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August 3, 2021

123 | Not Letting Money Or Pressure Ruin Your Creative Process

Not letting money or pressure ruin the creative process with Annie Miller

This is going to be a shorter episode, but one that hits close to home for me and many of my clients I think. Fun story – I drafted episodes 121 and 122 and then asked Nate, my husband, what should my next podcast be about. He immediately said “dinosaurs.” But then he followed up with “creating from joy” and I was like OH SHOOT, YES. Thus you can all thank and/or blame Nathanael for this episode about not letting money or pressure take away from creating for joy.

At any stage of business but especially at the beginning, it can feel like you have to create content in order to make money. It can be very easy to create from a place of scarcity. If I don’t post I won’t get clients.

Where there is 100% truth to that, I want to encourage creation from a different perspective today.

This is something that has come up recently with two of my business clients. The “pressure to create” completely ruining the creation process. Sucking the joy right out of something that brings both of these women joy – if money and pressure are not linked to it.

My clients who create the best content (meaning it lands with their audience AND leads to growth for their brand), create content they want to create.

THAT is what today’s talk is about. If you feel pressure to create content, or you feel like your content creation is fueled by checking boxes and making money instead of BEING CREATIVE, you need to listen up.

First off, we all feel that. The pressure. But I’d argue that if you’re not creating content that is joyful for you to create…it’s a bit a of a waste. Right?

A practice that has become a staple in my own business is to create when I feel “off” or “down” or “bored” or “pressured.” But not just to create. To let go of all the “rules” and just make what I want to. Because I believe that’s what I was put on this earth to do. I used to believe I wasn’t “creative” because I struggle to create original things. I think very practically and analytically. But being practical and analytical in nature does not mean I cannot also possess creativity. And the same is true for you.

Creativity can express itself in so many ways. Drawling parallels between concepts is creative for instance. Making people laugh can come from creativity. It’s not drawing, or design alone.

Thus, when I feel like I need to make sales, or disconnected from my audience, or this odd pressure to check all the boxes, I just do WHAT I WANT.

I think this comes from my idea freedom which is “what I want, when I want.” I feel joy when I have options and the freedom to decide what I want to do, when I want to do it. So I lean into that. I hate that term. But it fits. That’s what we’ll get into now…

When the pressure, self-imposed or otherwise, starts to set in, how can we change direction towards joy in our creation process?

So, my first question for you is – what do you enjoy creating? If you don’t know yet, you’ll only find out through trial and error.

AND let me point out – it doesn’t have to be content. It can be an email, blog, workbook, podcast, apparel.

Fun story – my most recent dino + gains apparel launch was birthed from boredom and frustration. An apparel launch wasn’t in the yearly plan. I was supposed to be working on a course, and I was frustrated and bored with that content. So I just said screw it, let’s take a break. But then I had no plan for the break, so I started playing with designs in Canva. After three hours or so, I accidentally built out an apparel line. Launched it a week later. And I am so so so in love with it.

That’s kind of what I am getting at here. When we create from a place of joy, a few things happen. First off, and my favorite point – no one can take that from you. No one can take that creation, the idea and the joy, from you. And secondly, people feel it. I do truly believe that our current state in creating content or a program or course, will permeate what we’re creating. Feel free to agree or disagree. 

What serves you better? To create from a place of scarcity and stress? Or to step back and give yourself space to just create anything you want? To say what you want. And show up how you want. To have FUN?

That’s exactly what I worked on with both of my 1:1 biz clients. Getting back to a place of FUN and saying “if money wasn’t needed, and I gained nothing from this other than the simple creation of IT, what would I do?” And that’s what they’ve done. It’s like “play” for adults. And it breeds life.

Fact is, if you’re on IG or YouTube, or any other platform to grow your biz, then you have a business that you care about. Something that you believe you were made to do. You have purpose. A passion. Yes?

So express that passion how you want to when you feel pressure to do it a certain way. You have that freedom. It can have to do with business or not. That’s only true if you’re building a personal brand. If you don’t have a personal brand and you make a fashion based reel on instagram…it might not make much sense. But you get the idea. Attempt, best you can, to let go and just have fun. Find the joy.

What lights you up the most about creating things? For me, it’s just the process. So it’s not words, or photoshoots, or planning. It’s just being in the process. I LOVE CREATING. Which is why I attempt to build a business which primarily allows me to create while everything else is run by beloved humans or software.

Is it writing? brainstorming ideas? Doodling graphics? Planning photos or taking them? The editing process for video? Is it a type of content you love creating?

Think back to times you’ve enjoyed creating things? What is it about those times that sparked joy? And how can you recreate that for yourself now? Again and again?

These are not rhetorical questions. I want you to answer these because so much of what you do in building an online business is content creation. Especially if building an audience is something you’re focusing on.

Good news is, as you create more joy-lead content, and content in general, you’ll get feedback and ideas. Content begets content. Make sense? So as you create more, you’ll get in a flow, and/or get other ideas for more content. Creating one piece will lead to a form of content, or a way you can apply one concept to another. Is that not better than creating from scarcity?

Also, I do get it. Scarcity is real. And I am not a fan of painting rainbows over like, actually needing to make money, pay the bills and support a family. So please don’t get this twisted. Do what needs to be done to be profitable in your business. Sometimes that’s a grind. And I acknowledge that.

But if you, at all, have the space and opportunity to remove some of that pressure from yourself, I encourage you to do so and see what happens.

For myself and my clients, it typically leads to higher engagement, higher sense of fulfillment, and even client inquiries. Create without expectation. Create because you want something to be said or made. That’s it. Not every piece of content has to check a box, drive a metric, or make you money. You can post something, or send an email, or write a blog…just because you want to.

Permission granted. I hope you found this helpful or insightful. Coming into content creation in 2021 would be A LOT. Simplify, and try to operate from a place of joy and pure creativity rather than check boxes, metrics + make money. And that’s coming from the queen of check boxes and loving numbers. Get back to the joy.

If you find value here, on The FitsPRO Podcast, then pretty please head over to iTunes, subscribe, rate and review the show. It means the world to me when you spread my message to more humans.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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