6 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned Working At CreativeLive

creativelive behind the scenes
CreativeLive behind the camera; Photo by Eric Krebs

I just spent the last year and a half at the one of the most modern and entertaining education institutions on the web — CreativeLive.

In September 2013, my freelance work had slowed to a snail’s pace. The previous three years had been booming, but that year was a tough one. You know — work comes and it goes. I was looking for a full-time job that suited my skills as a media producer. I got a call from a former co-worker who said there was an awesome company who is looking for a producer. “This is the perfect job for you. You’ve got to apply.”

I did apply, and two weeks later I accepted a position as a Content Producer at CreativeLive — an opportunity that would change my life.

Fast forward to March 2015 — the month I decided to leave CreativeLive. Why would I walk away from the job of my dreams? “Crazy,” people said. “Why the hell would you leave?” Others asked.

I decided to leave CreativeLive for one reason: I was deeply inspired to create my own thriving enterprise from all of the knowledge I had gained. I was lucky to befriend and collaborate with the world’s top thought leaders. I worked with 45 instructors and produced over 400 hours of original education content.

Check out some of my favorite moments from courses I produced at CreativeLive:

Today, I am back in the same cafe I spent so many hours working from as a freelancer — but things are different. I went into CreativeLive as a producer and left ready to start a business.

One of my favorite things about CreativeLive (other than the people I had the honor to work with) was the knowledge I gained every day. No matter what I was producing — a quilting class or a marketing course — I walked away with amazing tidbits that built my confidence and understanding of the world.

When I think about the top six ideas that moved me during my time at Creativelive, these are it:

It’s not about you. It’s about them. Whether you are creating a website, business plan or bio — You might think its about you and your accomplishments but it is not.It is about how you can serve your audience and how your skills and knowledge can solve someone else’s pain or problem. Thank you Ann Rea !

Copyright your work. Go do it now. Intellectual property laws were made to protect creative people and their work. Whether you are a photographer, entrepreneur or designer— Rachel Rodgers convinced me about the importance of copyrighting your work. For $35 dollars and a simple online form you can protect yourself from people stealing your creative work. You could be compensated $35,000 if they do.

You are not your numbers. Whether its your weight or the amount of money in your bank account, don’t be defined by your numbers. Petra Kolber helped me realize our numbers don’t shape your reality —The spirit inside of us does.

Instagram is the place to connect! Instagram as the best social media platform for creatives to create community and build relationships. Tag people, change the link in your bio often and be authentic. Sue B Zimmerman helped me increase my Instagram following by 500 people with her strategies.

You can’t do this alone. Isolation is a huge issue for freelancers and creatives. The sooner you build a community, join a mastermind and start connecting, the more likely you will flourish. Online or in person, build a strong network – but not necessarily with like minded people. If you only spend time with people in your industry how can you make a living? Get out of your comfort zone and find people that will help you grow professionally and financially.

Share your knowledge and you will prosper. The age of industrial secrets is over and rise of the teacher is happening now. Share what you know, mentor people, be open about the knowledge you’ve gain in your field and you will prosper. CreativeLive was built on openness and part of the growing movement of knowledge sharing and celebrity educators.

Take a CreativeLive course. Seriously. As a storyteller and freelancer I have learned so much from all the CreativeLive courses I have had access to. Here are the four must watch courses from CreativeLive: Power Your Podcast with Storytelling with Alex BlumbergMake Money Making Art with Ann ReaCommand the Fees You Deserve with Ilise Benun and Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses with Sue B Zimmerman.

Justin Barker

Justin is a content producer and change maker living in San Francisco. A 20 year vegetarian and huge fan of solution based education -- you can find him @justinbarkertv.