Learning, reflecting and moving forwards

In 2017 I spent a lot of time learning, practising my craft and trying to work out what kind of filmmaker I was and what I was best at. I went through some painful periods of extreme self doubt. In the process of trying to discover my niche and trying to figure out what direction I was going in, I met with some production companies, received professional and business mentoring, completed goal setting courses and read books about creativity, self promotion and productivity. I am going to leave you with some thoughts and tips from my learnings:

 Start by asking the question – why am I doing this?

As a self employed entrepreneur or freelancer we do have the power to decide what our lives look like. We manage our own time, can decide in what way we want to work, and the types of people we want to work for.

I have in the past happily floated along taking jobs when they have come to me and got by without making a set plan or goals for my life. Of course I had ‘dreams’ and desires for what I ultimately wanted and I just believed those things would come to me, eventually. To some extent, you can attract what you want in life but ultimately at some point you just have to take stock of where you are and accept what needs to be done in order to move forward. For most of us that equates discipline, regularity and goal setting.

One of the courses I did was an Udemy goal setting course. It asked me to ‘write down my ideal day’. This is not as easy as it seems, I really had to start using my imagination.  I realised quite quickly that sitting at my computer for seven hours and then going home to watch netflix was not actually my ideal day. To think about what you REALLY want in life and then attempt to implement that as part of your lifestyle, it seems, take a little bit of courage. I am still working on that! To delve outside of what we believe we want or should be doing, to look ourselves in the mirror and ask who we really are behind our job titles, upbringing and ‘social conditioning’ takes a bit of adjustment.

You can only be you

It is hard being a self-employed artist. We all have to figure out who we are and what we excel at in order to communicate our offering to the world. You can do that by taking the time to reflect upon and think about your own unique qualities, sometimes these need to be identified and pulled out.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

One of the books I read last year was Brian P Moran’s the 12 week year. It’s changed the way I think and do things and has given me the tools to start 2018 with a bang. Brian instructs that you write down where you see yourself in 5, 10 and 15 years with specific ideas about what you want to achieve, even if right now that seem impossible. Try writing it down as a stream of consciousness and see what happens. And then you can work backwards, what are the first steps you could take to get there?

What are you doing right now?

I have wasted a lot of time staring at my emails, contemplating how to reply to someone, procrastinating on facebook because I can’t face a task ahead of me or reading the news online. Before I know it I am mindlessly clicking on the right hand sidebar and eventually I am lost inside the unending tunnel of useless celebrity gossip and there is no turning back. As freelancers, in order to grow our businesses we need to organise our time properly. Sometimes we need to ‘micro manage’ ourselves; make sure we are spending our time on meaningful work, our big exciting creative projects, blogs and promotion, broadening our skills-set.

You don’t get taught this stuff at school

Which is why, in 2018, I am taking planning and goal setting to the next level with some of the tools and knowledge I have acquired in my voracious quest to improve. I am using the 12 week year planning method along with Fizzle’s Steph Crowder’s goal setting and nifty 15 minute week planner. Set goals because you want to, not because you think you ‘should’ do something or because your dad thinks you should do something. We all have the power to make our own decisions about our business and our future, and sometimes we need a little help to do that. So get planning!