Written by Krysta Masciale (reposted with permission from her blog, Stillettos on the Rocks )
A few years ago, I decided I wasn’t a creative person. I fully believed my ability to be strategic in branding and come up with bomb ass business solutions was a form of creativity, but what I’m talking about here is art. You know … the kind that moves souls. Like music or film or dancing or building something with your bare hands.
I always knew I was a little different. Never fully in the artistic sandbox because other things were equally as appealing … like organizing fictitious clubs at recess or prepping for debate tournaments. While I kept one foot in the art box and one foot in the business box for as long as I could, there was a point when I felt like I had to choose. And for everyone who knows me, when I make decisions, I fully commit … 3,000%. So when I made the decision to break up with art for business, I broke up with it hard. In a burn-all-your-ex’s-stuff-and-make-sure-to-post-it-on-Facebook kind of way. I committed to the “I’m all business hear me roar” mantra so quickly that I didn’t even realize I had lost a piece of myself that was fundamental to how I saw the world.
After a 5-year hiatus, I’ve jumped into my love of art head first and I’ve realized a few things that I hope I never forget:
– Entrepreneurship isn’t just about the business stuff. I think we’re too multidimensional for that to be the case. People are complex and often come with various interests and sometimes in business, there’s a pride in not being an artist. It somehow comes with this understanding that you’ll be more … legitimate, less flaky and consequently more successful.
– We aren’t as compartmentalized as we want to believe. When you stop diversifying your creative outlets, it affects every area of your life. It’s why most CEOs find their best ideas on vacation or during marathon training or while they’re at a concert.
I love business. I love my company. I feel like what I get to do on a daily basis is stuff that moves people into greatness and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m energized by it in a way that most people are energized by sports or good action scenes in movies. But having the opportunity to engage in something outside of my business, that pushes me into a new level of vulnerability and creative expression has bred an entirely new perspective into my life as an entrepreneur that I couldn’t have anticipated.
So here’s my challenge to you for this week: invest in something that makes you feel alive in a way that maybe your business can’t. It doesn’t mean you are any less awesome at your job or care less about the work you do. It just means you aren’t one-dimensional. I give you permission to play. To let loose. To step up to the mic or hit the pavement or buy a set of paint brushes. Make it a priority and allow yourself to have fun with it. For those of you who used to be really good at something and dropped it like I did because you chose the ‘smarter’ path by engaging only in things that were profitable … this will be a special kind of awesome for you. Maybe invite some friends along. It’ll be a nice treat for them to see you uncomfortable and you’ll need the support when you realized you unleashed something that has been buried for far too long. Enjoy yourselves friends!
You’ll be happy to know I run a branding agency in Los Angeles, California called B!G DEAL BRANDING. Before you make the assumption that I design logos and build websites all day, please visit our site before another angel loses its wings. My role as CEO and Brand Strategist for BDB keeps me busy enough to be a sporadic blogger at best, but it’s where I learn many of the lessons that end up on the pages of Stilettos.