As my kids are getting older, and each are showing an affinity for lives in the creative fields, I wanted to share some thoughts on how creatives can get where they want to be, faster. I listen to marketing podcasts all the time, (Seth Godin’s Akimbo is excellent). I also read a lot of nonfiction business books on a professional and personal level. So between all of this, and my personal experience as a freelancer in the creative worlds for 25 years (Art Department in TV/Film and audiobook narrator/producer), here are some of my thoughts on how to get where you want to be in your chosen creative field:

  • Make a vision goal

Imagine what life will be like in your perfect future. What will be your day-to-day routine? Who will be your clients? What will you wear? Where will you live? Make this as real as possible.

  • Make a vision board or video

I know this has become passe, but creating a vision board or video is actually still a good idea. Do whatever you can to create it in your mind, visually. Make it as clear as possible. As you learn more, and progress further, this vision of future you will become clearer.

If you integrate statements with images and music into a video collage, this is one of the most effective tools I’ve found to move you along your creative path. Watch it every day, and you will subconsciously make decisions that will move you in that direction. I’ve done it. It works.

  • Diversify your skill set

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There are a million different ways to make money in your field. Once you have an array of skills in your toolbox, you can pivot whenever you need to, and competently perform whatever work presents itself. For example:

    • If you’re an actor, and you have theater experience, you can get training in VO, teaching, public speaking, audiobook recording, elearning, etc. If you demonstrate a competency in any of these areas, you can book the work that presents itself.
    • If you’re an artist, and have a sculpting background, you can get training in digital sculpting, digital effects in film, prototyping, 3D printing, ceramics, mold making, architectural casting, etc. You may wind up starting in one area, and it may qualify you for the next step in your career in a similar area.


  • Get better clients.

Part of your vision goal of where you want to end up should be working for the best clients you can imagine. Always be thinking of getting better clients.

    • If you’re an artist, don’t focus on selling a ton of loose watercolors at the flea market. Focus on selling one masterpiece at a grand exhibition in a gallery in a major city.
    • If you’re an actor, don’t focus on being the best improv teacher at your community theatre, but winning an Academy Award for a role you embodied down to your bones.

If you don’t know all the tiny steps of how to get there, that’s okay. Just make the vision, build your skill set, and work on getting better clients. Then, as you flesh out your plan, all of the little steps, down to the things you do day-to-day, will be in the right direction.

Now, as Seth Godin says, go make a ruckus.