November 5

AP13 – 5 Steps To Make 2021 Your Best And Most Creative Year Ever


Look, this year has been pretty tough for many of us. So next year, I want us all to set a goal to maximize our creativity and kick ass as artrepreneurs. This episode is my list of the elements you need to find in your creative life to help you achieve all your creative and business goals in 2021. This is an in depth, step by step guide to crush next year and reach all your goals.

I’m going to go really in depth into the 5 things you need to find to really hit your stride, creatively. We will go over:

  • Finding your focus
  • Finding your voice
  • Finding your process 
  • Finding your opportunities
  • Finding your audience

And to accomplish those five steps, I will provide you with amazing tools, and give you the tips and tricks that have helped me stay super productive and creative during this difficult year. Together we will crush the next one!

Don’t forget to do the survey and receive my awesome resource guide, including a FREE productivity journal, and a FREE content marketing planner – these two things alone are worth at least $30 but I’m giving them away for free, to help kickstart all of us and make sure we CRUSH next year!

Check out Freedom, to really focus on your creative work.

Envato Elements
I use Envato Elements for all my design needs – stock photos, web plugins, graphics, videos.

Sociamonials – Automate your socials
Super-charge your social media and save yourself hours of work. This has revolutionized my workflow.

Get Your Free Resources For 2021
Get a FREE productivity planner (worth $20) and content marketing planner (worth $10) and more, now.

The Artist’s Way
This is an amazing course in discovering and recovering your creative self.

Full Focus by Michael Hyatt
Get $10 off your first purchase from the Full Focus store by Michael Hyatt.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

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AP0013 - 5 steps to make 2021 your best and most creative year ever

Mon, 11/2 2:50AM • 1:17:41


people, goals, write, artists, create, audience, find, creative, thinking, set, called, posts, year, listening, michael hyatt, recommend, songwriter, business, facebook, experience


Intro, Eyvindur Karlsson



This year has been tough, right? And it's felt like seven years. I mean, honestly, so hard, just globally. For me personally, it's actually been, you know, reasonably good. I've had setbacks, but I've also had a lot of wins. But in general, I mean, we're hurting, right, just as a human race. But I want to make sure that we stick together and make 2021, the best year ever, as human beings, and as creative entrepreneurs, and I am going to go over some amazing tips in this episode. I'm really excited about this. I've put together a list of five steps, five actionable things that you should focus on next year, to make sure that it is your best year ever. So let's get into it. We're gonna roll the intro, and then we'll get started. All right. All right.



This is the Artemist podcast, where we turn art into gold. Here's your host Eyvindur Karlsson. 



That's right, I am Eyvindur Karlsson, which is a tricky name for a lot of people. So you can call me Eyvi. If this is your first time listening, I am an Icelandic singer, songwriter, author, actor, director, you name it. Right now, I'm also a student, I am getting my master's degree in marketing. So that's very exciting. And, you know, doing a podcast and writing a novel, I have an album almost ready to come out. I've been busy. And it's been tough. Really, it has, this year has been hard for me. But I've, over the years, I've gotten better at just keeping myself motivated. By and large, there are always going to be moments when we feel crappy, and we don't want to do it. And it's awful, and, and everything like that. But I have some actionable things that I want to go over. And I think you're gonna get a lot of benefit out of them. So these are five steps to your best year ever, and most creative year ever. So I'm really excited to get into that. But before we do, this week's product showcase.



This week's product showcase is actually a big part of some of the stuff I'm going to talk about today is called Sociamonials. And it is a social media tool that is extremely powerful and extremely useful. I use this and I've used this for a while. And it's it allows you first of all to automate your social media posts, which I'll get into later why that is one of my favorite things to do. But it also allows you to engage your audience in a much better way, then you can do manually. It'll allow you to set up sweepstakes and all kinds of incentives to get people to share your posts and your pages and everything like that. And I'm not even using half of their functionality and it's still giving me a lot of value. You know, so Sociamonials, I cannot recommend it enough. And I'm gonna get more into it later on in this episode, about how I use it and how you can use it. And if you're interested in checking it out, there's a link in the show notes to Sociamonials, an affiliate link that I have, or you can just type in And if you go in there and you use the coupon code BTLG, that's all caps BTLG. If you use that code, and you go through my link, you'll get an exclusive discount that you cannot get anywhere else. So check it out. and the discount code is BTLG. 



But let's get into today's discussion, right. All right. So, this week, we're going to talk about five steps that can make your next year, your best year ever. And there's a resource to go along with this. And it actually gives you access to even more resources. I've put together a list of five of my top resources related to this topic. And it includes two free items that are really going to help you maximize your growth as business and a creative person over the next year. So go to the show notes, there's a link in there or just go to, that's, and you can download it. You first have to answer a short survey, it'll take you one or two minutes, it's very short. But that's actually going to help me to improve my services, on this podcast and on things that I'm sort of working on behind the scenes right now. So that's a big help for me, and you'll get this awesome guide, or this list of resources, and a couple of free gifts that I'm going to talk about in a while. So keep listening.



So there are five steps that I'm going to go over. That are I mean, these are applicable at any time. But I think it's really great to start thinking about these now, as we near the end of the year, this year that has lasted for about a decade, right. And we're going to start next year with gusto, right, we're going to be powerful, we're going to start it off, we're going to hit the ground running. So these are things that I highly recommend you really take a good while to think about before the end of the year before the beginning of 2021. So just to go over it real quick now, and then we'll break these down and go deeper into each one. So there are five things that you need to find really: You need to find your focus, you need to find your voice, you need to find your process, you need to find your opportunities, and you need to find your audience. So those are the five steps, the five things. You're going to find some of these you might be further along with than others. But just to take time to break all of these down and think about them each in turn, is really going to help you focus and maximize your potential and your growth over the next year. 



So we'll start with focus. Number one, find your focus. You know, it's so funny. I think all of us thought earlier this year, when we saw that we were headed for some form of lockdown, I guess most of the world has experienced that in some way. I know I thought this and I'm pretty sure that most of us creatives did we thought, Well, at least I'll have a lot of time for creativity and to pursue my passions and create new opportunities and new, you know, stuff. And I'm guessing for most of us, that didn't really happen, right? If I'm wrong, then you're awesome. You know, I've talked to people who have really ceized this and done amazing things. But for me, for the first half of this pandemic, I was just depressed. I did the bare minimum, I did the work I needed to bring in money. But apart from that I didn't really do that much. I ate a lot. I drank a lot. I put on a lot of weight. But as far as creativity goes, not so much. So if you're in the same position, and you identify with what I'm saying here, you're not alone. It's very easy to lose focus in this kind of situation. Because I mean, let's face it, this is scary. It's depressing. It's horrible. And even for us introverted people, which I certainly am, it is hard to lose all your social activities. I mean, even if you're like me and you don't really have any of them, just staying at home week after week, month after month, getting into a sort of a rut, it is very tough. So don't feel bad if that's you. But I've clawed my way back, I've used a lot of tips and tricks that I've picked up over the years, I had all these tools in my toolbox. And I took them out, and I put them to use. And now I'm more than halfway through writing a novel, which is a novel I've been wanting to write for years, and I'm finally doing it. My next album is almost done, I just have to do a few finishing touches on it, and then I'll be ready for release. I'm sort of putting that off a little bit because I want to, if possible, I want to release it when I can actually play live and have like a release show and stuff like that. And I've gone back to school. And so all of these things are, you know, they're happening, and it's great. So, I'm gonna go over some of the tools that I've used. And this is all actionable stuff. You could even write down notes here, this is important stuff. And I think that when you write stuff down on paper, that's going to make it better. 



So of course, this all depends on what it is that you want to do. But first of all, I would say: Make goals, set goals, and do them in writing. And I'm going to go over the goal setting framework that I use, which is comes from a guy named Michael Hyatt, who is a great thinker. He's a great author. And he has these awesome tips and tricks and strategies when it comes to goal setting and productivity and all that kind of stuff. And I'll put some links to a couple of his books in the show notes. And he I'm sure if you've ever read anything about goal setting, you've heard about SMART goals, which are, you know, they're stand for... It's an acronym that stands for smart, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time sensitive. And Michael Hyatt has a different version, which is called a SMARTER goal. And SMARTER is another acronym that stands for specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time keyed, exciting, and relevant. So just to break this down very quickly, I'm not going to go too deep into this, you can google this, and there are plenty of places to read about this. But specific obviously you don't, you don't want to be too vague. When you're setting a goal, you don't want to set a goal of writing more, or painting more, you know, you want it to be specific. So you want to say, Okay, I want to write a novel, you know, I want to finish a whole novel, that's a specific goal, or I want to write, or sorry, I want to paint 10 paintings, or I want to take 1000 photos, or something, you know, that's sort of that's a specific goal, right. And, again, measurable, which is the second one, you need to be able to measure it, you know, losing weight, that's not measurable, but losing 10 pounds, that is measurable. Actionable, you need to be able to outline the steps you're going to take, in order to reach your goal, you need to say, all right, so my first step should be writing the thousand words per day, or something like that. So it's measurable and actionable. You need to set aside time, all that kind of stuff. Now, the risky part I like, and that's a Michael Hyatt thing. He says that, you know, if your goal is to small, then it's not good enough. And I think that's great. You know, I try to set goals for every single week. So I have these big goals that I set for the quarter, or for the year. And then I have weekly goals. And for instance, this week, my goal was to write 10,000 words, which is quite a bit for one week, and I'm not sure if I'm gonna hit it. I have until Sunday and I still have 5000 words to go today is Friday, so that's 3000 words per day. Over the next Yeah, I'm not gonna hit it. But that's fine. You know, I even if I miss it, I still think I've written a lot this week, you know, that's, you know, it should you should shoot high aim high, make sure that it is going to be tough for you. And that your risk of failure is, you know, you don't want to set yourself self up to fail. But make sure that it's, you know, if you, if you think of a number, for your measurable goal, you know, I want to lose 10 pounds, then maybe think, Well, you know, maybe 15, because it's tougher. So that's what risky means. Just make it make it tough. Make it so that it's not too easy, not too easily attainable, time keyed, you want to set yourself a deadline. Or, there, there are two kinds of goals, there's their habit goals, or process goals, or whatever you want to call them, where you set yourself a goal of, you know, exercising for half an hour every day, or, you know, painting for X amount of time every day or writing 2000 words per day, something like that. So your focus is not on the end product, but on the process. This is actually a very good goal for artists, where you don't necessarily want to focus on a big project. You know, if you're a songwriter, set a goal of writing a song every day, that's a hard goal to meet, it's risky, it's measurable, it is specific, it's very actionable, and it's time keyed, you're gonna do it every day. And it's a process goal, an achievement goal would be I'm going to record an album over the next three months, you know, that would be an achievement goal. So that's the smart now the E stands for exciting. And that this is kind of obvious, I think. But if you're not excited about your goal, you're never going to achieve it. You know, if your goal is, I'm going to do my accounting every week, I'm going to balance my books, every whatever, however long. That's, that might not be exciting for you. And therefore, I mean, that should probably just be a habit that you have. My bookkeeping is awful. But you know, but that's probably going to make for a pretty bad goal, because you're not going to be excited by it. And relevant, is a great one as well. Because relevant just means that your goal is relevant for your larger goals, or your dreams, you know, is this goal, going to get you closer to being in your ideal spot in life? You know, where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years that age old cliched question, Where do you see yourself? Where are you headed? You know, what is your? What's going to make you happy 10 years from now? Is it to be a professional artists, all right, well, then your artistic goals are probably going to be relevant. You know, if your goal is, again, bookkeeping related, then that's probably not going to be relevant for your artistic journey. So you know, those are goals, smarter goals, specific, measurable, actionable, risky, time keyed, exciting, and relevant. And again, there are process goals, or what Michael Hyatt calls habit goals. And there are achievement goals. And I would say for most artists, it's probably good to focus on process goals. You know, unless, unless you have a very specific project that you really want to get finished. But, you know, doing the process goals tend to make those projects happen, you know, if you write a song every day, or if you write two songs per week, or whatever, as a process goal, eventually you're going to have the material for an album and then of course, recording the material. That can be an achievement goal, you know, I'm going to record 10 songs, or 15 songs or whatever, that can be an achievement goal. So Michael Hyatt actually recommends having a balance between process or achieve... Habit goals is what he calls them, and achievement goals. And I think that's a good idea to have, you know, usually I set two or three main goals for for each quarter and, and then I'll try to make you know one or have one or two achievement goals and maybe one habit goal. So what I want you to do, and I really want you to do this, again, just pause the podcast and get a piece of paper and write down, what do you want your goals to be. You know, you probably don't want to set goals more than a quarter ahead of time or for longer than a quarter just because of, you know, if it's like six months away, then you're probably not going to be working on it very hard this quarter. So maybe set goals for the first quarter of 2021. Just two or three, any more than three would be a bad idea. It can be one goal. But, you know, said I would say set two or three goals. To start with, maybe just write down any idea you have for something that you want to accomplish, maybe it's something that you've been putting off for a while. And it's something you want to really get done this year. So set that down, right, you know, you can write down several of them, and then just prioritize, say, Okay, what is going to bring me the most benefit for my artistic career In 2021? You know, what do I want to start with, and then those other goals, you can do them later on in the year. So if you haven't already, go get a piece of paper, and start writing down goals, I'm going to take a sip of my coffee while you do it, hang on. Keep drinking cold coffee when I do this. So write down your goals, because what gets written down gets done, right. And that's my number one recommendation is setting clear concrete, smarter goals. 



Now, when it comes to working on those goals, and maintaining your focus, I mean, just just having them written down and reviewing them every day is a really good start. I find that really gets me going. And also setting aside time to work on those goals, you know, writing down every week. Okay, this is what I'm going to get done this week. And every day, writing down two or three things that I'm going to do that day, to move further along on my goals. And in the resource sheet that you can get by going to There's a link to a free productivity journal that I am giving you for free, this is something that I put together. And this has a place for you to write your weekly goals, your daily tasks, your big three tasks that you want to get done that day to move further along on your goals. And you can also use it to write down any other tasks that you might need to do for any jobs you have or whatever, you can download this as a free PDF. And I recommend that you print it out. And you use this every week and every day to write down your biggest tasks, your biggest goals for the week, for the day and all that stuff and refer to it every day and also refer to your bigger goals. And that's going to help you keep going. Now, another huge thing, and I cannot stress this enough, this has been a game changer for me, was when I learned the process of megabatching. Now megabatching is a it's a process where you take all of the things that you need to get done for your career. And instead of doing... Because, I mean this is all about consistency, right? Especially when it comes to the content you need to create and put out there via social media or your email list or whatever, stuff like that that is very important for your career, but might not be quite as enjoyable for your creative brain because it's a lot of work. Those things are great for megabatching. So I do this for social media posts for blog posts. I do it for this podcast. So I i batch it together I record. I try to record at least four or five podcast episodes at a time. And I have another podcast where I do this as well. And, you know, if I'm making a YouTube video, I try to shoot several of them at the same time because once you get into that mode, you know when I'm in podcast recording mode, I'm there and I can keep going. But getting myself into that mode can be a little bit trickier. Same goes for some social media posts. It is exhausting to me to get up. And I used to do this, I used to get up every morning and say: "All right, I need to come up with one or two posts for Instagram for today." And it just burnt me out. Now what I do is I sit down, and I brainstorm. I come up with a bunch of ideas. And I create the posts. And then I automate them. So I try to come up with, you know, 60 posts or something at a time, and just line them up, you know, it'll take me a day or two. But once they're up there, I use the tool that I mentioned earlier, Sociamonials, and automate them, so we only have to do that once every couple of months or something. And then I can just stop thinking about it. And it frees me up to use my energy on other things that I enjoy more. So there are all these steps in our process as creative business people that... Because we need to get our name out there, we need to be using some form of social media. I mean, I'm focusing on Instagram a little bit at this at this time right now. But, you know, you have these outlets, whatever you're using, you know, it could be LinkedIn, if you're focusing on reaching other business people, it could be, could be Instagram, or Facebook or Twitter, whatever it is, you need to be using that stuff. And there are shortcuts that you can take. And I just find that any shortcut that I can use to get there faster, is going to free up my energy and my mind to focus on what really matters the most, which is creating better art for my audience. So again, Sociamonials, you know, I can go in there, and I can put in all of my posts, my Instagram posts, my Facebook posts, and queue them up, you can set up little slots in your calendar for when you want them to be posted. And so I'll go in there, and I'll line it up, I'll say: "Okay, so in this slot, I want to have this category of posts," and then I'll go in, I'll create those posts in that category, I'll queue them up so they are, they're automatically posted every, you know, every time that slot is in my calendar. And then I can also re-queue them, which I tend to do for anything that is not time sensitive or sort of time related. So if it's something like a, an inspirational quote, that's timeless, I can re-queue it. And so but I post every day, something new, I'll put in or rather, like every two months, I'll put in a month, a couple of months worth of material. But you know, if I'm super busy, and I don't have time to do that, or I need a vacation or something, then it'll just go back to the old posts and repost them, which you know, is going to be fine if it's like a year from now or whatever. So Sociamonials is huge for me, and also another tool that I've mentioned before, which I cannot recommend enough, which is called Envato Elements. And that's a subscription service, where you can get all of these assets to use in your creative work. So the worst thing that I that ever happens to me is when I'm, you know, on a creative roll, I'm creating some stuff I'm, you know, working on social media posts, or putting up a new website, whatever I'm doing. And I find that I need some sort of creative asset that is outside of my skill set. And I don't have the money to hire somebody to create it for me, that's where Envato elements comes in. You know, if I need a photo of something, or a video of something, or a graphical template for a logo, or, you know, a plugin for a website, a lot of this stuff you can get there and is included in the subscription.



And, you know, anything. Fonts, sound effects, music clips, and I've used probably every category of those things that are in there. And I use it all the time. And it's probably the most valuable subscription I have because it's saved me hundreds of hours of having to learn how to create those things myself or you know, find someone who can do it cheaply, you know, and it's saved me probably thousands of dollars for hiring people to do these things. You know, or buying stock photos, you know, one at a time, which would be a lot more expensive than just getting them there. And then it's included in the subscription. So Envato Elements, can't recommend it enough, you can go through my affiliate link, if you go to the show notes, or you just type in, that's going to take you there through my affiliate link, and I get a little kickback won't cost you any extra if you decide to sign up. But again, you know, this is not an expensive subscription. And it is totally worth it, I highly recommend you check them out. So yeah. So that those are my two main timesavers, for creating content and getting it out there. Envato Elements and Sociamonials and again, there are links in the show notes for both of those things. And also, again, check out the there are also links to this in the resource guide. And also the resource guide, or the you know, the resource download thing that you can get has that free productivity journal. 



And it also has a bonus there, a free content planner. So content marketing planner, so it has all these worksheets for you to do to figure out how best to schedule and create your content marketing things. And that is really helpful as well. So those tools are really going to help you to maximize your time and energy. And make sure that you are creating quality content in record time, and you're not burning yourself out or wasting all your creative time on the wrong things. You know what I mean? I think it's very important to stay focused on what matters. And use every shortcut you can get to make better headway on the the other things that are actually, you know, more important. All right, so this took way longer than I thought, and I'm gonna need another sip of my cold coffee. Hang on just sec. All right. 



So that was finding your focus. So there's mega batching. And there are these shortcuts, and there's goal setting. So that's finding your focus. Now, finding your voice is also challenging. For a lot of people. I've talked about this before. In other episodes, it was hard for me. And I keep coming back to the quote that I don't know where I got from, maybe I dreamt it, maybe I came up with it myself, I'm not sure anymore. But it is my favorite quote, which is: "Find out who you are, and be the shit out of that." So if you're struggling with finding your voice and finding your unique artist's self, there are several ways to go about doing that. There are a couple episodes ago I repost that an old episode from my songwriting podcast, and you can go back to the Artemist website and find that, which is about finding your voice as a songwriter. Now that has a lot of specific tips for songwriters. So it might not be applicable if that's not what you are. But there are certain actionable steps that you can take. First of all, just keep creating and consuming art. I mean, that really is the number one thing to do, just to keep experimenting. And one of the things I talk about there is carefully imitating others. Not to, you know, to steal their work and push it off as your own. But to try your hand at trying out different outfits, if that makes sense to just measure their voice against your own. And, you know, one of the things that I used to do back in the day was cover songs with a different artist's voice. So do a Metallica song as Tom Waits, or do a Nick Cave song as Cat Stevens or something which results in something that is usually different from both artists. Those are exercises they're not ways to come up with stuff to put out there. This is not you shouldn't... Well, I mean unless the result is something that's really fun. or unique or interesting, then maybe you can put it out there as a YouTube video or something. But this is not material for your next album probably, you know. And if you're a painter, you know, try painting in somebody else's style. Just as an experiment, you know, if you're a photographer, then you know, experiment with these different styles, and figure out what brings you the most joy. And also maybe post some of this stuff on social media and see what resonates with your audience. But of course, you have to make sure to be true to yourself. And so you're not just imitating someone, but you're finding the parts of you in their work that you can then channel through yourself and create something that's much more unique, if that makes any sense at all. 



Now, other things that you can check out and try out to explore the mind that is your artistic voice. I highly recommend a book that I'm actually only partway through myself, but I'm going to recommend it anyway. It's called The Artist's Way. It was written by Julia Cameron. And this is an old book, and it's pretty well known and well established as a sort of creative course really, it's it's sort of like a course, condensed down to a book, it has a week by week process, a 12 week course, to connect more with your creative self. And it has all these exercises and things. And even if you only do one exercise from this book, which is the first one, the very first one, and I've done that, and it's been really helpful, I think that is going to help you out a lot. So I'm just gonna give you that away, which is to just sit down every morning and write longhand, three pages of just stream of consciousness, just write down your thoughts, whatever you're thinking, whatever comes into your head, write it down. I find that this has helped me a lot creatively. It's focused me for the day, you know, I do this, it's like 6am. And it's, it's like meditation. And I think this, if you're searching around in your inside yourself, and you just write down whatever comes to mind. It can really help you. Now, I'm sure there are people listening who are not fans of writing, especially not longhand. And I know there are I mean, there are people who are dyslexic, and there are people who just hate the idea of writing something down. And I get that. And you might be able to replicate this by recording, just talking into a microphone and recording it. But I would recommend doing this with pen and paper longhand, writing it down. This is not for anybody to read anyway, this is just for yourself. And it takes a while maybe it takes me 45 minutes to an hour to do every morning. But I just find it so liberating, and it helps me to cement a lot of my thoughts. You know, I wake up and I can sort of arrange my thoughts before I start the day. And since this isn't meant to, you don't even have to read this back yourself. I haven't read any of what I've written down. It's just a form of meditation. So you know, even if you're a terrible writer, a terrible speller, even if you're dyslexic, even if you hate writing. As you know, if you have a pen, if you have paper, if you have arms, write down three pages, longhand every morning, just try it out for a week. And I'm sure you'll get something out of it. It's, it's hard. And but it really works. And you know, and if you find yourself thinking, I don't know what to write, that's what you write, just write down I don't know what to write. And then just keep going. Every thought that comes into your brain write it down. Because you can't think nothing. That's not possible. Just write down everything you think. It takes a bit of practice. And again, it's probably easier for some people than others but I recommend trying that out. And I'm sure you will discover a lot about your artistic self. And and another thing that is discussed in this book The Artist's Way. And by the way, there there is a link to that in the in the resource guide as well. And another thing that is mentioned in there. And Stephen King mentions this as well in his book on writing, and this goes for any kind of creativity is to separate your creative self into two parts. There's the creative part and there's the critical part. And you must learn to shut off the critical part while you're creating. And then you need to learn how to switch it on again, when you're evaluating what you've created. This is very important for two reasons. First of all, if you're critical of what you're doing, while you're doing it, you're never going to finish anything. This is why I never read when I'm writing a novel. I never read any part of the manuscript, unless I need to look up some name or something, but I never read it back until I'm done. Because if I start reading it back, I'll start getting doubts. My imposter syndrome starts to kick in. And I will, you know, I'll give up. And this is, you know, this is a well known phenomenon, this, Stephen King writes about this as well. And but afterwards, you need to be able to switch it on again. Because when you've written a song, or you've drawn something, or you've taken a picture, or whatever, you need to be able to look at it and examine it critically, for evidence of your style. For it... You know, because before you've found your voice, your voice is still there, you have your voice, you just don't know it yet. So being able to look critically at your work, and look for clues for the things that they that it has in common and the things that bring you the most joy, those are the clues to you to find your voice. That's the map, you know, and this is hard to explain. But, you know, you'll find these little nuggets that work better than others. And little by little, just creating more and more and more. And then looking at it and figuring out what works the best, what maybe doesn't work as well, and some of the stuff that doesn't work as well, that doesn't mean you need to stop doing it, you just maybe need to tweak it. But that to me is how you how you find your voice. And also listen to your audience. I know a lot of artists are afraid that they're going to be pandering, or they're going to be, you know, losing a part of their artistic integrity if they start listening to what the audience really wants. But there needs to be a middle ground, you need to find not what the audience wants outside of you. But what it is in your work that resonates the most with the audience and with you. So there's a balance there. And that is a part of this as well. But we'll get back to the audience later on. So that's finding your voice. Just figure out who you are, and be the shit out of that. Now, again, I recommend The Artist's Way. And I recommend just being productive, being creative, which again, goes back to the first one is just finding your focus. So you have time to be creative, and focus on your creativity. 



All right. The third step is finding your process. And this again, this all builds on each other. And finding your process is just sitting down and going to work every single day. If you are serious about being a professional artist, then this has to be your job. Now, you might have another job that puts bread on the table. And, or you know, maybe like me, I mean, I have different priorities, I have certain creative assignments that are the bread and butter of my operation. And I need to prioritize those. Because otherwise my family will starve. So it's all about again, finding the focus, arranging everything, making sure that I'm doing everything, right. But I need to set aside time to sit down and work on the things that I'm passionate about creating. And this is what you need to do as well. If you're if you want to be a novelist, you can't just write every other weekend. You know, it's gonna take 10 years to finish your first book. If you want to be a painter, you need to paint every day. And you need to set aside time, as I mentioned before, and you need to just do it. And there are days where you really don't want to do it. Again, I'm writing a novel, I'm very passionate about it. But there are days when I sit down, and I don't want to write, but what I do is I just sit down and I write a sentence. And then, you know, I'll say, Well, I'm here for an hour, I'm not getting up, until I've sat here and done something for an hour. And I make sure that I don't go on Facebook or whatever, I'll sit and I'll stare at my words, I'll stare at my, this program called Scrivener anyway, and I don't, I put on music, and I sit there until I'm done writing for an hour, and I try to shoot for preferably 2000 words. Now, I can't do that in one hour, but sometimes I'll I'll sit longer. But at least I'll sit there for an hour, and I'll write something and I've I, you know, some days, I'll just write 200 words, sometimes some days, 500, whatever. But I sit down, this is my process, I'll sit down, and I'll look at it. And I'll start. And most days, I manage to get at least between 1000 and 2000 words. And that's what you got to do. You know, if you're, if you're going to be a songwriter, you need to sit down and write songs every day, if you're going to be a photographer, you need to go out and shoot photos every single day. And you need to work out a process where it's going to, where you're going to make the most of your time, just walking around with a camera in your hands isn't worth anything, if you're not shooting. You know, sitting down with your guitar doesn't mean anything, if you're just playing Guns and Roses songs. And, you know, playing random scales, that's a good way to start your session. Maybe that's how you warm up. But you need to make sure that your process includes the steps, which will take you towards creating something. And, you know, this is something that is different for every artist, it's different for different kinds of artists. I mean, again, my process is I wake up at 6am I get up, I make myself a cup of coffee, I put on some music, and I start working. You know, nowadays I'm writing a novel. And that's what I do, I work on it in the morning, when I'm not doing that I might work on something else in the morning. And I just make sure that I set aside time for all of my creative projects. Of course, I need to prioritize. And, you know, it is very easy for creative person to have 10 different things going on at the same time. And this is where again, the goal setting comes in. Right now I have a goal of finishing this novel before the end of the year. That's my goal for now. One of my goals for the first quarter of 2021 is to release my new album. So these this is how this how I go about it. Again, you just need to decide to do X every day. And it might mean you do it for an X amount of time, it might mean you do it, you know you create an X amount, whatever it is, but you just have to do that. And this is where the process goals come in. You have to just set that goal and stick to it. And you know, as you do that, then your process is going to develop. I first of all, I highly recommend some sort of tool to shut down your social media while you're doing this. There's a great tool called Freedom, which will allow you to set certain times for work sessions and then it'll shut down certain websites like Facebook, YouTube, you know, CNN, if you're a news junkie, whatever, it'll it'll make sure you can't access those websites while you're supposed to be focusing on your work. And that's a great way to just take away your options. Because self discipline is a myth. You know, there's you can be you can have discipline for a certain amount of time. But eventually it's gonna break down. So you need to create these tools and these processes for staying on task and keeping yourself motivated and accountable and all that stuff. And this is a great way to do that. So it's Freedom, I'll put a link in the show notes. 



So that's finding your process. Now, the next one is very crucial. But this one doesn't really matter unless you've done all the other three things, the first three things. But the fourth one is: Finding your opportunities. Now, I've talked about this before as well. But when you're starting out as a creative entrepreneur, the world's your oyster, you, everything is open. If you just think creatively, if you think as creatively about your business, about your career as you do about your art, you can find opportunities everywhere. And in the upcoming episodes, actually, I'm talking to a couple of people who have really maximized their opportunities. So stick around for those. The next two episodes are, this is a heavy theme there. But you know, just look around you and just try to figure out every single opportunity there is to make money from the art, you know, what you're creating now, you know, your voice. You've done all that, and look around and see, well, alright, how can I monetize this. And my biggest tip, and again, this is going to be a bit of an ongoing theme now over the next few episodes, but my biggest tip is: Do not think of your art as a product. I know that's kind of counterintuitive to what I keep saying I keep saying, you know, you need to treat your art like a business. But that's actually why it's important.



You know, there's this term in marketing called marketing myopia. And it basically goes, you know, you're not selling a product, you're selling a solution, basically. So, you know, there's a famous article, very old article that goes into detail about this. And the guy says, you know, the railway companies mostly went out of business because they thought of themselves as being in the railway, railroad business, as opposed to being in the transportation business. So when, you know, trucks and airplanes, and cars and airplanes rather, entered the picture, they, they couldn't compete with that, because they were just focused on railways, instead of just transportation. And it should be the same for you, as an artist. Don't think of if you're a musician, don't think of concert tickets and albums as being the only thing you have to offer. Think of the experience you have to offer. Just sit down, whatever your art form is think, what is the experience that I am offering my audience? And think, how can I make this experience the best that can be? And what are the myriad of different ways I can use to deliver this experience? And that is how you become resistant to situations like COVID-19, where performing artists have been kind of screwed, for the most part, but some have figured out ways to deliver the experience online and through various different means. And that's how they are, you know, they're, they're masters of this, they're winning. And, you know, and again, I'm gonna go into this in more detail in the next couple of episodes. But, you know, part of thinking about experience is thinking outside the box and thinking about all five senses. I did this experience experiment, sorry, I did this experiment with my music. I sat down and I thought: Alright, so my music obviously appeals to the ears. And I, sometimes I'll create videos that appeal to the eyes, but if I think, just try to think outside the box, try to think in all five senses, you know, my themes, my experiences, what I'm offering in terms of music. You know, what's the smell that comes to mind when I think of my music? What place comes to mind when I think of my music? And I can sort of say all right: Well, it's a smoke filled bar, there is stale beer smell, there's, you know, it's a seedy... You know, stuff like this is going to really help you sort of visualize it. And it helps you think of more different things. I started thinking of, you know, what if I could create a multimedia experience on my website where you go through a song in an interactive way? I don't know how I would do that. But, you know, it got me thinking about you know, this, because I, you know, this makes me want to create a live show, when I think about these things, but I can't do that right now. So I started thinking, How can I replicate the experience of a live show online, and that doesn't happen through live streaming.



But if I think about the experience of sitting in a dark theater, watching a live show, then maybe that can trigger something else, something in a video format, something in an interactive format, or whatever. And, you know, if you're a comedian, then doing a zoom stand up comedy set is not going to replicate the experience of sitting in a bar and listening to comedy. But maybe writing some some sketches, maybe writing, maybe doing an animation thing will replicate the experience that you're trying to, not replicate, but create an experience that your audience is really going to resonate with. And so just identifying, in terms of all five senses, the kinds of experiences you have to offer. And this is really abstract, and is really weird to think about it this way. But you can just sit down, just write down a smell, write down a sight, write down, something audible, write down textures, that you can touch, all these different senses, just write all that all of it down, whatever comes to mind, this is there's no right or wrong answers here. Just write it all down, and then think about it and think, alright, who's, you know, I mean, who are the people that I am appealing to, and that's actually the next step. But you know, this is the experience, these are the experiences. So let's think of all the different ways we can put this into use. So that's a part of finding your opportunities. And then of course, just looking around, seeing, you know, now you don't just think in terms of, if you've gone through this experiment of thinking about all five senses, you've hopefully come up with a lot of different ideas for things you can put your art into, you know, not just one product, not if you're a painter, you're not just thinking in terms of paintings you can sell, and art shows you can do it, maybe you're now thinking in terms of animation, or that you that you can try and figure out how to do or you're thinking maybe have, you know, some sort of interactive experience, YouTube videos, live streaming painting, whatever. I mean, there are tons. There are endless ideas. And hopefully, you can now see a lot of different things. And now you can start thinking, alright, what are all the different ways I can use to bring that experience to people? Can I sell this online? Can I sell this offline? Can I? Who can I contact to bring them in? Can I can I take this into corporations, there's an episode coming up with a guy who writes poetry on order. And so he'll go to corporate events, and people will tell them what they want him to write a poem about. And he'll do that. I mean, that's thinking outside the box that's creating an opportunity for poetry that nobody knew existed before he started doing it. And he's gonna tell us all about that in a couple of weeks. But, you know, that's what you got to do. You got to think outside the box, you got to think: How can I create something around this experience that I'm creating for people, whatever that experience may be, you know? So that's something that you can do. And then once you have that down, you know, look at what you mean, are you gonna reach people through social media? Are you going to reach people through the telephone? Are you going to be calling up companies saying, Hey, I can come in, you know, draw pictures of your staff at your next gathering. That's something you could do, whatever it is, you know, whatever your experiences and whatever however you want to bring that to people figure it out. And then Just start contacting people. And that brings me to the next point in this, which is to network networking is super important. And I'm very bad at it. And I'm actually hoping to interview someone about that soon, to sort of, you know, give me tips on networking better, and improving my networking skills. But one thing that I actually am doing now... This is a big announcement right here. I've started a Facebook group, I'm starting a community on Facebook, sort of a mastermind group, where all of you who are listening and me and, you know, bunch of people from around the internets can come together, help each other figure out their problems when it comes to the creative business, and ask advice, you know, and help each other out. And network, with people from different art forms, different countries, you know, all over. And I really want to create a big community where people can just come together, and just boost each other, help each other grow, stick together. One of my biggest pet peeves in the creative industries, is when people are in competition with each other. And this is why I hate those shows on TV where people are competing in artistic endeavors, you know, whether it's music or baking, whatever it is, I just think that artists should stick together. Because, yes, we're competing for people's time. But that's about it. You know, if you have found your voice, if you're your own unique self, you there's nobody in competition with you, you are you, nobody else can replicate that. And sticking together I find is much better. Because what you know, if... I have a lot of friends who are musicians and songwriters. And I mean, yeah, people might be listening to their albums when they could be listening to mine. But there's a lot more that we can do to help each other out. And I find that networking, and sticking together as artists is a way better idea than trying to compete with each other because, you know, every now and then somebody will come up to me, and they'll be looking for somebody for some project or other and I'm not the right person for it. But I can recommend somebody. And that happens all the time for all kinds of artists. So network, get to know the people around you. And to that end, there's the link in the show notes to our brand new Facebook community. There's also one in the resource guide. Come join. It's an open community for all kinds of creative people. And I really hope that we can make it a huge community. So bring all your friends, and let's make something awesome and network with each other and help each other grow. It's going to be great. All right. So that's the opportunity part, which is very important.



And the last step is to find your audience. And it's very, very, very important to remember that your audience is not everybody. You there's so many artists, I think in probably every art form to say no, yeah, I mean, it's my work is for everyone. You know, everybody can dig my music, everybody can get into my comedy, everybody can read my books. That's not true. And it's never gonna work. If you try to please everyone, you please no one. So you need to figure out who your audience is, and you need to narrow it down. And the narrower the better, really. I mean, there's obviously a limit to that. But you know, if you can find an audience of say, a million people around the world, then and you can really find them and it's a quality audience, then finding your 1000 true fans is going to be a breeze as long as you have them narrowed down correctly, and this is an art and a science and is hard. I've been struggling with this I've made headway but I can certainly improve my targeting in my marketing, but this is vital. And so, there are certain things that you should probably start by doing. There is of course, just the age old proven method of figuring out who who are the artists that you're most similar to. And this, of course, comes back to when you were, you know, when you're finding your voice, and you're comparing yourself to other artists, which I think is, again, not a bad thing to do, as long as you don't get stuck there. So find those artists. I mean, I get compared to I've always gotten compared to Tom Waits. And back, when I was starting out, I was imitating Tom Waits. And I will admit that my music tends to veer into Waits territory, quite often. I also get compared to Neil Young, and Nick Cave every now and then. So those are my three sort of, you know... I find that artists who enjoy those three artists will usually enjoy my music as well. When it comes to writing fiction, I also have some, but that's a little bit trickier. So that's the first method just figuring out you Who are the people who like the artists that you have been inspired by, and that you tend to remind people of. I'm sure that you've had people tell you who you sound like as well. If you haven't, ask. Or, sound like if you're a musician, but you know, if you're a painter or a photographer, whatever, ask around. Ask your friends, but also just, you know, there are various Facebook groups for all kinds of these things. And, you know, you can do this in the new Artemist mastermind group as well. Just ask, you know, who does this remind you of? What does this remind you of? What does this brings to mind this...  Actually, I should have mentioned this before, this will probably also be valuable for the experience part, you know, what sort of feelings does this invoke, just ask around. Listening to people is very important, especially when you're finding your audience, just listening to what people have to say. Thinking about it critically, of course, I mean, you know, your, your friends and family are gonna say that everything you do is great. But this is not about saying, you know, what's good, and what's bad, but more about what sort of feelings things elicit, and what, you know, what, what resonates with different groups of people. And one of the things that you can do, in addition to figuring out similar artists and interests, or you know, I mean, if you're, if you're a YouTuber, then you're gonna figure out the youtubers that are similar to what you're doing. That's actually probably the easiest, because you can actually buy ads on their pages, which is super helpful. But just figure out who those people are. And you can also go back to the lists of experiences that you should have written down by now, which, you know, if you haven't, I'll take another sip of my cold coffee and wait, while you go back to the experience part of this episode, write down all the stuff, all the senses and all that that you came up with, hang on. 



Oh, man, that's cold coffee. 



All right. So you should have written all that down. So go back to that figure out, all right, all the different experiences, all the different senses, all of that stuff, and think, who is the person who wants this kind of experience. I mean, the person who wants to be in a French Cafe, sipping espresso and you know, having a chocolate cake is a very different person from somebody who wants to be in a loud biker bar, shooting pool. Those are two very different people. So you know, figure out who the person is, who wants this experience that you feel you have to offer. And then think, where can I find those people? And, you know, that might be the audience of a specific YouTube channel, which as I mentioned, and that's really good, because you can actually buy ads, just display ads, that will show up on that specific YouTube channel. And you can drive traffic to your own YouTube channel, which is a good way of growing your channel. Or you can find groups on Facebook and you can, you know, look at the people in those groups and figure out, you know, what they have in common and stuff like that. I don't know if you can target, I don't think you can target members of groups on Facebook, but you can target people based on interests on Facebook. And this has gone on for a while. This is a long episode, but I think it's worth it. So one of the things you can do to pinpoint your audience is to go to Facebook, the business part of Facebook. If you don't have a business account, you should start one, it's free, and it gives you a lot of insight. So you can go there. And there's something called the audience insights tool. This is an extremely valuable tool. And they change the way way everything works in the back end of Facebook every day, it seems sometimes, but it shouldn't be too hard to find, just find the audience insights. And there you can go in and you can type in people who are interested in... You know, Tom Waits. And I did this actually, if Tom Waits and it was very interesting, because then you can also see what other stuff they're interested in. And for Tom Waits, you know, Nick Cave shows up and I think, several other things, artists probably, but you know, Bob Dylan, I'm pretty sure. But also Jim Jarmusch. The filmmaker shows up, which was interesting to me. But I guess, you know, it makes sense. Tom Waits has been in a bunch of Jim Jarmusch movies, he's written music for him. And if you like, quirky Americana music, like Tom Waits makes, it's not unlikely that you enjoy quirky weird movies like Jim Jarmusch makes. So you can get a lot of insights there. If you if you know, one thing that your audience likes, you can find a bunch of other things that they like as well. It's not going to be you know, there's no guarantee. You have to think about this logically. I mean, is this showing up because the people who like this also like that, or is it just because of a weird algorithm thing within Facebook, I mean, this is all based on machine learning, which is not, you know, foolproof. 



So anyway, those are some things that you can do to find your audience. And of course, if you have a Facebook page, or or group on Facebook, where a lot of like minded people hang out, you know, check out the people who like that. And if you have your own Facebook page, of course, you can analyze your own audience, through the audience insights tool, or through the audience, or the Facebook business side of things. And, you know, you can create retargeting ads on Facebook, if you're going for the paid advertising thing, you can create ads that target people who act in a similar way using something called lookalike audiences. And this is all way too complicated to get into right now. But there is actually a, an old episode of this podcast where me and my friend john Osaka, go into great detail about how Facebook ads work and targeting and all that.



So those are the five steps towards making next year, your most productive, most creative and your best year ever. This has been pretty dense, and I hope you've, you've really gotten a lot out of it. Again, do make sure you download that free resource guide. Because that, you know, there are some links in there that will really help you to figure all this stuff out. And of course, there are those free gifts, the free productivity log or journal, and the free content calendar or content planner rather. So make sure you download that you can get it in the show notes, or by going to Now, just to recap, those five steps that you need to take is to, you know, start doing it now and then hit the ground running the start of the year. Or if you're listening to this later on, just do this, because it's really going to help your career as a creative person. 



So first of all, find your focus. Make sure that you're working as efficiently as possible, and that you're prioritizing your energy. So you're taking all the shortcuts that you can when it comes to all the necessary steps you need to take for your business to work. And then make sure that you're saving enough energy for the creative process, the stuff that really matters. So that's finding your focus and staying productive. 



Number two, find your voice. And again, I mentioned The Artist's Way, and just make sure that you take whatever steps you need to find your unique voice. It's very important. 



Number three, find your process. Show up for work every day. And figure out the best way for you to stay as productive and as creative as you can. 



Number four, find your opportunities. Network, join the mastermind group on Facebook again, group link in the show notes and in the resource guide. You know, brainstorm your experiences, figure out you know how you can bring those experiences to people, to as many people as possible and figure out in your community. What are have the opportunities around you. Who can you talk to? Who can you network with? Who can help you out? Don't be afraid to ask for help. 



And number five, find your audience, figure out who wants the kind of experience you have to offer and find those people. 



All right, this has been a pretty long talk. I really hope you've gotten a lot out of this. Please leave a comment and tell me what your steps are. What what are you going to do to make 2021 Your best year ever? What are you going to do to stay creative? Are there any of the tips that I mentioned that you are using? Do you have more tips on, you know, maximizing your potential over the next year? By all means, leave a comment on the Show page at And yeah, tell me your tips and tricks and, or ask questions or whatever. And by all means, share this episode with your friends, that really helps. And of course, if you haven't already, I would be very happy if you leave a review, wherever you listen to podcasts, because reviews help to get the word out there to more people. 



So that's about it for this episode. Don't forget to check out all the links in the show notes and download that guide. Again, you have to fill out a short, short survey that will help me to understand you guys out there that are listening a little bit better and bring you more value. And you'll get that resource guide with the links to all the resources that I think are important for you to maximize your potential over the next year. So thank you so much for listening and I will see you next time. Bye bye.


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