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https://www.haydnsymons.com/blog/ruining-your-creative-career/ 5 Habits That Can Be Ruining Your Creative Career (And How To Solve Them) English Are you a creative? Do you desire a successful creative career? Following from my previous blog post about self belief, and why it’s important for any freelancer, creative or business owner, I wanted to touch on the numerous ways you... https://www.haydnsymons.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/5-habits-that-can-be-ruining-your-creative-career.png 2018-04-29

5 Habits That Can Be Ruining Your Creative Career (And How To Solve Them)

Are you a creative?

Do you desire a successful creative career?

Following from my previous blog post about self belief, and why it’s important for any freelancer, creative or business owner, I wanted to touch on the numerous ways you can be ruining your creative career…

Sorry to be blunt, but it’s true! (As I don’t want you to be ruining your great talent!)

From this blog post you’re going to discover how to cure your bad habits, as I reveal tips to take your creative career, freelancing adventure or business to the next level. I’m going to be sharing 5 ways you could be ruining your creative career, with tips to get it back on track.

Some of these habits and tips have nothing to do with ‘creativity’ as such, but they all impact your creativity in some way or another. So sit tight, relax, and lets cure your bad habits!

Poor Health

One of the most important things in your creative career is your health.

You can’t be a successful freelancer, a successful business owner or a successful artist without your health.

Unfortunately, for illustrators in particular, a study by Ben O’Brien (or Ben The Illustrator), found that 69% of freelance illustrators feel they don’t get enough exercise.

Which is such a high and shocking statistic.

I understand, I’ve been in the situation where deadlines are looming, stress can be unbelievably high, and clients are on your back, but your health needs to take priority, whatever the situation.

What’s the point in life if you don’t have good health to enjoy it?

For freelancers especially, you are the only person that can offer your service, so you need to look out for yourself!

I admit, I love looking after my health, ever since I started listening to the brilliant Model Health Show and Shawn Stevenson’s wisdom, but it has helped me create a life which is healthy, active and productive.

One drastic way you can improve your health is with setting a morning routine, eating well and getting enough sleep.

Create a morning routine that starts your day off right. Exercise in the morning has been proven to boost your metabolism, help your consistency, and release endorphins during your working day!

Exercise in the morning, do some stretches, get in some meditation in there, and do the things that you want to focus on every morning, before the ‘real hard work’ begins!

Away from a morning routine, eat as well as you can by focusing on the good stuff within your diet (fruit and vegetables of course), try and get good quality sleep every night of at least 8 hours, and basically invest in yourself!

Having A Poor Mindset

To reach your goals that you want to achieve in your creative career, you need to have self belief and a strong mindset.

Unfortunately, talent is not enough. You need a good mindset to make things happen.

Focusing on your psychical health is crucial, but if you don’t focus on your mentality and well-being, things can get out of control, quickly.

They really do go hand in hand.

Especially for freelancers or those of you who work alone, no one is going to be confident in your abilities if you don’t have confidence in yourself.

Your mindset can either make you reach for the stars, or become a real hindrance. A good mindset kicks butt, helps you ‘cold call’ a potential client, and turns your creative career into a real success!

These tasks are easy with self belief!

Cat Ba Drawing


There’s many things you can do to help your mentality; one proven way you can help your mentality is meditating, removing comparisons in your life and keeping a journal.

Meditation can can ease your mind, relax it, and help you focus on the important things in your life. It’s been said that it can ease anxiety – something that’s important to eliminate to achieve a strong mindset.

If you find you’re comparing yourself to those around you, you can be seriously impacting your mentality and health, and damaging your self belief.

When it comes to comparison in a professional light, you see others getting commissions, being successful and looking like they’re doing everything right.

What’s the reaction going to be on your mentality?

You’re going to cast doubt on your own abilities, wonder why you aren’t the same, and it’s going to affect your whole self-belief.

I love social media, and feel it’s great for business, but this is the main culprit here. I’ve actually un-followed a lot of my illustration friends on Instagram in particular. It’s not because I secretly hate them, or don’t like what they post, but because I was constantly comparing myself to them.

It was affecting my own self worth, and something needed to give. So I made an effort to un-follow them, and I’m actually a lot happier for doing it!

(Sorry if any of you guys are reading this – it’s not personal!)

I’m quite passionate about this, and I think I will produce a blog post on this subject in the near future.

Another way you can improve your mentality is by keeping a daily journal. This is a place where you can share your fears, write down what you’re worried about and be completely honest with yourself.

And the best bit about it – it’s all yours and you won’t be judged about what you write!

It can improve all aspects of yourself, so be sure to start a journal today!

Refusing To Network

In business, it’s not what you know, its who you know.

This is the same for freelancing, those in the creative industry, or any part of life!

If you remain reclusive, don’t meet anyone, and refuse to get yourself in front of others, it can be very difficult for you to gain new clients, customers and grow your business.

I’ve found networking to be pinnacle in gaining new customers, clients and friends that I never could of acquired without networking!

Sketchbook Drawing


It gets you out of the house and encourages you to meet other people – especially if you’re working by yourself for a long period of time, a common freelancing trait!

And the good news, networking is most of the time free!

Type ‘free networking events in your area’ into Google, and see where the nearest networking events are in your local area.

Most of the time these free networking events are held in the morning every week, and gives you the chance to give your business card and tell others about your website, shake a few hands and learn about other businesses too.

Conferences, events and social media networking are also good ways to spread your wings and meet other people, but conferences in particular usually have a cost behind it.

The most important element here is to meet other people, and build healthy and strong relationships. You will be surprised how this can positively impact your creative career.

Resting On Your Laurels

As creatives, it’s important that you’re improving, developing and evolving your set ‘style’.

If you stop being a student and learning, your work will fall by the wayside, and you’ll be left behind! (And we don’t want that now do we!)

The problem with resting on your laurels is that you think you have mastered everything, and you don’t need to learn any more.

But in fact, it’s quite the opposite. There’s so much to learn, and this is especially the sort of attitude that I try and employ.

Whilst I was at University I sort of felt like I ‘knew it all’, but as I have matured quite a bit from then, I definitely don’t think that way anymore! There’s so much to learn and improve on!

To help yourself with this, try and push your knowledge base by trying out a new skill, listen to a podcast that can help you broaden your expertise, or keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

If you manage to do this and always remain a ‘student’ – then your knowledge, expertise and skills are going to increase tenfold.

And your creative career will benefit hugely!

Easing back on the hard graft

They call it ‘hard work’, because it is hard work!

When we look at successful people around us, they are successful because they put in the hard work in to get where they are today.

I know, hard work can be hard, but it is needed to live your passion, reach your goals and make an impact!

Australia Beach Drawing


To-do-lists are great for setting daily goals and completing tasks, and I’m a big fan of them. But to really complete the hard work, make your lists super short, and only list the items that are essential.

If you only write a short, essential list, there will be no other way round it – you just have to crack on with the hard work and get it done!

I’ve had to-do-lists which have been way long, sometimes over 20 things to do at one time. This not only makes you stressed seeing so much to do, but it can distract yourself from the hard work!

Avoid the ‘fluffy’ to-do-lists and make a list of the crucial tasks that you need to complete.

Turn Your Creative Career Into A Powerhouse!

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post on the 5 habits that can be ruining your creative career. Like I have stated above, there’s many ways to get it back on track, and really kick some ass!

If you take just one thing from this blog post, it’s investing in yourself.

Looking after yourself is crucial in this whole game, as if you don’t look after yourself, no one will!

If you liked this blog post, check out my other blog posts on how to hustle to make a difference and why self confidence is important for any freelancer.

I would love to know what you think of this post, so do be sure to give me a comment below, or hitting me up on the social media links below!

Many thanks for listening and visiting my news page today. You can follow what I’m up to on my Twitter, Facebook or Google + pages, I’ll really appreciate it if you do, and don’t be afraid to say hi to me! Many thanks again, and have a great day!

Have an illustration, design or creative project you want help with? Contact Haydn today!