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Creativity at work: milestones, opportunities, and letting it be

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Three years ago this week, I made my entrepreneurial journey official. I packed up my one and two year old and drove across town to a cozy co-working space in Toronto’s East End with on-site childcare. I tucked them away safely in the childcare room, prepared an enormous cup of coffee, and registered my business. It was my birthday.  

Creative milestones

It wasn’t until I became a parent that I started to understand that my birthday was not just my birthday. My birthday was also a big day for my mother – the day she gave birth to me (typically memorable). It was also the day my sister became a sister.

The day my daughter was born, the midwife who caught her was doing that for the first time. Special. Luckily I did not process that until afterwards. Regardless, she was competent and well supervised.

The day I started my first “career job” was also the day the founder of the company brought on his seventh employee, and his first new graduate (me, me). For any business owners out there, that is something.

The same event gets viewed from all sides.

Imagine you took out a big calendar and arranged the major creative milestones of your life under each month. Each month would come out with its own personality; its own flavour.

This month is weirdly crammed with celebratory milestones in my world.

Many dreams, partnerships and humans were created in this month.

What creative milestones do you honour and how? Are there ones you could honour more?

Amplifying creative opportunities

Humans, at our core, are creators.

We are satisfied by the simple joy of it.

I know because you tell me about the fun you have creating.

It is so easy to get caught up in the mundane day-to-day of work. But there are opportunities for creativity in there somewhere, almost always.

The most technical job of my career so far was also one of the most creatively satisfying. My friends in other consulting firms had design departments they would send their analytical work to. They had writers who would prepare messaging using the company’s selected brand words. We were new and scrappy. I had the space to create the format and content for findings, memos, presentations. Even if the content was technical, many times I started out with a blank page.

And I love a blank page.

When I’m not running this business I am doing my other job, parenting. And while I’m usually not the mom with the homemade organic snacks, I am the one dancing, doing voices, and making things.

The photo is a picture we made of a python. We followed a video on youtube. Parenting with youtube is so much better than parenting without youtube. This is the kind of stuff I do after 4pm most days.

What if you found the creative opportunities in your work and amplified them by just 10%? How would your satisfaction and results change?

Passive and active creation

Recently I posted a fill-in-the-blank for my audience: “the last thing I created was: _________”

More than one said “a human.”

More than one said the last thing they created was a human.

If you’ve never created a human, think about a 100x more invasive version of growing a hair. Do you will the hair to grow? Do you do much of anything? Not much. It’s passive.

The women who have created humans are screaming right now – HOW DARE YOU compare that to growing a hair! But the intensity of it all is (usually?) secondary to the actual creation of the human.

Physical discomfort? Yes.

Unbelievably heavy emotional and mental load? Absolutely.

And all the while, the creation is busily taking place behind a closed door. Until the big reveal.

Other creation comes painstakingly. Like this blog, which I’ve started and stopped a bunch of times, tinkered with and reworked, until at last I think it makes sense.

Correction: I think it makes enough sense.

Writing this blog has been the creative equivalent of gluing all the baby’s toenails on.

Which is to suggest it could have been a wee bit more organic.

And yet, I’m OK with it.

I’m celebrating so many creative milestones this week – active and passive – that I don’t even mind. I see the value in all of it.

But it does make me wonder…

How can we bring some of that passive “creating a human” energy into our less biological creative lives?

Answer: by creating the most natural thing for us.

And for me, turns out, that’s driving across town, registering this business, supporting incredible coaching clients like you for the last three years, and writing this blog.

Oh, and drawing pythons with my kid.

What’s the most natural thing for you to create?

I would love to know if this resonates. Comment below or DM me over here .

I’m cheering you on.

Want to learn about coaching? Here’s a link to get on my calendar for a free intro session.

What do you think?

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