Skip to content

How Less is More in Creativity

Later today a few of us are going to talk about the power of masterminds for creative entrepreneurs.

Like many indie creatives are busy doing their own thing - making projects happen, getting stuff done. When they run into challenges, these individuals would rather just figure it out themselves.

Why not? They’re self-reliant. It’s gotten them this far.

But here’s the problem. Time and willpower.

Although I’m all for a mindset of abundance and all that the universe has to offer us, the reality is that there are still only 24 hours in a day, and willpower as it turns out is finite.

A friend of mine tells me each time that he’s going to work on his will power.  That he is finally going to hack the things that he hasn’t been able to do. While this is great and noble, I’d argue that this is probably NOT the best use of his time.

Getting Down to Your One Thing Needed for Success and Creativity

In the One Thing Gary Keller talks about the how rather than trying to fight our limits, it’s better to understand them and work with them.

For years I’ve made lists - lists of creativity goals, lists of dreams, lists of things to do.. These have their place. Just like writing these words, they help me to be more clear on my thoughts.

But at some point it’s time to buckle down and get to work. And as Keller points out, multi-tasking is not just an illusion but a dangerous myth.

My friend Bill Belew says that if the devil can’t stop you from doing something good, he’ll give you so much to do that you don’t do anything right.

We don’t need another book on creativity or workshop on time management or productivity.. deep down we know what we need to do.

So what’s holding us back from sharing our creativity?


And the thing I’ve learned that it’s not enough to say, “just face your fear” - never mind something dangerous like “be fearless..”

What if each week you met with a tribe that won’t let you fail?

What if they helped you get the clarity that you’ve been looking for?

What if they offered the resources and connections for what you need?

Join us -
Masterminds for Indie Creatives

This is one of those other tough things that no one talks about - when to say ‘no’ in creativity.

Photo Credit - Ryan McGuire of Gratisography

Years ago I said ‘yes’ to everything. When you get started on creative flow, that’s what you do.

Now I’ve quit more times than I can remember. And the funny thing is - my success rate on projects has gone up.

Unlike a lot of the most successful entrepreneurs - Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs - I actually did well in school. In fact, getting good grades came easy - until it got hard.

Imagine my shock when I got my first ‘F’ as an engineering undergrad after getting straight A’s all through high school.

Shaken I asked my academic advisor what I could do. I thought he’d tell me to study smarter or some other generic advice. Instead he was frank and told me that I was trying to do too much.

“One of the main things you’re going to have to learn is to quit,” my advisor said. “Not everything is going to get done - maybe today it’s your laundry, maybe tomorrow it’s a set of homework problems. Only you can decide what you can afford to not do so that what you need to do gets done.”

It took a while for it to sink in. Stubbornly I tried harder to cram more into that daily planner. But no matter what I did, I always ended up in the same place - needing to cut back.

Eventually, I learned about the teachings of Stephen Covey in The 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. The most profound lesson for me was the idea that unless we choose the Big Rocks of our lives, the Little Rocks will take up all our time buckets.

I love the analogy that Liz Gilbert shares with one of her callers on her new Magic Lessons podcast - that if we treat our creativity as an illicit affair, we’ll find the time.

Knowing which ones are the Big Rocks of our lives isn’t easy. But unless you say ‘no’ to the Little ones, you’ll never have a chance to find out!