Discover, Define & Design - Creative Strategy That Works: Podcasting - Part 3
by Kay Cote
Whether it be podcasting or another creative venture, creative minds often struggle with tapping into strategic methods.
Balancing Order & Chaos
Do you wish to design a method to the madness (a.k.a. your creativity)? Whether it be podcasting or another creative venture, creative minds often struggle with tapping into strategic methods. The beauty of creativity is in its spontaneity and impulsivity, yet these things can become a hindrance to staying consecutive or on task. As a creative myself, I struggle with implementing structure as it can feel confining. Yet I've found the key to discovering the right balance of order and chaos.
I've found the key to discovering the right balance of order and chaos.
You know those "ah-ha" moments you have when a stroke of creative genius hits you? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to access those types of moments all the time? Well, my creative friend, this can be your reality!
Over the last decade as a professional creative, I've ebbed and flowed between moments of high productivity as well as low productivity. I've managed a retail pop-up shop like a boss, while on the other hand, I've fallen flat in a creative opportunity where I could have huge success in.
I've ...learned to check in with myself to see if burnout is part of why my productivity has come to a halt.
One thing I can tell you is that I've learned from both experiences. I've also mentally beaten the crap out of myself when I'm in a low, and that got me nowhere. So don't do that! I've learned the importance of giving myself grace over the years. I've also learned to check in with myself to see if burnout is part of why my productivity has come to a halt. Sometimes I'm creating out of alignment of my purpose, which means it's time to pivot, which I'll get into more of later in this article.
Now, Let's dive into how to discover your strong points and what makes you stand out, define your drive and purpose, & design a method for your workflow.
Discover Your Strong Points
& What Makes You Stand Out
Tools to Understand Yourself
This year I discovered the benefits of personality tests to help me hone in on my strengths, understand my weaknesses and learn how to use my traits as tools to moving forward. I like to start off by reminding you that no test is one hundred percent accurate, yet they are great for learning about yourself and your processes.
There are a variety of different types of tests out there. There are free versions as well as ones you pay for. If you are employed, your employer may provide test opportunities. If you work for yourself, you can find different types of tests online. One I've I've used for multiple different types is Truity. They have a range of tests including:
Enneagram (9 personality types)
Typefinder (16 personality types)
Big Five Assessment
Workplace DISC Test
Remember to have fun and discover which ones speak to you most. Honestly, who doesn't like learning about themselves? I enjoy taking time every so often to take a test and see what traits of mine are prominent depending on what's going on in my life at that time.
It's important to know your personality can shift periodically so treat yourself to retaking the test every few months. You'd be surprised what you discover!
Define Your Drive and Your Purpose
Personality tests can also help you define your purpose.
You may be a perfectionist
Let's look at the Enneagram (9 Personalities) test for example.
You may be a perfectionist, which means you are responsible, thorough and a hard worker.
If you are a performer, you are highly productive and can get through tasks quickly.
If you are a romantic, you focus on authenticity, meaning, and beauty.
No matter what your type, you can use it to help you define your purpose and how and how you want to express your creativity.
Discovering your purpose ignites your drive because you care about what it is you're working on.
Design a Method For Your Workflow
Once you discover your personality traits, you can use them to your advantage and customize your workflow and what your day looks like.
Maybe your personality craves structure, or maybe you need more fluidity in your day.
Putting time into knowing your personality type allows you to create efficiency in your day-to-day.
You may be asking yourself what this means. Does it mean you quit your job and change careers? Does it mean you start a new business?
I can't tell you what is right for you, but I can give you tools to help you realign with your purpose.
How to P.I.V.O.T. for Positive Change
I believe life is better with acronyms, which is why I came up with this one for how to pivot to make a positive change.
Pause: When you fall out of alignment with your purpose and have found yourself at a stuck point in your creativity, the first thing to do is to pause what you're working on. This gives you time to take a breath and zoom out your perspective of the work you're creating. Pausing also allows you to evaluate what you've been doing and see if it's strayed off-path.
Investigate: Once you've paused, now you can investigate. Explore your work, ask trusted friends and mentors for help and examine, or redefine your values. (P.S. If you have not defined your values yet, this is a good time to do so! Here's an article that can help you out with this process.) This is a time of discovery, and I recommend getting your thoughts out on paper to help you work through them. You can also meditate on them or verbally process them.
Validate: Ask yourself, what have you discovered in this process? Do you see any patterns or processes which aren't working? Do you see where you may have gotten off course? Now that you've found what's not working, you can begin to implement new methods which will. Maybe you take a class, find an accountability partner or join a networking group to help keep you on track. The good thing is now that you've found what's not working, you can course-correct and move forward, full steam ahead!
Open New Doors for Opportunity: This is where the fun begins! As you open new doors for opportunity, you feel your momentum start to reengage! Your energy levels are up and you're ready to fly into your next chapter. Attend events, and seminars or dive into a good book to learn all you can about your interest. Then get plugged in and connect with clubs and organizations that pique your interest. Volunteering is another way to grow your network of good people while also doing good for your community.
Transform: You're moving, you're grooving and you're ready to transform! Now is your time to shine, my friend! Use the insight you've gained, the momentum you've been building and the confidence you've manifested from putting in the work. I suggest getting a coach or mentor who can help you on your journey.
Kay's Tip: If you are in a rural area or are introverted, check out other options to expand your network! Many courses, coaches and groups can be found online.
Content creation can be challenging, yet I'm confident in you and your abilities.
Remember: when you stay authentic to who you are and take care of yourself in your mind, body and soul, your creativity will blossom and you will access flow state.
Remember to be good to yourself, and treat yourself as a good friend. Give yourself grace when you falter and do things that bring you joy every day.
Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess: I recommend this book to help you recalibrate your mind and thinking patterns. Dr. Caroline Leaf explains the body, brain and mind and how they're all connected. Her recalibration method, called the Neurocycle, helps you to create healthy habits and gets you on a path of productivity.
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Read the Whole Series
Meet the Author
Kay Cote Kay Cote is a podcaster and digital content creator in collaboration with Forum Communications.
On her show, This Week in Wellness, Kay connects listeners to wellness events happening in and around the community. On her long-format podcast, The Wow Factor, she shares inspiration through interviews on how to tap into your God-given gifts and talents and live a life in alignment with them.
Kay has been featured in Fargo Monthly and has written for Design & Living Magazine, Midwest Nest Magazine, and Area Woman Magazine. She is also published in the Midwest Mediterranean Cookbook and helped co-design a cocktail, The Heart of Fargo, inspired by herbs from her mom's garden. The drink is served at Teddy's in Downtown Fargo. Kay also works with West Acres Mall on seasonal campaigns and marketing.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Petrus, and their cat, LizaJade. She also enjoys traveling, long runs, wine tasting, cooking, and attending community events.