Being a creative entrepreneur – and an entrepreneur, business owner, freelancer in general – requires a special mindset.

We forgo the safety of a paycheck and benefit, and some sort of social recognition for having “a real job”, in exchange for freedom, a flexible schedule, the dream of creating our own opportunities and make them happen.

In order to be successful in that, we need to have the right mindset, skills, structure, systems. We need to be able to organize our ideas, prioritize, plan our actions, follow a clear vision…

Well, this comes natural to some, not so natural for others, and it sounds completely crazy to some others.

I’ve been in the last category for a very long time. Like, from birth.

And I’ve also always had a gigantic entrepreneurial and creative spirit, and I managed to make a living by being a creative on demand: first as a graphic designer, then as an art director, branding strategist, artist, creative trainer. All of these endeavours  have been sustained by pure grit, passion and intuition.

Looks good, right? Well, no. Living by passion means you burn your candle from both ends, and your work is often sustained only by your inspiration, your mood and your energy levels more than a good solid structure. Add a good, old mood disorder and other issues to the mix, and you have a very unstable situation to deal with.

I tried hard to get organized and structured. I bought books. I got planners (tons of them). Journals (even more of them). Post-its. White boards, black boards, pin boards. New pens and highlighters. Project managing softwares. It was disheartening to see how my journals were all just half started, planners never used. Books were useless.

My client work was progressing nicely thanks to many years of experience (and strict deadlines I had to follow if I wanted to pay my bills), but my personal projects were literally dying. I kept procrastinating the work I wanted to do, finding excuses, feeling awful and depressed, imagining that if I could not make things happen even if I was so passionate about them, it meant I was simply not good enough.

The last straw came in December 2016. Lana was helping me structuring a course I wanted to launch. In one of our sessions, she asked me to make a simple plan of my activities for the following year, to see what were the best days to plan my classes and promote the course accordingly.

Panic ensued. And I mean real, paralyzing panic. I didn’t do any work that week. In our following session, I had to confess to Lana and myself that I obviously had a serious problem with planning. A deeper, stronger block that I never realized I have.

Many hours of self-analysis after, I knew where the block came from. And I was not going to let this get in the way of making my dreams happen. I did my first one-year-long plan. One year! I still cannot believe I did.

Today, I already have a long-vision plan for 2018. And I have a m ore structured plan for the next 90 days, of course. I don’t procrastinate anymore, but I take action and I know where to store the ideas I will tackle in the future (in The 90 Day Action Planner of course!).

This has been one of the biggest mindset shifts I endured in my life and business… I think I am still absorbing the impact of it!

Ideas cannot be brought to life only by sheer passion, grit and a moment of inspiration. Making an idea happen is a long labor of love, that comes with many challenges: the bad days, the unpredictable accidents, the wrong turns, the jealous enemies.

I had to resign part of my rebel spirit, in order to gain a better vision, a solid structure, the systems that will make me go on when things don’t go as expected.

Think of it as a pirate governing its ship. He or she is a pirate, a rebel, a creative! But also the captain of the ship, who needs to know how to make it survive life in the sea. It is not possible to just let the ship going where the wind or the waves nbring it, or it will crash.

Well, I crashed quite a lot of time, and it is not nice. It is time for all us creative to take an hold on our ships and decide where to go.

With this in mind we created The 90 Day Action Planner, and I made sure that it will work also for people like us, rebel pirates with too many ideas.

In The 90 Day Action Planner you will explore more on our method to go from idea to action.

NEW! We have three free online workshops in store for November!

Your Life Purpose: November 9th, 8.00-9.30 PM (CET)

Your Business Vision: November 16th, 8.00-9.30 PM (CET)

Your Supporters: November 23th, 8.00-9.30 PM (CET)

Sign up here to get the materials and join the community to watch the trainings.

Stay tuned for more Wednesday Mindset articles and to know more about our method!

Written by Eleonora Spagnuolo