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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
- new projects to distract us
- coffee dates
9. We often judge based on perception instead of logic.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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).