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Fulfill Your Creative Purpose

Lesson 18 of 30

Be The Boss of You

Ann Rea

Fulfill Your Creative Purpose

Ann Rea

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Lesson Info

18. Be The Boss of You

Lesson Info

Be The Boss of You

Welcome back we are just finish up left seventeen correcting the code to joy with dr george brett today, right now we're going to less than eighteen being the boss of you, alright, everybody. So you guys know you're your own boss and your own key employees? Actually, usually you're only employees to begin with. I don't think anyone here has employees, do you? So, um, if you're following along in the discovery journal, were unless an eighteen be the boss of you and this is so critical, I have to say it's really easy to fall into a trap when you're working for yourself do not realize that you need to give yourself clear direction, you need teo give positive feedback and occasional vacation would be nice, you know, some object clear, objective cem standards of performance, you know? When is it that the work day starts? When does it end? You know, when do you punch in? When do you punch out? Um for a lot of creatives it's sort of a blur and they wind up um really not having a good employee...

employer relationship. So what we're going to do today and our in studio audience is going to help us with this today, they didn't know that, but they are we're going to actually construct an employee policy employee manual now you're all in the studio audience are self employed I'm gonna tell you some things that that I d'oh I'm gonna I'm gonna start with an employee benefit right? And this is a great employee benefit if you don't have a lot of resource is but when I worked in a cubicle and wood travel long distances in the traffic to the financial district in san francisco, how my alarm would go off really early painfully early and I didn't want to get up because I didn't want to go to that job I didn't want to get into that car, so I decided that one of my benefits would be when I became my own boss was that I would wake up naturally for the rest of my life unless of course I had to do a creative life course and then I would have to actually set my alarm s o there's some exceptions to that, but that was a benefit that it gave myself, so as a policy I don't schedule morning meetings um and this might seem like a small thing but it's a significant thing because it's certainly not something I could do when I work for somebody else so that's an example of an employee benefit you khun give yourself when you're in start up mode or if you're in lean mode um and um the other thing too is just a pause and reflect, tell your employees why they're doing a good job, like what, how they contribute and I literally on my taxi ride here this morning, I thought to myself how magical and wonderful is this that I get to actually go to the studio and share what I've learned and invite my friends. Jonathan and scott teo actually contribute what they've learned, so that was a little moment of positive employee feedback that I gave myself. Um, this might seem like small examples, but if you really pause and do this, your relationship with your boss is going to be a whole lot better. So I'm I'm going through this and then of course, what we're going to be doing after this if we're going to actually be looking at, well, let's, start let's start with the management, you let's talk with the management prop policies, and then we're going to be next second part of less than eighteen. We're going to move into the employee manual. All right? So, john, you work for yourself, and you have for how long now? Eleven years, I think eleven years. Okay, so you're the boss to you. Do you maintain a particular management policy? Uh, what's your, you know, like it could be anything I don't know, whatever it is for you yeah it's funny question because I mean, sometimes it just feels like I'm just have to get it done like that's the policy is get get the work done no matter what but you made me think of something when you said you don't schedule morning meetings because one of my most sort of infamous experiments is when I used to work like sixteen hours a day and then I got kind of miserable and depressed and like right? Which is why it picked on you by the way good and so I decided I would stop work at five o'clock every day no matter what you can't there's no price where you could talk to me after five o'clock and I did that for those my first monthly experiment that I did and it really changed my life. Now what changed? You did the monthly experiment said I'm going to stop it five every day that's it and what happened? Um a few a few funny things happened first I got like healthy boundaries with my business and started to do fun things again seconds to change your relationship with your clients. Yeah, I did it out of more structure and I was doing better work because I wasn't this like zombie who had stayed up working till midnight the night before so that boundary of quitting at five o'clock each day it sounds to me like it ignited other boundaries which is what your management does for you essentially is they maintain healthy and productive boundaries for the people working for them so it sounds like that had a it had a ripple effect that the craziest ripple effect is it doubled my income didn't expect at all because I was working about half his bunch so that's a pretty crazy example but it is true I happen to know it's true so because we've talked about this and it's if if we look deeper into your management policy it's not just that you stopped at five it sounds like it's a it's also that you started to create probably a more professional demeanor and relationship dynamic with your with your clients yeah I added structure and that's infectious and all kinds of good things happened ok exactly so just repeat what john said you added structure and that um had you know overall beneficial effect and it actually increased your profits double doubled your profits sales okay so felix you work for yourself and you have for many years now how long about twelve now twelve years ok so you're the boss to you what's one of your really um important policies when you're looking at three of the boss of you felix and maybe have the employee felix what does he what is the boss the boss felix always demand of the employee felix he always demands that like you I don't start till its pursuit a specific time ten a m no earlier than that and, uh, it gives me I give myself a break adequate breaks throughout the day because I know exactly when I get tired. I know the hour, hour and a half hour when I get it's kind sleepy, right? Schedule that off. Um, yeah, I and also leave open spaces in my weeks coming weeks I leave gaps so you schedule your time during the day, but this is great advice for everybody at home. Like really make yourself a schedule. You could change it if you want to, but try if you're not working with the schedule you really you know, I'm quoting I'm gonna quote craig swanson, co founder creative life he just said this in passing time is the canvas that of life right with what that life is made of or something like that? I'd probably doing perfectly but essentially that's it right? All we have is time so you take breaks during the day you have a stop a start time that's acceptable to you. You have a start time. I know you're booked like three and a half months in advance for readings, but during but you're not book solid, you leave yourself some breathing? Absolutely yes, okay, all right, so that's your one of your critical employees are employee policies that your management gives to felix the employee okay, alright yoni do you have or do you need to have any particular from management policies? Uh, you know, just ask you this as a result of this course so far because I know that you had one of the biggest gains that you've received. It sounds to me like you have a lot more focus. Yes, and one of the reasons that you have a lot more focus I'm gonna guess is because you know, he's really nice. So she says, yes, you wanna disappoint, right? Well, I think that's changed a bit has changed. Definitely. Ah, when you first asked this question this morning, I was thinking the same thing that everyone else has said already just more organization and structure, time management, that kind of thing, which is, you know, um, techniques that I've known since I was a young business person. And yet when you work for yourself as an artist, you don't always apply that to your life because I also have a mother and very involved in lots of other volunteer work. And so you get distracted by the stroke is that that what it is you get distracted, you could have killed by them, so you have to learn how I've had to learn how to put those things over there and say no, not right now. And so how do you do that? From a practical point of view, what do you do to use deer? You gonna felix says he has. He is forced to he's. Sold an hour to a client. Jonah's sold time to a client. You're not always selling time to a client. So you're your your boundaries, air not so hard and fast deadly defined as they would be for these two gentlemen. All right, so, what are you going to do? Going forward? I've chosen to schedule certain days to do specific tests that have to happen in order to be successful as an artist. Okay, so can you give me an example of one of the tasks in which day it scheduled? Yeah, wednesday is my day for phone calls and follow up emails and reaching out to corrupt the new business. Okay, so this is a great thing to do. So if you just take a look at your calendar and just say, this is the day I do follow up calls, or in this hour, each morning, I do follow up calls, and you basically divide out all the things that you need to first followed, make a whole list of things you need to do on an ongoing basis, and then partition time during the day or during the week to accomplish them and you you've got to start on time and you've got to end on time or it will become a blur with no boundaries and I can't say that it's just happening on wednesdays because if I get your email follow up and don't reply for seven days that's not good is not good so you know it's not hard and fast but to dedicate to know that when I wake up on wednesday that's what my job is that day right assigns that time to make that happen right? And if somebody else wants me to do something else on wednesday I'm not available will your boss won't let letter right exactly your boss is not gonna let her get up from her desk and go pick up the dry cleaning and interviews and you know, so first very seriously imagine for a moment right? Like if you're here you know it was they were in one of the cubicles era creative live I mean they're you know they're in you and you're in the middle of a production let's say kate, who is our line producer who's in the back of the studio right now she decided she wanted to get a mani pedi it probably wouldn't go well, but we do that sometimes were the r own boss we just let the boundaries blur so um can you write this down can you commit this down to a power written policy yes I mean you don't have to be crazy about it it's just that writing it down increases the chances you're actually going to do it and then you can share it with your fellow students to who will know so that these air your policies alright so cathy you're your own boss you have been for a while now I've been self employed for twenty five years twenty five years ok so you've got some experience um with being your own boss is um are there any particular management policies that you have in place? I think the more that you need to put in place I have a really big studio in what I do for a living as design projects so when I when I'm not organizing if I can't find certain I can't be spontaneous if I don't know where I put something so I've become extremely diligent and keeping a tidy studio it's a thousand square feet and it's a lot of compartments and components and drawers and things but I actually turned it into something I really enjoy doing designing things to store things what does your boss have to say about the organization of the studio like was there a policy around that the policy is after you've done the project you've got to clean up after yourself and put every last little thing back simple and I may not do it the same day that I did it, I might do I can it's big enough I could do a few projects at a time, but by the weekend I've got to go in and commit a full day or whatever it takes and I'll put on creative live or put on a book and I'll put everything away exactly where it should go or create new places for ok, and then the other one I have is his margins and I think margins are super important for me, so I don't make a lot of commitments that are just back to back you say margins you mean giving yourself a margin of time between? No yes, so if I say yes, I can contribute this and I think, yes, I could do this project I'm not going to say I can do it that on monday and that on tuesday, then on wednesday I know enough about how my creative process works to not book things back to back to back. I need teo, give yourself a break between give breathing space because things happen I've gotta run into town, there goes a couple of hours, you know, to get materials or or some other task it comes along so I try not to overly tighten my schedule around family work, all those things that I can't things can go awry and I can't have find the time to manage it or I get extra inspired and I wouldn't have time to follow that so so do you notice a pattern here there's scheduled work time and scheduled break time in each one of these examples so far john started stopping at five in his example you're giving yourself breathing room in between felix is making sure he's not overscheduled even though he's booked so far in advance he still gives he intentionally gives himself breathing room a lot this is what that's the basic resource is time right so being diligent about managing it like you manage your money is critical when you are your own boss and that's essentially what your boss is doing right he or she is telling you what to do when the meeting's at this time this project is do it this time I mean and then hopefully giving you some motivation and encouragement and feedback about where you can get better and what your strengths are and how you're contributing so literally imagine yourself you know being the boss of you being a really fantastic boss of you and I want it I want you to do this assignment I actually want you to write down what it is that your policies are so let's go to um let's go to the next uh does this all make sense to you all right? Yes jen I didn't answer okay oh, I'm sorry all right, we'll give yes go ahead okay, so I get to meditate in the middle of the day because I want to manage my energy actually okay, so you're giving yourself it goes back to give yourself a break all right? So yeah because you don't not working straight through if you're an employee or you wouldn't last very long and this is what happens with the artists who I work with a mentor is they they have their goal they've got it really well defined and what happens is they work too much and then they start to lose steam and then they're not sure they want that goal it's not and actually there is one who is probably listening from memphis, tennessee she was a sure about her goal and I don't and it's not it's not that it's that she's been working so hard not giving herself a break. And so now she's you know, she was starting to question her goal her goals still the goal but, um she needs to be a more, um, supportive and gentler boss. So this is really important it's gonna impact your success and your happiness and your creativity one things that jonathan talked about was having that void, you know, having that break where you just chill and think of ideas solutions bubble to the surface so um employee manual so let's let's so we talked about we talked about the boss is telling you you got to take breaks the bosses telling you when you start when you stop, do not jam things into a schedule and, um, the employee manual comes out and what does your employee manual say? John what's. So what are some of the rules you have to follow as an employee? Not a boss who determines the schedule. But the employees, the standards you have to operate on? Yeah. I mean, I do have an employee manual. You yeah, and it's some of its like video. So, um, I don't know how to answer your question because it's pretty huge. So well, when you're the employer, the we're imagining that you are the employees of john the boss. Okay, so as an employee, what do you know? You need dio, like, for example, if there's a deadline and you don't deliver on the deadline, do that enough and you're gonna get fired, right? Yeah. That's not possible. Yeah, right. Um also, I mean, as an employee, let's, take this from another angle. Um, looking back over your eleven year entrepreneurial, um, enterprise, what were a couple moments where you showed up is an employee was not great, um just saying yes to their own projects saying is the thing that would be in the manual that's that's a management thing though, right? The manager says that manager decides if you're going to accept that project or not as in it probably has an employee's um you're probably really good employee you probably worked really hard um but as an employee you know how about self criticism were you a little hard on yourself? Super hard yeah that's actually a good one if it's if the client is super happy I don't need to find problems with the project from my end like that should be enough that they're happy right? Even if I can find ways that something to be improved that should be another project, right? But this is also another pattern I see withy artist I work with the creatives I work with is there often really hard on themselves and if someone else was having that conversation that critical conversation with you you'd quit you say screw you you know I'm working my butt off here so I made a mistake, you know? Leave me alone. Of course I'm going to make a mistake every now and then what's funny is the project that I was really hard on my cellphone recently um well, I thought this design isn't what I wanted to be just wanted design award and so okay that's worth noting but that was like oh well maybe I should shut up and stopped how did I know that about your inner critic don't know your psychic but I also know that that's ah pretty common pattern with creative because we all want to do you know great work and so we can be really hard on ourselves, right felix do you ever you know get disappointed because you two have a great perfect breeding and then beat yourself up yes even your boss doesn't even have to beat you up you beat yourself yeah even though my clients are really happy they've written me a nice email how I changed your life I'm thinking oh which has said this oh I should have said that or I wish it's like stop just stop right let the person compliment we'll let the person tell you you did a good job and accept it and leave it at that all right yeah and move on to the next one. Right? Right. Ok, so as an employee yoni where they where have you where have you been? Good. Where have you been? In a place where you need to improve uh I think that sometimes I let fear get in the way of my progress as an employee what do you afraid of? Well, that buys you know the thing is I'm afraid of the outcome not being perfect goes back to perfectionism say for instance, I have this idea that I want to propose to somebody for a project and instead of just going for it fearlessly I'll muster over it in my head and think about it and imagine that you know what it could be and instead of just calling and making it happen, I won't do anything so having the fear stop me is terrible because what I've learned is usually when I just go for it, I get it or if you don't you don't you don't you know that, right? You're not gonna win them all, so this has been a big theme for you is perfection itis and the fear that fuels perfection itis sounds like you're facing that down all right is both the block boss and employee no, great so as the employees, I just need to know that I have to be fearless, right? And your boss has to support you and say, look, just to pick up the phone, make the call if it turns into business great if it doesn't great, make yourself some room for the next opportunity, right? Some will some won't next, but you know that's just it okay, jen, as an employee, where do you where do you do really well or where do you I need to be a better employee so I think where I do well actually, which is unique for a writer is that I actually I'm pretty good at getting things out the door I know in time yeah, I don't get hung up on making it perfect, okay actually rather get in a little early and sometimes it needs to be more perfect but right here with that, what I actually need to get stronger at is asking people for help and especially people who are further down the road and what I want to do and you have any specific examples because I'm all about identifying what action you can take next after you leave this course. So when you say I need to ask for help, are there people you what what specifically are you going to ask for help in four? Okay, so I don't have people in mind, but so the next project that I'm going to start is, um, regular article writing about, you know, people making changes in their life. Okay, so I've never done any article writing, so I would love to find people who either have, you know, could be video trivia podcast but who are interviewing people regular so your next step is to find some resource is that could potentially inspire you or help you and I recommend a good life project but by jonathan fields because well, because this friend of mine and because it's uh, it's a lot about it's in a similar vein is what you're going to investigate. All right, so we're winding down thiss segment, which is be the boss of you on this's. Really, I encourage all of you to actually write this down, write down at least to the extent that you're aware what you know what time, what is your what? Your policies, what when you get time off, you know when as a manager, what assignments do you accept? Which ones will you reject? Which clients are not a good fit? Which ones are a good fit? You have to think through all these things, and no matter where it may be, we don't even have a business yet. It's okay, you can at least define your schedule to start with, so maybe you're working full time and you can say, well, I work on my enterprise on saturday from one to four. You know, just something with that level of clarity would be great.

Class Description

Find new avenues for creative expression and challenge old assumptions about your potential to make money as an artist – join Ann Rea on a journey to uncover your creative purpose.

Fulfill Your Creative Purpose will show you how to develop a profitable artistic enterprise and write your roadmap to financial success by doing what you love. You will systematically examine your values, beliefs, and talents and come to a clear and honest acceptance of where your artistic path leads.

Ann Rea will coach and inspire you through an interactive experience – yes, you’ll be doing homework – that will help you work through the barriers to living your true purpose. By the end of the course, you’ll master new skills and enjoy unparalleled clarity about your purpose in the world. 

You’ll know how to:

  • Identify resources that will help you advance your ideas
  • Collaborate with mentors and masterminds
  • Create an action plan devoted to you and your financial success
  • Move past unproductive projects and focus on priorities

You’ll hear from artists who’ve applied these changes and find out about the steps they took that transformed their lives. Ann will also cover the practical matters of caring for your studio, balancing your books, and defining your value proposition.

The stale old message that says pursuit of your creative passion will leave you flat broke and burned-out is outmoded and untrue. Tap into your creative self and find a wellspring of ideas, energy, and economic opportunity.

By the end of this series you’ll have a clearly defined mission and know how to make money by using your creativity.

Class Materials

bonus material

Discovery Journal

Alex Blumberg Interviews Ann Rea

Find Your Why

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I think this course is extremely helpful if you follow her steps and do the work. This course can go through some very intense emotional moments, but it is all towards the greater goal of refocusing you and helping you find your meaning and purpose and most importantly, taking action on that to help others. I had many breakthroughs, but one of the areas that most helped me was to be patient with the process and give yourself the emotional payoff along the journey towards your long term goals. There is a lot of psychology in this course and it is necessary to tie your emotions into the actionable steps to get you past your struggles and focused on what is really truly important to you. I highly recommend this course if you want to get unstuck, want a road map to making a living as an artist from where you are today, and want to fulfill the best life that you can achieve.

John Muldoon

I'm so grateful to be a part of this transformational course. I've gotten so much out of it already, and my vision for my creative enterprise has never been more clear. My thinking and vision have become much bigger, as well. I can see so clearly how to use my creative talents to create a profitable business that I can work in with passion and integrity.

Don Diaz

“Like all worthwhile pursuits, you will get out of this what you put into it” Ann Rea. I am having a positive life changing experience thanks to this class. Now, I am able to identify much more clearly that my hobby was only fulfilling me and was not providing a service to anyone, therefore it was not allowing me to obtain the financial success that I am after. I expect to continue to mature during this class. I want to thank you, Creativelive and Ann Rea for creating content that will allow us to grow and possibly succeed in life.