Chase Jarvis’ 3 Rules for Getting Ahead and Staying There


One of the questions that entrepreneur, photographer, and CreativeLive CEO Chase Jarvis gets asked every day is a seemingly simple one:

How did you get to where you are now?

Of course, the answer isn’t simple at all.

Success stories in the world of entrepreneurship are almost always the result of hard work, dedication, talent, discipline, and a little bit of perfect timing, disguised as luck.

During a recent video featuring the best business tips from 6 top entrepreneurs, Chase shares exactly what he credits his success to… and it’s not what you might think.

Here’s some more of Chase’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and creative professionals in any field, looking to break into the world of gainful self-employment.

Yes, you need a schedule.

“In recent years, I started trying to give myself a regimented schedule,” Chase explains. “Before then, I had no schedule. I thought that a schedule, and having specific times when I did things, was meant to keep me down. I thought that I was a wild artist, and that I needed freedom.”

The idea that having a schedule and serious time management plan can crush your creative spirit is actually, most of the time, an excuse to not do work, or to be flaky and unreliable. Regardless of how free-form your creative thinking is, you do need to hold yourself accountable.

For Chase, that means getting up early, setting aside time to meditate, and really dedicating time to focus on important tasks. If you’re in the process of starting a business, your level of success will be greatly determined by how well you manage your time.

You have to prioritize, and sometimes make tough choices. 

Though a lot of entrepreneurs want to “have it all” — i.e., a family, a thriving photography business, and maybe even a day job — that isn’t, says Chase, really a good goal. Instead, you have to pick what you want to do and focus on that.

“What I do find is that when I focus on one thing, I’m way better at that specific task. I try to give it as much attention as possible.”

“If you work full-time and you have a family — this is straight talk — are you able to start building a business up on the side? Yes, you can probably do that. Can you have fun? Yes. Can you be successful and have a nice side-gig? Yes.”

But, he cautions, even if you’ve got a good thing going on, if you’re still trying to balance a 9-to-5 with growing a profitable side business, you may never reach the heights you’d like to, due sheerly to limits on your time and dedication. Don’t forget that you’re competing against people who are doing what you’re trying to do, full-time.

“You can be incredibly talented, but hard work beats talent almost every time.”

Just do you.

“Try to be different, not better,” says Chase. Even if your field is highly competitive, “if you love it so much that you wouldn’t want to be doing anything else, that’s where the competition begins to fall away.”

“How do you make an impact? Do the things you love, but do them better, harder, faster, and do it regularly.”

For more actionable tips and a game plan to launching a successful business, check out Build a Stand-Out Business with Tara Gentile.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.