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Happy Friday! I am super thrilled you are here for this special Friday episode because this is – like I said last Friday - special, lol!
All silliness aside though guys, this is a topic I am super passionate about because my business is in a transition mode. As you know, I am a creative at heart, hence why I have this podcast and love interviewing fellow creative marketers sharing their ninja tips.
One of the mistakes I made my first couple of years in business was taking on any client that came my way. I didn’t niche down, and it took a heavy toll on me.
The past few months or so, after taking the advice shared from previous guests on the show, I decided to niche down and get rid of the clients that were the biggest PITA’s.
The funny thing is that the biggest PITAs were the ones paying me the least. And unloading these clients, even though there was a slight financial shift, it became a big stress reliever for me. And it helped me be more creative with my marketing!
For instance, I created a partner referral program for the awesome podcast guests who have been on the show.
The way this works is that when clients are sent to me to develop a custom creative marketing blueprint to help them solve their marketing challenges I end up farming out (or subcontracting) the execution of these campaigns to the guests of the show who I have developed a good relationship with. It is a creative way of monetizing this podcasting platform basically.
Plus, many of the referral partners have incentives in place in which I receive additional dollars for referring clients.
In terms of my niche, I am now focused on working with marketers and solopreneurs to help them put together creative marketing campaigns to achieve their outcomes with their target audience. I enjoy working with coaches such as business, life, health, and transformational coaches especially.
Okay, so I am getting off on a tangent here and need to stick to the topic for today. This is part two of our five part series dissecting 5 unorthodox ways to tap into and unleash your creative superpowers.
As a quick recap from last week, episode 74 – if you have yet to tune into that one then certainly do so – I talked about the importance of getting to a point in your life in which you have nothing to lose.
I talked specifically about the importance of unloading all the unnecessary life weight that is weighing you down. And I shared my personal story going through this process over the course of seven years. The good and the ugly!
It is so easy to accumulate stuff we really don’t need in life. And when this happens we start carrying a ton of unnecessary weight on our shoulders that ultimately creates stress in our lives.
For me, something I didn’t talk about in the last episode, during some my darkest times when having this stress is that I turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism, and that made things a lot worse.
I isolated myself from the outside world and would drink myself to an oblivion each night. And then I’d do it all over again the next day, and the next day, and the next day.
Once I started going through the process of removing unnecessary life weight, I began to notice a big seismic shift in my life. I had fewer bills to pay, I had less stress, I was working out and losing weight, and I was drinking a lot less, which felt great!
And eventually this led me on a path of having choices on how I wanted to move forward with my life and professional career. I got to a point in which I no longer felt the need to work a job I hated just to pay the bills – what a feeling that was!
So that was step 1 guys, step 2 became removing unnecessary distractions in my life. This is where canceling cable came into play for me.
I was a cord cutter before the term cord cutter was a thing.
My ex was adamant about this and I thought she was crazy! What was I going to do in the evenings after work? How would our kids handle this? How would I watch sports?
The funny thing now looking back on this, is that this wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I actually find it weird when I go to someone’s home and they have cable television.
And here is a startling statistic I read a few years back – the average American watches 34 hours of TV per week!
I don’t know if I ever reached that peak, but man 34 hours? That is unreal! That stat also includes the time in which the TV is on while doing other things, like cooking.
TV is a passive medium. And when I read that stat I couldn’t help but think just how much someone could accomplish in life by cutting that number down. I mean even half (17 hours) – how that 17 hours could be applied throughout the week.
You could pick up a new hobby, write a book, spend more time out in Mother Nature, spend more quality time with family and friends, you name it.
I took on a hobby, which was creating a blog called Leisure Flow. I became passionate about helping people achieve more leisure in their lives and how to tap into their flow state. And a lot of the material I am sharing throughout this series actually came from my old blog article I dug up, which I think is super cool!
I actually built up a solid readership with the blog and was totally in my flow state when writing. And eventually, I used the time in which I wasn’t watching TV to start this business.
The Creative Marketing Zone was a side business for me for two years before I finally took the leap to go at this full-time. I just passed my two year mark this past September and I am just amazed at all that has transpired in two short years is all I can say.
But for the first two years, I was working full-time at a job I actually enjoyed, but ultimately knew I was destined to go off on my own.
It all started when I landed a couple of subcontract accounts, then eventually I got my first client to handle their social media, which led to another client soon after.
I was waking up at 5 am, working until 8:30, go on my 20 minute commute to work, work until 6 pm, try and sneak in a quick workout at lunch sometimes if I could, see the family for a few moments in the evenings, then grind it out until 11 or 12 am. I worked a lot on weekends too.
Eventually, I went up to my boss at the company I was working at and presented them with a scope of work and pricing to be a client of mine with my company. They agreed and I eventually went off on my own full-time with a financial security knowing I was going to get paid each month from clients.
I actually recommend this approach to anyone interested in starting his or her business. Do it on the side first before going all in.
There is nothing worse than being in a dire situation in which you need to take on any client because you need to pay the bills.
Plus this will give you a chance to see if you really want to pursue this full-time, and if you are super passionate about it, then it will be extra motivation to work harder to get you out your full-time job.
So, I tell you this story because without eliminating the unnecessary life weight, I may not have had the opportunity to make a change for the better in my life. I probably would have still been that former Eric who was stressed, overweight, and drinking every night complaining about a job I hated, but needed to pay the bills.
And without the cable television distraction, I wouldn’t have shifted that time to start pursuing my blog and eventually start my business.
I often get asked if I have a TV to this day, and yes I have one and all I have is Netflix. I actually know a lot of people like me and I don’t necessarily say it is the new norm, but it is becoming more common. Netflix and YouTube all the way baby!
For sporting events, I do like to listen to a local sports radio station during the day while working when I am not tuned into podcasts. I also will go somewhere to watch the game, or heck I will even go to the game!
And in terms of news? Well that is where LinkedIn and Twitter come into play for me. I don’t need the news on all day to keep me attuned to all that is wrong in the world. Funny thing is that studies have shown that when people consumed less news, their blood pressure actually decreased. And they also lived less in a state of fear.
So that is it for part two guys. Tell me what you think. Is there a distraction in your life you can cut down on or eliminate? I’d like to know.
Stay tuned for Tuesday’s episode in which I will release another awesome interview with a marketing guru sharing his or her ninja tips to help you grow your business. Then on Friday of next week I will be back here with part three in our series of 5 unorthodox ways to tap into and unleash your creative superpowers!
Thanks for tuning in guys, and if you haven’t yet subscribed to The Creative Marketing Zone Podcast on your podcast listening platform then be sure to do so. It is such a pleasure of mine to be in your ear wherever you are.
And if you are up for it, then I would love a review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes. Just type in The Creative Marketing Zone on either of those platforms and leave me a review. And if you do leave me a review, then email me at Eric@thecreativemarketingzone.com. I want to make sure I give a special shout out to you!