February 24, 2015 55 comments

12 Ways Creativepreneurs are Like Small Children

by Regina

Creativepreneurs Are Like Small Children

If you know me a little bit, you know I love us creative types. But if you’ve read some of my post titles (9 Ways Bloggers are Like Drunk People and 12 Ways Creativepreneurs are Like Small Children), they might seem a little insulting. It’s not that I wish to be rude. I’m just trying to be truthful—and the truth is that owning a business sometimes makes me act like a drunk child. It probably does the same to you. Let’s just own it. Below are several ways you and I (probably) act like small children.

1. We just make stuff up and hope it all works out.

Here’s how it plays out with kids:
I’m not going to call my godson out or anything . . . but have you ever been playing a game with a kid, and they just change the rules on you without warning? They see things are not headed their way so they make up a completely new rule and hope it works out in their favor:

No, no, if you step over the blue line you have to freeze for 10 seconds and you lose 2 points.”

Wait a second kid, you didn’t tell me this rule to begin with. And since when did this game have a point system?”

But what can you do? Kids cheat.

Just kidding. << Don't hate me parents.
Here’s how it works with creativepreneurs:
This is supposed to be top secret, but I’ll just tell you . . . none of us know what we’re doing. We’re all making up stuff and hoping it works out. If it doesn’t, we do something new. If it does, we do it for a while and then we do something new.

Takeaway:
Don’t get intimidated if you’re just getting into this entrepreneur game (or if you’ve been in it for a while) and it seems like everyone else knows what they are doing. THEY DON’T. They just don’t. I make up stuff all the time (hello: Business Valentine’s Day >> #BizVDay). I try new things that don’t make sense all the time. So does everyone else. That’s how we learn. And that’s how we sometimes land on something epic.

It’s like that one small child keeps saying on Instagram:

Creativepreneurs don't know what they're doing any more than small children Don't wait until you feel ready

2. We consider pajamas a legitimate way of life. As in, sometimes we should not be allowed to dress ourselves.

I don’t think I need to develop this point further. I’m in my pajamas from yesterday, right now. I grumbled for 20 minutes yesterday when I had to put adult clothes on to run an errand. And if your thing isn’t a matching set of flannel pajamas, don’t judge me. I feel like you have an epic collection of sweat pants, yoga pants, or superhero onesies in some drawer somewhere.

3. We have no real concept of time.

Here’s how it plays out with kids:

We’re going to the park in three hours,” says the dad.

Let’s do this!” says the kid (literally) two minutes later while waiting by the door and looking at her dad like “Are you going to grab the car keys now or do you want me to drive? Because I’m only five—so . . .”

Here’s how creativepreneurs do it:

I’m finishing up this design. I’ll be ready in an hour.” << Woman says to her best friend.

So, I should expect you tomorrow?” << Best friend says to the woman because best friend has already been fooled by that line one too many times.

Takeaway:
You’re passionate about your work. You enjoy what you do. When you get in the thick of solving a problem or creating a masterpiece, you’re going to get caught up. Learn to not over-promise things or commit to timelines that don’t make sense for you. But also try to learn how to step away, enjoy life, and come back to your work with new eyes and new energy.

4. We are curious about everything.

Probably don’t have to say much more about this point either. We all know that kid who has more questions than you know how to answer. Creativepreneurs are driven by curiosity as well. We are our most creative selves when we have questions that we are trying to answer through our work.

5. We are in awe of nature.

Just as kids are usually anxious to get outside in the park (wait–that’s still a thing kids do, right? it’s not all video games and Snapchat, right? please tell me kids play outside!) or explore new things, creativepreneurs can walk around the great outdoors for hours just marveling at the environment. A sunset can get a creativepreneur all emotional–we’re even known to Instagram pictures of cactus plants and open roads. Please, seriously, just try to convince me you haven’t seen or taken one of those pictures.

6. We change topics of conversation faster than you think humanly possible.

Here’s how kids do this:

How was your day at school son?”

It was awesome. Ms. Schmidt let us draw our houses and we did something called the alphabet and we ate sandwiches and Billy got a new backpack. I like turtles a lot. Mom, what are Power Rangers? Have you heard the song about the fox and the hound? If we eat pizza tonight, can I have chocolate sauce on it–that would probably taste good, right?”

And creativepreneurs do something like this:

Hey honey, what do you want to eat?” says one spouse to their creative entrepreneur spouse.

Did we get butternut squash at the store last night? Hey, you know what would be a good business idea? An app that tells you what you should cook for dinner that night based on the colors of photos you Instagrammed that day. Wait–no, that’s crazy. Do you think I should offer a new consulting package with my WordPress design services? Sometimes people need a design, but sometimes they just need guidance. Maybe like a 2-hour package. Dang, I’m hungry, let’s get burgers.”

7. We break all the rules.

Come on. You know you’ve had this moment as a child and as an entrepreneur:

And whatever you do, don’t use humans or human faces in your Pinterest pins.” << said the Internet experts and research.

Okay, I’ll get right on that.” << says Regina.

Do what looks good and feels right on Pinterest

8. We’ve learned how to self-soothe. Whatever that means.

So with kids:
I keep hearing from really reliable sources (as in: movies and TV shows, duh) that parents have to let kids self-soothe instead of always picking them up and catering to them when they cry. I’m not here to debate this method of parenting; I’m here simply to say that it’s a useful skill when you grow up and go into business for yourself.

With creativepreneurs:
When things don’t go our way (a website design, a product launch, a technical issue, a project that we were supposed to have completed, an epic new idea), we have to self-soothe because honestly, there usually aren’t too many other people around to listen to us complain. We use items such as:

  • interesting food (that we can also Instagram for the world to see)
  • self-dates to Target or office supply stores
  • new toys/tools for our business
  • Hulu
  • new projects to distract us
  • procrastination
  • coffee dates

9. We often judge based on perception instead of logic.

Kids:
You know, when a child feels like the world revolves around them. They don’t understand why things can’t go exactly as they’ve planned in their little minds. My godchild planned her entire pool party wedding the other day. She just wanted everyone to have a good time. She’s 5 by the way. I think she wanted to go pick out her white bathing suit right then—as to whether it would still fit in 23.5 years, I’m unsure.

Creativepreneurs:
You know, when your client says they liked the last round of options better, and all you hear is “This new round of options is the scum beneath my shoe.” Your perception is not necessarily based on reality or logic. In your head, your client just got an attitude with you and hates you.

10. We don’t understand boundaries or limits.

Dear kids everywhere:
Stop jumping off couches, tables, or other high objects thinking that you can master your ninja landing skills. You don’t have any.

Dear creativepreneurs:
“Just one more [collaboration//project//idea//thing] . . .” is not always the best idea. Sure: explore, take on new projects, get busy, get crazy, but then come back to the world where we only have 24 hours in a day, and some of those hours probably need to be spent on food, sleep, family, and fun.

On the other hand though, don’t actually start believing in limits. They’re “so last year” and just a hindrance to your creativity and the epic things you’re meant to do.

11. We’re super empathetic and emotional.

Kids:
Those adorable humans that know when mommy has a stomach ache and they just come and cuddle or try to help. I love you adorable little people.

Creativepreneurs:
You get so wrapped up in people’s stories and their needs and their dreams, that you realize you forgot to eat or shower or do anything but try to figure out how to help them. Also, you cry when you hear a great business success story. Don’t freaking lie. You cry. I’ve seen you.

12. We love it when people really listen to us.

With kids:
Have you ever noticed that sometimes they tell the most loopy and ridiculous stories ever? Something about their communication skills not being epic and all the way intact the day they’re born. Weird little humans.

But have you ever noticed how their little faces light up when they have your attention, and you ask questions, and you react to their story, and you validate their little brains and emotions?

With creativepreneurs:
Legit. I will marry you or cook you gluten-free meals for a year if you just listen to me talk out a new workshop idea. If you actually ask questions that show me you’re listening and that you want me to develop a point further, oh my goodness >> what size ring do you wear again, sir?


So, do you kinda agree, even a little bit? Keep in mind, I’ll get really emotional and offended if you disagree (#11 above)—but I’ll also be okay because I’ll self-soothe with some Super Mario (#8 above).

Photo: Lumina

55 responses to “12 Ways Creativepreneurs are Like Small Children”

  1. Mathias says:

    Some interesting (and hilarious) comparisons here! Although I don’t think most creativepreneurs would identify with a lot of them, I would view all of these as compliments (except maybe number 2).
    I think the trademark of a creativepreneur is that we tend to view these characteristics as positive rather than negative. Nice write-up!

    • regina says:

      Mathias, I think you’re so right about that being the trademark of a creativepreneur, if we identify with these things at all, we view them as positive things and we wouldn’t change them one bit.

      Thank you for stopping by and for commenting.

  2. You have convinced me….I am definitely a creative-preneur! Thanks for saying that you don’t know what you are doing either, that makes me feel better. It is so fun to try new things and see what happens 😉

    • regina says:

      Haha Sarah, yes, I do NOT know what I am doing at all, but I’m with you, it’s fun. And I kinda like the fact that there aren’t any/many real rules–I think it levels the playing field for us all.

      Thank you for taking time to comment. I always love hearing from you.

  3. Sune Moolman says:

    Number 2 has to be my favourite! I get super grumpy when I have to change my slippers with actual shoes. 😀

    • regina says:

      Ahh, yes–I need to reinvest in some great slippers, Suné. You’ve reminded me of how much I love them. And I’m so glad you can relate to that point a bit, sometimes I feel a bit ridiculous (maybe because I am).

      Thank you for taking the time to read this today and to comment. I appreciate your time.

  4. Nicole L says:

    For someone who doesn’t have kids, from someone with two, this is remarkably perceptive.

    • regina says:

      Wow, thank you Nicole. I’m fortunate enough to spend a lot of time around some amazing little people, so I thought I’d try to put this post together non-offensively. Ha.

      Thank you for taking the time to read it. I appreciate your comment as well.

  5. Kelita says:

    Anyone who knows me knows that the only reason I leave the house is because I have a daughter.

    Loved this post because most of it’s so so true…

  6. Regina just want to let you know how much I love this blog and how I have incorporated many of your ideas, but especially your attitude in my blogging. I am very new (will celebrate 6 months on Saturday, and think I am doing pretty well for that amount of time. I really try to remember when I get too crazy about numbers and stats that it is about having fun and as I write about this week “being in the process of becoming”. Thank you so much for being such a wise woman.

    Accidental Icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com

    • regina says:

      Wow. Happy 6-month anniversary, first off. That is something to celebrate–and yes, your blog looks attractive and well kept–that is amazing.

      I’m glad you have fun with it. That to me seems to be the most important element of keeping something creative going for the long run.

      Thank you for taking the time to come by and to comment today.

  7. Haha these are all soooooo true! But man…. my list of upcoming projects and ideas never end! And I love successful business stories. One of the many reasons chef is one of my fave movies. This is a great list!

    • regina says:

      Haha, I really do believe that about you because my list of stuff never ends either. We’re always trying to find balance and to prioritize. Oh my goodness, I’ve never seen Chef. You’re the best; will check it out.

  8. Jenn says:

    Oh my gosh!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! This describes me to a T! I also have two kids and yes that is how kids are. My daughter is loves being outside as do I! I have been following you for a while and I really love your insight and just the way you write (like I feel like I am having a conversation with you when I read your posts) I am a hairdresser and I am just getting ready to launch my blog/website. I would love to have you check it out or work with you! You are brilliant!

    • regina says:

      Jenn, wow, thank you so much for your sweet words. I’m so impressed with anyone who has hairdressing skills (and also has awesome hair–love your bangs in this pic); I have zero hair skills, I know all of 2 hairstyles.

      I can’t wait to check out the site your about to launch. I love the look of the Bows & Fringe site you have up right now. Will you please let me know when your new site is up?

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Jenn says:

        I am hoping to wrap things up this week but actually I should say that the bowsandfringe.com website is the website I am going to “launch”. I guess I don’t really know what I am talking about when I say ‘launch’. It’s pretty much done. I just need to take a few more pictures. But I will let you know when the site is officially COMPLETE!!! Thanks for the reply!

  9. This is hilarious! And accurate, even though I identify less with the creative and more with the “preneur” part.
    Your images rock, btw, take that, no-faces-pinterest!

  10. Stéphanie says:

    your godaughter (and your future children if this Is in your plans) is very very lucky to have a godmother who understands them so well. Love seeing your own child’s heart there.
    On a separate note I am going to use the above to make my daughter relate to my blogging which she sometimes finds a bit too much in her way :-).

    • regina says:

      That’s just the sweetest thing you just said. Thank you. I would love to have le children one day, and your comment is just so sweet. Love my godkids. And yes, that sounds like a great idea with your daughter–haha.

      Thank you for coming by Stéphanie. I always love hearing from you.

  11. Hanna says:

    yes! Yes! and YES! To all of them. Some of those were so funny because they were true. That conversation with the husband about dinner. I have them almost every day.

  12. Chava says:

    It’s like you read my mind. I’ve noticed every one of these points in myself! especially 6, 9, and 12–people showing an interest in what I’m sharing also makes me swoon. 🙂

    Awesome post, Regina!! (as always)

  13. Okay, not only did this have me rolling with laughter, but I learned a lot about myself and how I work along the way. I’m totally not convinced you aren’t some sort of wizard.

  14. Darcy says:

    I looove this! I just launched my site a month ago, and people are starting to get used to my new creativepreneur brain (I hope?). Glad to know everyone else goes through the same!

  15. Jessica says:

    This was hilarious! You just described me to a tee.
    I never really considered myself a creative-preneur until I read this post. It just warms my heart to see that my weirdness/awkwardness is actually a creative-preneur mindset (i hope).

    P.S.
    My boyfriend would definitely agree to #6

  16. Marianne says:

    Hahaha Regina you totally nailed it. My 3yo son does every one of these things and I identified with every one myself. Especially #3. I literally laughed out loud on that one and showed it to my husband because HE’S the best friend in that scenario!

    • regina says:

      That’s so epic Marianne–I feel like that’s another thing we do–show our significant others and friends whatever creative thing is consuming us in the moment, even if we think they’ll have zero interest. I love that you showed the post to him.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment today. I appreciate you.

  17. Taalor says:

    The comparison is spot on, and had me laughing so hard. Glad to know that I fit right in! 🙂 Now…I just need a follow-up post on “How to Explain to Your Significant Other Why…”

    • regina says:

      Haha, Taalor. How about you write the follow-up? I’d love to see your take on that. Oh, and I love your blog tagline “For the driven. For the Vision.” >> you’re my kinda person. Just thought I needed to make that clear.

      Thank you for coming by to read this today. I appreciate your time.

  18. Nissa says:

    Hillarious! Loved this post….as an entrepreneur to be….maybe ready to jump out on that cliff type? Some things were so true especially the I have no idea what I’m doing but I’ll let you know when I get there! Great writing!

  19. Aly Hines says:

    Nailed it. This whole post describes me, so I guess I am officially realizing I am a Creativepreneur. Or maybe a child? Tom-ay-to, Tomato!

  20. Jessica says:

    Regina, you don’t know me yet you described me so well! Are you Santa? Loved this post! Thanks for sharing your talent with words.

  21. Danielle says:

    These are SO painfully true. Especially the pajamas and concept of time.

  22. M.J. Kane says:

    I laughed the entire time I read this! Numbers 3,5, and 6 are so me!!! You nailed it my friend! 🙂

  23. […] read this cool thing and it cracked me up. It was so true that all I could do was […]

  24. […] If you’re a maker of things, you’ll probably get a kick out of this : 12 Ways CreativePreneurs Are Like Small Children. […]

  25. Julie Harris says:

    Your post title for this made me laugh out loud (literally – I was laughing out loud and I think it threw my husband a little). But it’s SO TRUE! Especially the part about our “concept” of time (as in lack there of). As entertaining as it is to reflect on, this is something I am constantly working on getting better at. When I say I’m logging out at 5:00PM I have to mentally prepare myself to start logging out at 4:00PM or 5 will easily turn into 6-6:30ish if I’m lucky. But, like you said, it’s a bright big beautiful world outside and it’s so crucial to take advantage of it for our own sanity and the success of our business.

    P.S. I think you are even more my favorite for sharing the turtle video. Amazing.

  26. Nienke says:

    I loooooooove office supply stores! (no, that’s definitely not the only feature I recognise in myself, just a fun one) You got some spot-on characteristics listed, I switched between laughter and mild embarrasment… 😉

  27. […] This one is for you, my creatives out there working on their entrepreneurial efforts. I’m there with you. […]

  28. Lori Hil says:

    Embracing the child within and finding what works for your business despite the “rules.” Awesome post, thanks for sharing. Now, I think I’ll go color and get the creative juices flowing…

  29. […] 12 Ways Creativepreneurs Are Like Small Children: This made me laugh, mostly because it’s true. […]

  30. Robyn Petrik says:

    I don’t identify with all of these, they are hilarious! Putting on real clothes has become such a rarity. I caught myself dressing to the nines just to go to the coffee shop last week, because it felt like hadn’t used makeup or put on jewelry in ages, ha!

  31. Aldy says:

    So much fun while reading this post! Makes me laugh the entire time:) I identify with all these things… #3 is perfect, my daughter loves going to the park but she doesn’t like to wait at all ! Looooove every word, Regina! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!

  32. Regina! You crack me the heck up! This post was hilarious!

    http://www.WonderlandBoudoir.com/blog

  33. […] 12 Ways Creativepreneurs Are Like Small Children >>> […]

  34. Nora says:

    Hilarious and 100% true! My poor fiance knows the pain of #6. I have the attention span of a goldfish, which is why it’s really safer for everyone if I work for myself ;D

    Great post, as usual!!

  35. Lizzi says:

    Regina, thank you SO much for this. I’ve been wallowing around in a funk for the last few weeks wondering if I’m really meant for this creative freelancing thing. I hop around from one topic to another and feel lost at sea without direction. I had a food blog for about 6 months and have been freelance writing/social media managing for about 6 months. Reading this post validates that I belong here. Perhaps with a bit more direction and focus, but still. 😀

  36. Sherry says:

    Great post! Number 1 was crucial for me, since I’m still floundering… 🙂 Thanks for lightening my day!

  37. ivana split says:

    this is one of the most adorable posts I have read…I recognize myself in some of these points, perhaps I should be a creativepreneur too (love this world you coined btw).

    Children have some phenomenal strategies and we should learn a thing or two from them, especially when it comes to creativity.

    On a more personal note, my four year old nephew recently said to me: ‘you can be both, a woman grown and a little girl.’
    (in response to me trying to explain to him that I’m almost 30 years old- that fact seems to confuse him. So, I said : ‘you do realize I’m a woman grown, almost 30 years old’)

    Wasn’t his response really precious? I think he is on to something there:)

  38. Get out of my head! Ok, fine. You can stay. But only because you made me chortle at least four times with this post. Chortle, I say!

    Honestly though, this was so accurate. Especially the part about not being able to dress ourselves. I recently spoke at a really amazing conference and it was an awesome experience – three days on the beach. Which was great except that meant I had to wear clothes for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. Real clothes.

    I kept having to sneak up to my room, strip down to my undies, and just sit around for 30 minutes at a time because I clearly do not know how to wear real clothes all day like a normal person any more. Lol

  39. Absolutely love this and almost all of them describe me to a T!

  40. Ha ha! Have we met? You just describe me. As a child I drove my mother crazy as I had to create something out of what was at hand. Like I love to nroll undeveloped film or use the exacto nknife to open up mom oil paint.

    At 65 I’m still like that, OnlyI own the business, now.I’m getting to my goal of making play things for children.

    Thank you for understand a little crazy mess maker fabric artist.

  41. SO true! Alllll of them! lol No wonder I’m so goofy and have so much fun with y kids….we’re just alike!

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