which they aim to make a change—even if they don’t have a technical mind, and don’t find any joy in learning about the nitty-gritty details of how their field operates. Yet, they treat this effort as an investment for the sake of their mission.
The Danger of Getting Overlooked
Even if you are a full-fledged creator with a creative, visionary mind, and natural charisma next to it, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to make your vision a reality. For most creators, the necessity to be patient and wait for years and years before the success eventually comes is not that much of difficulty—as their inner sense of mission supplies them with never-ending energy.
However, the fact that they are persistent doesn’t guarantee that they eventually will get the means to pursue their mission. It is because we live in times of overwhelming noise. There are so many fake creators out there! All these people who either come up with high-level concepts of no intrinsic value only because they have no skill to actually build anything or those who think that promoting new concepts is the shortcut to becoming famous or influential.
In these conditions, many valuable people with great minds who know where they are coming from and what they are trying to achieve will never reach the surface of the sea of junk information. And, they will never get enough support and recognition to develop their vision.
There is no winning algorithm here—at best, we can talk about the optimal algorithm that can bring you as close to success as possible, which is simply persistence, flexibility, and adaptability.
As a creator, you need to develop resilience to stress and external pressure. Unlike other value-builders whose level of work-related stress decreases with time (such as investors who develop diversified streams of income and financial stability over time, or managers who work out their own management style and learn how to handle various types of people and situations in the process), as a creator, you won’t be able to find your comfort zone. The more you achieve, the more expectations you will face.
Many creators suffer from this pressure, especially when facing a rapid and unanticipated success. Some of them learn how to live under pressure and produce good, original content day by day. Others bend under stress and eventually become one-time wonders.
EXAMPLES OF CREATORS IN VARIOUS WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
Freelance artist, author, speaker, thought leader, content creator
Creators are independent thinkers—no wonder that they often freelance in various areas of the job market. You can find creators among professional artists, book authors, bloggers, professional speakers, freelance consultants, and many other professions.
Many creators decide to pull off their own startups in pursuit of their vision. Creators have the endurance necessary to develop almost any project, regardless of how complex and time-consuming the process might be. If they meet the right people on the way—people who are down-to-earth and have the technical skills necessary to develop the project and reach the customers—such as specialists and linchpins who think alike, they become unstoppable as entrepreneurs!
CEO / Board Member / Leader at a company
In every enterprise, the highest management level has the additional responsibility of leading the company. If you don’t evolve as a company, you slowly fall into nothingness. Therefore, even though CEOs formally are employees and not the business owners, they need to be visionaries who can see into the future and make sure that the company explores new venues and keeps its market position regardless of the circumstances. This role is just perfect for creators!
There is more than just one way of developing an academic career and becoming a tenured professor. Some academics are artists of sorts. In their research practice, they primarily enjoy taking risks and experimenting. For an artist-academic, research is not only about numbers, statistical significance, and the impact factor. It is also about people, creativity, unpredictability, and balancing on the edge of artistic chaos.
Artists have a preference for creative projects even though it might put them into trouble at times. They prefer to keep many doors open, they often create open-ends projects, and live according to the rule, “happy go lucky.”
To artists-academics, science is a creative act: something that happens spontaneously, “here and now.” For this reason, artists-academics might get stuck at some point in their academic careers. Since they don’t think all that much about maximizing the odds for their projects, they might have no outstanding results for years—which is often a killer in an academic career.
They can also appear unreliable as they take on too many projects and sometimes miss some deadlines. They might also drop out from a project halfway if they find it uninspiring. However, they are often forgiven for all these hiccups as their environment recognizes their creative potential. Groundbreaking discoveries require taking risks after all—no wonder that they often come from the hands of artists-academics!
Artists-academics are typically fun to work with, as they are joyful, don’t take themselves too seriously, and think out-of-the-box. They spread the aura of energy and enthusiasm that wins people’s hearts. No matter how established they are, they are also likable and relatable. They believe in karma and choose not to stand in other people’s way and not block other people’s careers—even if this comes at their own cost. They also typically have some stage charisma and effortlessly enchant and inspire others. It often wins them grants and appreciation from their community.
Lastly, many creators develop a vision for a better future for their local community. Or for their whole nation. And, they decide to embark on the exciting yet risky career path and become professional politicians. After all, politics is one of the few that can put you in the driver’s seat and give you a real chance to execute your vision and then observe the real-world consequences and implications of your actions.
Politics is one of the most challenging career paths among all—your professional success depends not only on your competencies but also on the political sentiment and the success of your colleagues from the same political option. And sometimes, on the single critical events that can make or break your whole career. Such as, e.g., one misfortunate public statement by the leader of your political party drowns the entire party in the polls. Or a few missing votes that block you from getting reelected and cause that you effectively lose your job.
Politics is a tough business for tough people. It requires consequence and determination, but also, a good strategy for making new contacts and building strategic partnerships. However, creators—with their exceptional professional ethics and endurance—often make it till the end: they master the game in the name of their goals and reach success against all odds.
HOW TO DEVELOP A CAREER WITH THIS PROFILE?
How to Start a Career
A person with a creator profile might have a hard time developing a career, especially in the early stages. For the first few years, you will likely need to use heuristics to steer yourself in the right direction. Namely, try various projects and build a reputation to eventually get credit as a creator, but still make sure that you have enough income. It might mean finding a safe job just to pay your bills and turn your passion into a side-hustle for the time being, before you get a window of opportunity to make it a full-time commitment.
In the process, it is important to surround yourself with the right people who will stimulate and motivate you. You might ask yourself, “What types of people do I flock around? Are these people supportive of my creative, artistic nature? Do they encourage me to develop or rather, would they prefer me to ‘get down to Earth and find myself a normal job’?” It is often the case that your family and friends want good for you but fear from the scenario in which you eventually don’t succeed.
We live in times when you no longer need to be afraid of dying of hunger or falling into a serious disease even in the worst case, namely if your projects fail. If you are talented and persistent, you will achieve financial safety sooner or later—even if it doesn’t mean being rich or world-famous. Therefore, it might be a matter of carrying out a proper conversation with your close environment to persuade them that there is nothing to fear from.
You should also look around and try to find other creators—even one or two are good enough. Knowing that there is someone else out there who also has dreams and a head full of ideas might already become a career-changing turn of events for you. Creators often tend to pick quiet friends who are good listeners and who mostly listen to their ideas. However, it would work much better if they were surrounding themselves with other people with a creative nature, who can teach them something back—it gives lots of energy, a sense of belonging, and a sense of being understood.
Lastly, what is not a good idea, is to conform to the majority and other people’s expectations—namely, to find a cozy, white-collar office job, listen to your boss’ instructions, and forget about your desire to pull off your own projects. Creators are born the way they are, and will age and die this way. You can’t change your nature. Every creator who ever tried to go against themselves and forget about what they really wanted in life, regretted sooner or later. It is, in fact, one of the most common regrets that people have at the deathbed: they regret that they chose their career path to make everyone around them happy—everyone but themselves.
How To Look for Jobs / How To Start Working
Creativity, inner motivation, and energy are highly valued in the job market today. Therefore, if you are planning to land a regular employment contract in a company or a public institution as a creator, chances are that you will be the top candidate. However, there is one caveat to that. Namely, employers desire creative employees—but only as long as these employees will channel their creativity towards the goals that resonate with the company’s goals.
Therefore, you need to make sure that in the interview, you present yourself as a personal who is willing to contribute to the company’s mission, rather than presenting your own ideas of how to further develop that vision.
For this reason, it is also a good start to make sure that you only apply to organizations that at least partially resonate with your outlook at life and personal interests. If you end up in a place that doesn’t fulfill these conditions, then chances are that you will burn out before you career even starts for real.
As a creator, you also need to find the right boss with whom you will resonate on a personal level. As a rule of thumb, it is better to work for bosses whom you’ve met before, and who are willing to take you under their wings and nurture your creativity. It is also important to find good mentors besides your superiors.
As a creator, you are an independent thinker who goes their own ways—but to become successful, you still need lifelines waiting under the phone. One of the common regrets among creators is that, instead of finding mentors early, they learned everything they know on their own mistakes. There is only so much you can do in a lifetime—especially without words of wisdom from people more accomplished than you.
Furthermore, as mentioned before, you will need to learn how to compromise in the workplace. The most successful creators are those who learned when to give up and admit to someone else’s opinion, and when not to do it. Sometimes, it is a good choice to find common ground with people and compromise just for the sake of working with a supportive person who won’t cut your wings but rather, will give you the room to develop yourself and encourage you to try your own initiatives.
It’s good to also learn what is essential for your vision, and what is not. If, for instance, you want to build a new model of a car, and you are excited about the new engine you’ve just designed, do you need to dwell on the color palette of the car body if your boss has a different taste?
If you already work as a creator, the difficulties are not over. Even with the best vision and the best ideas, a creator without the pair of hands to execute these ideas is powerless. Of course, there are examples of professions in which you can develop a full-fledged career as a creator without any help. These are, for instance, careers in arts.
However, in many areas of the market, such as the IT industry, creators need a team, or at least one competent specialist, to put their ideas to life. This poses yet another difficulty to developing a career as a creator—you are never truly independent from others, such as the team you are working with. Therefore, you will need to develop ways to motivate others to execute your projects. For some creators, it comes naturally, while others need to learn all about management from scratch.
How To Self-Manage in Daily Life
Creativity is difficult to tame within the 8-hour working day, especially if you get creative thoughts 24/7. Creators need to care about their daily time-management, and avoid over planning in their schedule as the strict agenda will not leave much room for capturing the creative ideas that come along.
They also need to make sure that they shunt down the trains of thoughts constantly running through their heads for at least a few minutes a day. For many creators, meditation and other forms of mental exercise work well as a daily practice. Keeping the mental hygiene by disconnecting from internet and spending time in the green once is also a good practice.
Creators often work on projects that will pay off (or not!) in a perspective of a few years or more. These projects are associated with delayed gratification and don’t bring the feeling of success on daily basis. Therefore, it is also important to develop some self-rewarding system: define the project milestones, and reward yourself for small, everyday accomplishments on the way.
EXAMPLES OF FAMOUS CREATORS
Leonardo da Vinci: An Italian painter, draftsman, theorist, sculptor, architect, engineer, and polymath. A living fountain of innovation and, probably, the most iconic creator of all time.
Allegedly, he was also secretly researching human anatomy and the human brain (which was forbidden at a time but transpired through his art). Da Vinci was a free thinker, lived an eccentric lifestyle, and remained active until his last days.
Steve Jobs: An American entrepreneur, industrial designer, investor, and media innovator. Probably the most iconic creator of our times.
As a co-founder and SEO of Apple, Jobs was a charismatic visionary who changed the way we think about our personal computers (Isaacson, 2011).
Despite the bumpy road and getting expelled from his own company for a few years, he came back, built an empire, and left his legacy. After his death, his legend lives on, and his baby company still leads the innovation in the IT industry.
Elon Musk: An American-Canadian-South African entrepreneur, engineer, and inventor. Yet another example of a full-fledged creator.
From PayPal, through Tesla, SpaceX, to his new projects such as Neuralink, the Boring Company, or SolarCity, his projects are innovative, bold, and revolutionary (Vance, 2016). PayPal was one of the first peer-to-peer payment systems. Tesla was the first electric car that you actually want to buy (as it’s a good car). SpaceX was the first private company to launch rockets to orbit.
Elon’s imagination doesn’t have any boundaries. Now, he focused on building human-computer interfaces, underground utility and freight tunnels, and modern, stylish, and highly efficient solar panels. He is even planning to create human colonies on Mars.
Pythagoras: A famous mathematician in ancient Greece and a thought leader. He contributed to science in many ways, not only through the Pythagorean theorem but also by making his own discoveries in music, astronomy, and medicine. In particular, Pythagoras and his contemporary Parmenides of Elea were both acknowledged as having been the first to teach that the Earth was spherical. They were also the first to delineate various climatic zones and identify the morning star and the evening star as the same object (today known as planet Venus).
Pythagoras also created his own school of mathematics, in which the members were sworn to secrecy and lived a communal, ascetic lifestyle. His students were dedicated to him, and according to legends, they even sacrificed their lives to rescue their master from the followers of Cylon and Ninon who attacked the community looking for its leader.
Socrates: A famous ancient Greek philosopher, the father of the Western ethical tradition of thought. He was the first moral philosopher in history. Similarly to Pythagoras, he also mentored and trained his own students, Plato being the most prominent example. His belief in the state made him choose to take a sentence from the court and commit suicide, rather than escape with the help of his students.
Picasso: A Spanish painter, ceramicist, sculptor, and theatre designer. One of the fathers of the Cubist movement. In his childhood and adolescence, he painted in a naturalistic manner but then, he started experimenting. In the end, he developed his own style which was changing and morphing throughout his career.
Today, experts define at least seven different stages of his career: the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904–1906), the African-influenced Period (1907–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919), a.k.a. the Crystal period. In the late 1910s and early 1920s, he was mostly painting in a neoclassical style, while his work in the mid-1920s has characteristics of Surrealism. Throughout his career, Picasso has become an iconic figure in the arts.
Bernie Sanders: A creator among American politicians. Despite running against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party presidential primaries in 2016, he was never a representative of the establishment. He is the longest-serving independent member in the history of the American congress (despite his close ties to the Democratic Party).
He identifies himself as a democratic socialist. He is a strong advocate of social democratic and progressive policies, and he is known for his opposition to economic inequality and neoliberalism. At 80, he is still active and considered one of the most popular politicians in America.
Walt Disney: An American animator, writer, voice actor, and film producer. He was an innovative animator who revolutionized the industry by introducing a few major developments into the animation process. In 1928, he developed Mickey Mouse, which was his first major commercial success. Since then, he started developing an empire, resulting in 26 Academy Awards, 3 Golden Globe Awards, and 1 Emmy Award.
Björk: An Icelandic singer, songwriter, record producer, DJ, and actress. She developed her own style in music, influenced by a range of music genres, including electronic music, pop, experimental music, trip-hop, classical music, and avant-garde. She won the Best Actress Award at the Festival in Cannes for her role in Lars von Trier’s “Dancer in the Dark.” As of 2015, her albums sold over 20 million copies, which is an extraordinary achievement provided the alternative style of her music.
David Bowie: An English singer, songwriter, and actor, both acclaimed by critics and the international audience. He was experimenting with music and his stage presence. He developed stage personas such as Ziggy Stardust and many others. He never stopped innovating his music until his death in 2016.
Quentin Tarantino: An American film director, screenwriter, movie producer, and actor. One of the most original and non-compromising movie directors of all time. In his work, he skillfully mixes violence, drama, and humor. He writes screenplays for his own movies—it was his talent for developing iconic dialogues that brought him international fame.
Tarantino is eccentric, both as a movie director and in private; know, e.g., for his fetish in female feet and love for the Marvel cinematic universe. Nevertheless, his movies win the hearts of the mainstream audience and belong to one of the most anticipated and awarded movies in Hollywood.
Frida Kahlo: A Mexican painter, mostly known for her self-portraits. In her work, she was mixing realism with fantasy, and incorporating elements inspired by the nature and culture of Mexico.
In the course of her career, Kahlo experienced an increasing amount of health complications. Famously, her physical pain transpired to her art, where she perfectly captured her progressing illness in a series of self-portraits. Even though she was active in the first half of the twentieth century, she remains one of the most influential artists in the history of modern art to this day.
Ernest Hemingway: A highly acclaimed American author, short-story writer, journalist, and athlete, the Laureate of the Nobel Prize in literature (1954) and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1953). Both his works in literature and his adventurous lifestyle brought him acclaim among both critics and readers. He influenced twentieth-century fiction and remains an icon of American literature to this day.
Marina Abramović: A Serbian artist, writer, filmmaker, and philanthropist. She has become famous for her conceptual and performance art in which she explores the connection between the performer and the audience as well as the boundaries of the mind and body. She is famous, e.g., for her collaboration with the performance artist Uwe Laysiepen, a.k.a. Ulay, with whom she tested the physical limits of the body, male and female energy, psychic energy, and nonverbal communication.
Mr Beast: An American gamer, creator, businessman, philanthropist, and social media personality. Mr Beast is known for his spectacular career on YouTube where, stating as a niche gamer, he worked his way all the way up to one of the biggest creators in the world.
The game changed for him at a point when he decided to shoot movies in which he donates money, first to homeless people and then to his subscribers and their families. This original idea brought him worldwide fame. He is well known for continuously reinvesting all his earnings into making even bigger and more spectacular movies.