I spent my happiest years at art college learning so many different techniques, artistic mediums, and doing what students do! But when I finished and walked away with my degree, I struggled to find a job in the creative space.
Fortunately, I had a back-up plan, having worked in bars and shops since the age of fourteen, I decided to find a temporary job in retail whilst I found the perfect creative position.
Guess what? Twenty-five years passed by and I had become a Divisional Executive!
I mourned my creative career daily but applied my creative thinking to my job and it was like magic. The ability to see the end result clearly, within seconds of understanding the problem set me apart from my peers and I became a supervisor, then a department manager, then a stock investigation officer, then a store manager……the gift that just keeps giving.
But guess what? Most ‘creatives’ have this innate power to creatively problem solve, yet they are often overlooked or lack the confidence to step into a leadership role and take risks. I want to break down those limitations that are in place, on both sides, and see and feel the change when women step into their creative power. That is why I decided to become a ‘Creative Genius Consultant’.
Yes, I consult with Creative Geniuses to help them to launch, grow, and scale their creative business and make more money. I do this because I am one of those rare breeds that have been successful in both arenas. It is my duty to share. So, I manifested my Creative Business Academy to help female entrepreneurs to step into their creative power and become the leader in their life and business.
I want to share some of my steps into ‘Creative Leadership’, because the more people that understand there is nothing wrong with them because they think and see ‘differently’ the better this planet we live on will become (personal opinion disclaimer – you don’t have to think, see or be like me!).
What you see IS possible:
I know that you may see in pictures and those around you just won’t get it. Let me tell you a story. I walked into my first store as a newly appointed manager and there really wasn’t much that was right. The team were deflated, nervous about this odd woman coming in as a manager (after all there were no women managers), the store was seriously underperforming, unwelcoming and the service was shocking. I think I was being tested! But I saw what I knew it could look like, feel like and absolutely be like. It was vivid this picture in my head, all I had to do was figure out the ‘how’ and I knew this would already exist in the hearts and minds of that deflated team. I just had to coax it out. Fast forward twelve months and we had the best performing store in the company (over 800 stores!). I was being ‘visited’ by everyone and their granny in disbelief that I could have sales of +376%YOY.
What you believe IS true:
I believe in my vision and in my creative ability to get there. I have always inherently believed it because my dad told me I could be anything and do anything I imagined. So, I imagined myself into everything I wanted.
98% of children are creative, unfortunately, academic subjects are favoured and it is ‘trained’ out of them in favour of a proper job. Those who know creativity sets them apart in a crowd go on to achieve success whatever they do, and the rest settle and live within the constraints of society’s expectations of them. Creatives are often seen as the weird and the whacky in society, the dreamers, but they are also the change bringers. Think – Einstein, Da Vinci, Picasso, Michelangelo, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Leymah Gbowee, J K Rowling and so many more. You may not immediately associate all of these as creative, but they absolutely were/are creative thinkers and leaders.
If I can feel it, then I can see it, then I can create it:
Many creative people are communicating a feeling, a desire, an ending. It is the same in leadership. As the leader, you want the team of people who you work side by side with to feel their way to a better future. How will they feel to be a part of a high performing team? How will they feel to secure their future success? How will YOU feel when the job is done, and you can promote your right-hand woman and move on to the next project. It is like finishing that painting and starting a blank canvas, exciting and filled with whatever design is in your head. Feel it and create it. You have my permission to go and be the creative leader that you were born to be.
Everything else in life is just like the operation in a business, you learn how to do it, do it, retire and die. So, how much more joyful and purposeful can this journey we are all on be if we tap into our ‘Creative Leadership’ power and make the journey one of our own design?
Love & colour
Photos thanks to the amazing Natasha Holland!