I’ve always been a different kind of learner. Standardized testing and “show up to class at this time” never really sat well with me.
It’s amazing I even graduated high school at all. Seriously.
I went. But I didn’t excel nor did I take it seriously. I went from a music major to wanting to be an elementary school teacher to finally settling in the marketing department.
Of course I heard the term “learning disability” growing up, as did most of the kids teachers couldn’t reach.
We were too social. Too much the dreamers. Too far removed from reality.
But that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Looking back on it now, was it a learning disability or a teaching disability?
Has our education system become too much of an under-performing, over-charging industry at the expense of what really matters — learning?
So when asked why I wrote my latest course: How To Brand Yourself Like a Creative Hustler, the idea of “learning disability versus teaching disability” came to mind.
I needed a way to get what I wanted to say across in a way that wouldn’t be lost. A way that engaged many parts of the learning spectrum, from reading to writing to face-to-face interactions.
It had to be all-encompassing.
It’s not that students like me, average kids with huge dreams, have problems learning, it’s just that we leverage different parts of our brains.
We bridge creativity and business. Pleasure and work. Week and weekend.
We’re Creative Hustlers! We Study Life!
4 Reason Why I Really Created This Course
1 – I’ve learned, now I want to give back
Since my catapult into business over 15 years ago as a gigging musician, to my current role as an entrepreneur, business strategist, and founder, I’ve made every mistake possible. From blown negotiations that cost me my first business to not vetting “partners” which almost got me into legal trouble, to seriously dealing with blood, sweat, and tears, my experience was too great to not share it with the world.
But these past 15 years have also been full of successes and ‘ah-ha’ moments that equally define me.
Like that moment I negotiated my first huge 6-figure contract. Or the moment I knew I had nothing more to give, so I gave it all up and got a “job.” Or even that moment, flying back from London on a Transatlantic flight, when Melissa and I strategized how we would finally launch The Creative Hustler.
All these moments are collections of experience that, if kept inside, are basically useless.
I’ve learned…so I can teach.
2 – Stop with Tactic Overload
I love these kinds of articles: “5 things entrepreneurs do before going to bed,” followed by the article, “3 things entrepreneurs do after the 5 things they do before they go to bed,” followed by, 7 things to do after the 3 things you do before going to bed and before the 5 things you do after waking up.
Point being… Stop with tactic overload.
It’s time for a better strategy than, “here today, gone tomorrow” that the world’s experiencing at the moment.
With so much focus on tactics and not enough on strategies, are we essentially instilling a poor habit of planning in our lives?
I wonder whether “poor habit of planning” is the best way to say this.
There’s a lot of focus in How To Brand Yourself Like A Creative Hustler centered on ensuring your core values and day-to-day actions are aligned.
This means building a concrete foundation (your personal brand or life strategy) with goals and milestones so we can effectively gauge our effectiveness and continue to refine.
With that established, you can start filling in the gaps with tactics that’ll allow you move your needle.
But I fear that with all the allure of short-term tactics I’m seeing (especially on social media), we’re forgetting the importance of strategic direction.
Here are my two cents: Strategy. It’s more important than you think.
3 – Quit the bottlenecking self-sabotage
The importance of a strategic life direction is something we should all be aware of.
How can you get to where you want to go if you don’t have a plan for getting there?
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.” -Yogi Berra
But I hear it all the time: “Steven, my plan is in my head, I don’t need to write it down,” or “I know my strategies, but I don’t want to tell anyone or build a team around me because they’ll steal my ideas.”
Ugh. Let’s just face it. Ideas without execution SUCK. So get over it.
Don’t be your own bottleneck. Don’t continue to self-sabotage.
The truth of the matter is you need a life strategy. If you’re not into that name, you can call it your personal brand strategy. Whatever you call it, you need one.
It’s going to enable you to say yes to opportunities that’ll get you to where you want to go and also allow you to say no to ideas or people that might be draining and trying to sabotage you.
It’s like this. When building a house, you don’t just start building – hoping for the best.
“Gee, I hope this 2×4 can hold up this window, which is attached to the garage door.”
You build a foundation first. You put blueprints together. You know what pieces you need, the timeline, and the team you need to make it come to life.
You know every facet of the project so you can stay efficient, effective, and keep your sanity.
Why is your life or personal brand any different?
So unless you want your house to blow away with the first gust of wind, I advise you take the time (the only “real” cost) and get the “brand of you” in order.
4 – Purpose
I’ve always had memorable mentors and teachers around me.
Even when almost failing out of high school, I still had teachers who supported me and knew I had something important to give to the world
Nowadays, I know my purpose. But for so many years I was lost.
It took a tremendous amount of effort, trial and error, tears, blood, and high-fives to get where I am today.
And like the great teachers who have helped me along my journey, it’s up to me to continue the legacy.
To carry the torch.
To think globally and give my knowledge away to those who don’t just need it, but truly want it.
When it comes down to it, that’s the real reason I created the Brand Yourself Like a Creative Hustler eCourse.
For you, Creative Hustler!