Shazam! My audition in Detroit for The Voice went better than I expected, although I did not get called back. It's always fun for me to go to "The D" and this time was no exception. I learned some powerful business lessons during my long wait in the audition line (post coming soon), plus I met a childhood friend of Anita Baker who designs Mustangs at Ford! We had a fun time connecting and learning about each other. Hooray for new friends!
Speaking of, this week's video is actually a request from my facebook page. Jessica-Lynn Sage asked about hiring help in your business. Her big concern was in being able to trust someone else to handle the work and "let go" of doing it yourself.
The timing couldn't have been more perfect, since I've been working on my photo shoot for the new album (and website). This week's episode of Creative Freedom gives you the low down on how I sourced and "hired" the team for this shoot.
But there's something else I didn't include in the video that's also important...
In my research, I've been exploring the three different types of creative entrepreneurs (a quiz is coming soon!), and each one has their own sets of challenges. Chaotic Creatives look for people they trust with their vision and the direction they're trying to go as creative individuals. Linear Creatives are more concerned with getting results NOW - and getting the "right people on the bus" as Jim Collins would say. I'm a Fusion Creative, so I tend to walk the line between the two. Results are important to me, but I also don't want people to deviate too far from my vision, so I'm willing to forego some short-term results for a better overall project at completion. Understanding your Creative Entrepreneur type will help you know what to look for in hiring your support staff, as well as your temporary team members, like my photographer and stylist for this shoot.
Like the contract riders rock stars have for "green skittles," Chaotic Creatives want to adhere to the vision above all else - no exceptions or deviations. It's that kind of exacting, demanding nature that makes Steve Jobs both a brilliant mind and a jerk.
Because my vision included some specific shots I wanted, and a certain look and feel, I put together a pinterest board of ideas and inspiration. I put the call out on Facebook for a photographer (Thanks Heidi!). I shared that board with everyone, and made sure they were in sync with what I was trying to achieve. I actually had someone that didn't like my idea - so they were off the team. I knew my direction for the project, and didn't want to deviate.
At the same time, I didn't want to wait around for months to make this happen. We had already been negotiating a shooting date for a few weeks, and I know it takes a bit more time after the shoot to get the raw photos processed. So I really wanted to have it all hammered out before school got out on June 9. When my original venue fell through, the photographer suggested an alternate outdoor location. She recommended and secured a stylist, and we finally booked June 8 (we couldn't have cut it much closer, right?).
Linear creatives tend to focus on structures, routines, and processes. Above all else, don't deviate from the system (versus the vision), because the system works. It's the kind of strategic creative thinking that made Edison a genius in the lab, but a social misfit with his own family.
When it rained the day of the shoot, the outdoor venue wasn't viable, so we punted, opting for an indoor location for almost all of the shots (Thanks, Ted!). The indoor venue provided a lot of great images we couldn't have gotten anywhere else, and my willingness to be flexible on the results made it possible to complete the project without dealing with rescheduling.
A true Chaotic Creative wouldn't negotiate on the details like that, while a Linear Creative would be more interested in meeting the deadline more than the creative vision. I fell somewhere in the middle, allowing for and trusting flow, but still making sure I got the key shots I wanted for the project.
For example, there was one shot I was insistent on having, and if we couldn't do it that day, I was willing to do it another time with another photographer if need be. Gratefully, mother nature cooperated in the end. The skies cleared up and I stood out in the middle of traffic while Heidi snapped the shot that will likely be the album cover. I like to think it was my flexibility that gave us the better weather near the end of our shoot.
Whether you're paying for help, or just getting started with asking for help, whether it's a long-term or short-term hire, you need to be able to trust that your team will do what you've asked them to do. The video outlines a few ideas, but did I leave anything out? What else should Jessica-Lynn know about getting help in her business? Leave a comment and be part of the Rising Tide for all the creative entrepreneurs in our community!