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Skills & Habits That Will Help You Stand Out From The Crowd


If you want to succeed as an artist, or anyone in the creative fields, skill isn’t enough. Luck isn’t enough. Moments of grace aren’t enough. As Aristotle once said, success is a habit. And the fruit of success is sometimes one that is harvested over an expanded period of time, punctuated by seemingly quiet, insignificant moments that might drive you up the wall with how unimportant they seem. 

But success isn’t always a big, broad-strokes affair. People who help you along the way will remember the little things, the small kindnesses, the little flashes of brilliance. The moments that deliver to the life that you’ve been dreaming of aren’t always cinematic. They might have the softness of a breeze, not the obvious force of a hurricane.

That being said, it’s the little things that add up to the larger picture. This list is meant to get you jump-started into enjoying the benefits that the tiniest of shifts can cause over the long-run. Choose a few that appeal to you and incorporate them into your life for a while. Note what changes show up.

  1. In the morning, ask yourself: who can I serve so powerfully today that they never forget what happened.
  2. Create a morning routine that incorporates nutrition, exercise and some type of meditation.
  3. Make eye contact and smile at strangers.
  4. Start a gratitude journal.
  5. Refer business to others as much as possible.
  6. Make one phone call a week to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and just ask what they could use help with these days.
  7. When someone rejects or turns you down, take a deep breath and ask yourself if there’s any wisdom to be gained from their feedback. If so, incorporate their feedback and see what changes.
  8. Read a page of a book every morning before checking your phone.
  9. Cut down on television time.
  10. Go to networking events that are seemingly unrelated to your industry. Be curious about what people at those events need help with.
  11. Do a loving kindness meditation and send someone love and kindness. (Bonus points: do this for someone that you might be struggling with, someone who might have turned you down for a job or your competition.)
  12. Say a prayer of gratitude to God/Source/Universe every time you receive money whether it’s change at the gas station or a check from a patron.
  13. Identify ways to put the oxygen mask on your face before you do so for others. Yoga, meditation, sacred morning routine.
  14. Identify toxic relationships in your life. Create a strategy to remove those relationships from your life.
  15. Start saying “no” to requests that don’t excite you instead of aiming just to please.
  16. Keep a list of people you meet and what they need in order to succeed. Send them articles, videos or even books that support them in their success.
  17. Introduce people to members of your network that would experience mutual benefit from getting to know each other.
  18. Make a list of habits that are no longer serving your success. Make the decision to eliminate or replace those habits. Enlist support in breaking those habits if necessary.
  19. Join a network of people that intimidate you, and inspire you to show up as your best self.
  20. Be willing to be a little overdressed. If it’s standard to show up in a hoodie and jeans, try nice jeans and a button up shirt.
  21. Refer business that isn’t quite right for you to your competition.
  22. Create a LinkedIn profile and send a message to one person a day inviting them to a conversation. If they accept, go into the conversation with curiosity about what you can learn about them and supporting them in their success. Keep your needs on the back burner until (and if) they ask about them.
  23. Make a list of power players and decision makers that could help you in your career. Start daydreaming about ways to get in the same room as them. If you know people who know them, ask for an introduction.
  24. Make a list of all the resources that you already have. Get granular. You have the internet. You might be reading this on a phone. Who do you have in your network? What talent and education do you possess? The roof over your head is a resource.
  25. Start keeping a journal. Refer to earlier entries and track your progress. Also track what patterns are showing up that offer an opportunity for improvement.
  26. Ask waiters, cashiers and attendants how they are. Here’s the catch: make eye contact with them while you do it, then actually listen for their response.
  27. Invest in yourself: online courses, coaching and mastermind groups.
  28. Readers are leaders: find a book that calls to you. Start with a biography of someone who inspires you.

Which ones of these are you going to incorporate into your daily or weekly practices? Let me know in the comments.

Have you downloaded your copy of 7 Steps To Building Your Dream Creative Life & Career? This is a workbook designed to invigorate your sense of purpose on your journey to becoming prosperous and successful.

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