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Howdy, everyone! Welcome to another exciting episode of The Creative Marketing Zone Podcast! I am your host and chief creative officer, Eric, and this is the weekly podcast for all things creative to help you build and grow professionally and personally!
If this is your first time tuning into the show, then welcome! I am super thrilled you are here. Tuesday’s is when I release an episode with a marketing guru sharing his or her ninja tips to help you grow your business. And on Friday’s is when I release a solo episode, just like this one, sharing new tips I have learned that works, doesn’t work, or creative insights to help you grow professionally and personally.
If you are a repeat listening friend of the show, then I am super elated that you are back ready to tune into fresh and insightful content. It is such a joy to be in your ear wherever you are and as you know this show just keeps getting better and better each week.
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Alright, let’s jump into this week. Now, this is part five in our five-part series of 5 unorthodox tips to discover and unleash your creative superpowers and just as a quick recap of what was covered so far - episode 74 I talked about starting at ground zero, which is all about removing unnecessary life weight.
I talked about my seven-year journey – the highs and extreme lows – going through this journey of removing stuff in my life that was weighing me down.
I never thought seven years ago I would be where I am today, and I am super thankful for going through this process.
Seven years ago I was working jobs I hated but needed to pay the bills and support the family. I knew ultimately that I’d one day be in business for myself, dancing to the beat of my own drums, but I had to go through a process to get here. And part of this process was to take inventory of all the stuff in my life that was weighing me down – physical clutter, debt, relationships, etc.
For a lot of us, we don’t realize how much we have accumulated over the years, and it certainly is easy to do. What I have found is that the more we accumulate, the more stress and burdens we create that weigh us down. And for me, when this happened I was in some of my darkest moments and relied heavily on alcohol to help me cope with it all.
So, if you or someone you know is dealing with a lot of stress in your life then start to take inventory of what is causing the stress.
I broke out an exercise on episode 74 in which you take a sheet of paper and draw a picture of yourself on the left side then on the right side you write out where you want to be in life. Then in the middle between these two is where you jot down what needs to take place to get to the right side of that page.
I am telling you guys, I called this series five unorthodox tips for a reason. I go deep here. Most articles or information you come across will tell you to go to a quiet corner and remove distractions so you can focus and be creative. But my thinking is, what motivation would you have, or how can you focus and produce your best magical work when you have a ton of burdens weighing you down? It’s almost an impossible scenario. So that was step one.
Step two, episode 76 was all about cutting down or out unnecessary distractions. I talked about my funny story of becoming a cord cutter – getting rid of cable – before the term cord cutting was a thing.
I also talked about how I was able to shift the time I was spending on passive media platforms – e.g. television watching, social media, etc. – to more productive passions of mine.
This was the beginning or the activation of my creative superpowers. Next thing I knew I was in my flow state each day working on what I loved doing most, which eventually led to the start of The Creative Marketing Zone.
Part three – episode 78 was all about the importance of surrounding yourself around like-minded creatives, or to start consuming more creative inspiration or content.
We were all created for a special purpose and it is up to us to discover and unleash these creative superpowers – the world needs it!
Whether this is through music, art, writing, films, expression, or business, etc. you do have creative powers!
Going through parts one and two in this series will help you activate this process of discovering and unleashing. Part three of surrounding yourself with others who are tapping into their creative superpowers will help keep you inspired and motivated to keep going and growing.
On part four, episode 80, I talked about the next logical step, which is to begin taking action by journaling and taking better care of yourself.
I talked about a cool tool I use each day, 750words.com, and how that has been a big-time game changer for me.
I also talked about the importance of taking better care of ourselves, which is an area I am more cognizant about, but still struggle with. As I mentioned in the episode, exercise is so important! Toxins make our way into our bodies and getting rid of these toxins is so critical not only for our overall health but also for our mental health.
The feel-good endorphins that are released from working out help to spark my creative juices. And I get my best creative work done following these workouts.
I don’t have a normal 9-5 schedule – like you tuning in, I am too creative for a 9-5. So sometimes I don’t get my workouts in until later in the day or evening. And sometimes I don’t actually start working until later in the day.
In conjunction with working out, eating better is critical. I don’t consume as many carbs or processed foods these days. I used to eat a lot of bread, subs, pizza, Chinese food, chips and drink beer. All bad.
I wish I had a normal eating schedule, something I am working on now, but I am much more conscious about what I eat, and boy do I notice a big difference in how I feel, my mental clarity, my bathroom schedule, and so much more!
The point of all this is that we can’t be our full creative versions when we are stressed with excess weight on our shoulder, distracted all the time, not surrounding ourselves around creative inspiration and not writing and taking better care of ourselves.
All of these are critically important and are needed to help discover and begin unleashing our creative superpowers. As I mentioned before, you can’t just lock yourself up in a room in isolation and expect your creative juices to flow when life is in a disarray. It is a process to go through, for me a seven-year journey to get here. But the process is well worth it, one day at a time – progress, even if it is just 1% each day adds up!
Alright guys so my final tip here is all about practicing self-love and not forcing creativity.
I never truly understood the concept of self-love until a few years ago when I was introduced to a book by a good friend of mine entitled, No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life.
Now, you may be thinking that the name of this book implies to be a jerk. No, that is not what the book is about.
Instead, what the book talked about was the importance of putting your needs first above anything or everyone else (of course, if you have kids, you would want to put your kids needs first). You come first over everyone else, including your partner or spouse if you are in a relationship.
We have been so conditioned over the years to want to satisfy others needs ahead of ours. This may have started with our parents where if mom or dad was pleased or happy with our actions then this should translate toward our happiness.
This may have occurred for you in school or with sports, in the workplace to please a boss, or at home with your romantic partner or spouse. For me it was all of the above.
And when I realized that I was not who I was because I was always looking out for others first, I soon began to connect the dots. My grandfather and mom are this way – super loving parents but big time enablers.
And during my marriage, this was a HUGE problem for me. I was the enabler always seeking to satisfy the needs of my spouse over mine first. If she was happy, I should be happy.
After living like this for years it just became a common theme – happy wife, happy life, right? Not so much.
You see when you sacrifice your needs over others you lose your self-identity. And when you lose your self-identity you begin to lose your self-worth, and when you lose your self-worth you begin to go down a downward spiral. For me this was alcohol, stress, buying stuff I did not need, emotional eating, etc.
If you or someone you know is experiencing this, then they are not alone. This is actually quite common and unfortunately, many people don’t recognize this problem because we have been so conditioned to always put others on a pedestal ahead of us.
But I am telling you, once you actually recognize this problem and start to make changes to prioritize your needs first, this ends up being a big time game changer, especially when seeking to live your best creative self.
I have been told by many that living this way is selfish. In actuality, however, it is extremely unselfish. What is selfish is giving up on your dreams because you are not focused on yourself – you are constantly in a state of walking on eggshells trying to please everyone’s needs ahead of yours. Who wants that?
Date and fall in love with yourself. Go out to eat alone, go to the movies alone – I love doing this. Go on a trip by yourself. If you are in a relationship in which your partner or spouse is not supportive of this, then you may need counseling or you may need to find a way to get out of the relationship. This wasn’t the case for me, but I do know people who are in these relationships in which the other party is around them 24/7 – this can be toxic.
Now the second part to this tip is once you have begun to focus on prioritizing yourself first and taking better care of yourself, bursts of creative sparks will happen. But you can’t force creativity.
Meaning, you can’t just sit down right now and be creative when you are not yet ready to be creative. You have to be in the right frame of mind, free of distractions, stress, etc.
Some people are more creative in the mornings whereas others are more creative at night. Right now I am more of a night owl, but four years ago I was more creative in the mornings. I tend to fluctuate.
Not everyone can perform the 5 am miracle to wake up at 5 am and get stuff done. Some people are the 5 pm, or 11 pm miracle.
The point is, work when you want to work. Be creative when it makes sense to be creative. If you are tired and need a nap, take a nap. Don’t try and work your way through work and don’t try and be creative when you are exhausted – it doesn’t work.
I often don’t start work for the day until later in the afternoon, sometimes in the evening when I can focus and not be distracted with emails flying back and forth.
This gives me time to get stuff done during the day that needs to get done, like working out, taking kids to their sporting practices and games, running errands, etc. Do what works best for you.
So there you have it guys, 5 unorthodox tips to discover and unleash your creative superpowers. I hope you found this series informative, insightful and helpful. Let me know what you think about these episodes on social media or via email. You can find me on:
And don’t forget, I will be back on Tuesday with another awesome interview with a marketing guru sharing his or her ninja tips to help you grow your business.
Thank you again for tuning in guys and enjoy your weekend!