101 Lessons I Learned as an Accidental Creator of 2 Books, Multiple Courses, 1000+ Blog Posts, and More [3000 Words Guide for (Wannabe) Creators]

I never set out to be a creator.

I followed my curiosities and became one in the process.

As a result,

I have made mistakes and I learned from them.

I don’t know if you are an accidental creator like me or you made a conscious choice to be one.

Whichever it is, I congratulate you.

You can be in a job or running a business and doing it on the side or you could be doing it full time. 

It’s a great choice because there are billions of people consuming content every day and those who serve them with quality will win.

If you are a creator yourself or planning to become one, here are some things I’ve learned that may help you on your journey as a creator.

  1. We have more time than we think. Only if we stopped using our phones so much and if we did more than we thought of doing something.
  2. We waste a lot more time than we think, as many as 260 hours in a month. Enough time to read 40+ books or read 10 books and write yours or do anything you want to.
  3. It hurts to look back on the wasted time and opportunities. The best way to avoid that regret is to do NOW.
  4. Our lives change in moments and not years. They change when we say – [I quit. I can’t take it anymore. I love you. I’ll start on that long-awaited dream today. No more inaction. Today I take responsibility for my life into my own hands]. Our lives change as a creator when we say that I’d be a professional and will do all that I can to overcome resistance. I’ll go on until I win and I’ll find ways to do it efficiently.
  5. Our days define our weeks, months, years, decades, and our lives. Take care of days and everything.  
  6. Everyone you know and admire started without experience, following, or credibility, and from scratch. If they did it you can too.
  7. Follow the money but keep at least one creative pursuit that you don’t do for money. Writing is that thing for me.
  8. Find ways to make money with what you create, otherwise, it will be difficult for most people to continue.
  9. Consistency is more important than being a genius.
  10. Doing it alone will not help you grow. Deliberate practice is what helps grow.
  11. Batch what you create. It saves you both time and energy.
  12. It is through bad creations, you find your good ones. So don’t let the bad ones discourse you.
  13. Create when your energy is high. When it is not, your creations will take a long time.
  14. Social media is not vain. It helps if people know what you make, for two reasons, you get feedback and you get fame, which turns into money.
  15. Bet on one platform that you like using and one that has worked for others and built a community there before focusing on a new one.
  16. Model your work on other people’s work. Don’t steal but it helps to be inspired.
  17. Get inside a community of peers to grow and see how your stacks against others. Comparison is not good often, but you need to benchmark your work against what’s good.
  18. Don’t get fixated on one medium, create across mediums and embrace the new medium and formats that come along.
  19. Read, and take courses to improve your craft. Work with an expert and mentor directly to do it faster.
  20. Audit and review your work occasionally, once a year to see how far you’ve come and to make sure that you are not stuck.
  21. Get a job or apprenticeship where you get to create. It is awesome for growth early on, as it makes you disciplined.
  22. Focus on skills and learning before tools.
  23. Your energy and health are essential to creation, don’t ignore them.
  24. Don’t let what you create sit inside boxes and drives. Make a showcase that can show your body of work when needed. If not for others, do it for your family.
  25. You should have started yesterday. If you didn’t, start today. Because tomorrow will be late.
  26. Don’t rest on your laurels. Past is ego, the future is pride, the present is where we should live.
  27. Make creation a habit by scheduling time to create. If you don’t schedule it, you won’t do it in the long run.
  28. Take breaks. Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual. It is in these teams one gets creative ideas. You’ll avoid creative block if you do it. And do it for sure if you are experiencing a creative block.
  29. Choose what you create based on your instincts and passions, and not guided by what someone else has done and found success with.
  30. Walks are great for unleashing creativity and getting unstuck. Sunlight too works wonders to clear the mental fog.
  31. Don’t indulge in food if you want to take creation seriously. Can’t create on an overfed stomach.
  32. The market does not lie, though it can deceive you at times. So if the market values your work, that means there is value in your work. That is why one should sell their creation early in their creative journey.
  33. Market and selling are superpowers and they are not beneath any creator. Invest time and money in getting good at these, even if you don’t do it yourself.
  34. To be a creator you don’t need to be uber smart or in a specific place, you just need to consume less and make more.
  35. Showing up is half the battle won as a creator.
  36. Tell your tribe when you are going to post content and what kind of content they can expect from you.
  37. The only way to keep your promise of posting content regularly is to get your content ready ahead of time and schedule it.
  38. In the case of a closed community, seed it with the right people. So make sure to curate who is getting inside your community. You can do it by keeping an application or only letting people you know in the beginning and get them to bring in who they trust.
  39. To create an engaged community, get to know people 1-on-1.
  40. Give your tribe a name. Little Gaga calls her tribe ‘Little Monsters’. What will you call yours?
  41. Get help as soon as you can. Start with part-time help if you need to., to manage ops and administrative work. Build a team eventually. so that you can focus most of your time on creation and exploration.
  42. The effort in remaining a consumer is negligible, but the rewards in becoming a creator are big enough to take the path of a creator.
  43. Your life is your life. So don’t play for the gallery. First, create for yourself and your people, your tribe will find you and stick with you, rest will leave.
  44. Discovery is important. If you create but no one reads, listens, or watches your creation it is as if you didn’t create. So when creating or even before you start creating, make a plan, as to how people will find you.
  45. Partnering with other creators who are slightly ahead of you is the fastest way to go. If someone has a huge following, incentivize them to feature you.
  46. Only promote what you believe in. if you won’t use it, why should others.
  47. Stay on top of trends and keep changing your game because algorithm rules when it comes to creation on a social media platform.
  48. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing behind the scenes. It makes people feel they know you and generate feelings for you and your brand.  
  49. If you are not business savvy, get someone in your corner who is. This can be the difference between whether you are paid peanuts or top dollars, with the same audience you have.
  50. When partnering with a brand, the brand becomes your client. Give them more than their money’s due so they keep coming back for more.
  51. When dealing with a brand, be on top of communication. Be courteous and professional throughout even when you chose to not work with each other.
  52. Sharing your personal stories will help people connect with you.
  53. Professional creators don’t wait for inspiration to strike. They can create at will and often choose to create daily without worrying about mood, weather, time of the day.
  54. A bigger audience means bigger earnings, all other things being equal. So make growing your audience, without sacrificing the quality of the audience.
  55. You don’t need a huge audience to start earning.
  56. If you can make $1, you can make a million. Just need to multiply your efforts and be strategic in what you do.
  57. Routine is a creator’s friend. Create at the same time every day, same place, and see the magic happen.
  58. People can copy what you create but they won’t go for it if they don’t have the work ethic. And someone who chooses to copy something, you don’t have to worry about them because of their personal standards.
  59. It’s tough in the beginning. It will get easier with time. Because your creative muscle will be strengthened in 6-8 months if you do it regularly. Once that happens, invest ways to become uncomfortable by trying new things. Because uncomfortable action is where growth is.
  60. Repurpose your creations. Turn videos into blog posts and blog posts into podcasts. Turn everything into a course or masterclass or a book. When you know you can use one piece of content in multiple ways, you will find it easy to invest more time into one piece of content you make.
  61. Don’t do it if you don’t love it. Because with something you don’t love, you won’t last long. If you are not passionate about fitness you can’t create content about it consistently. Even if you do, your quality won’t match with those who are passionate and really tuned into the space.
  62. You’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t by trying out and publishing your content. So don’t assume that you can get by, by creating less in the beginning. Experiment and tweak.
  63. Don’t ignore your audience. Court them. Meet them. Create a bond. Reply to their questions and comets. Leave the toxic ones aside. Don’t feel obligated to do everything they ask for, but value them and care for what they say.
  64. Learn every day. Find what you learn best from. A book, a course, or a real person sitting you down and talking to you. Once you find what works for you, use it continuously. If a combination of two-three things works best for you, use that.
  65. We have what it takes to become wonderful creators. We also have within us what keeps us from unleashing our potential. That thing is resistance. It lives inside every creator. The good news is that there is a way around it.  
  66. Get out of the superhero mentality and stop doing everything yourself.
  67. Accept short-term pains for long-term gains. What are the pains for a creator? Not matching the high standards they set themselves. Not getting recognition for the work. Finding the work on creation is hard. Finding a balance between what puts food on the table and creation. Ignoring the well-meaning advice of ignorant well-wishers, who don’t know anything about creation and your dreams.
  68. Only do what you love doing and what moves you forward. For everything else – either stop doing it, automate or delegate it.
  69. Work with people who are better than you.
  70. Think of your brand as a creator as a business, and work on growth, marketing and finances as you’ll do in a business.
  71. Learning is important for growth, but you don’t need paid learning when you are starting out.
  72. Being a creator is rewarding but it takes time.
  73. Have someone look at your work, someone who is a better creator than you to give you feedback and help you improve.
  74. Find a way to get your team to have skin in the game, either by giving them a stake or making them feel like an owner by giving them the freedom to do what they are hired to do.
  75. Reward those who help you win. Tie a part of the compensation of those you work with you to what they help you achieve.
  76. Nobody owes you anything. You gotta work for your success.
  77. Learn from every creator you like. If you learn from 5-10 people who you admire you will grow fast.
  78. Take time to tell your story in a way that helps people know you and let people know what is unique about you.
  79. If you don’t apply what you learned, you wasted your time. So document what you learn because you can’t remember everything and don’t wait too long before implementing otherwise you’ll never end up doing it.
  80. Do it now. So that tomorrow you can do something else.
  81. Break what you create into micro-skills and get better at each of those skills. For example, to get good at the video you need to get better at speaking, interacting with the camera, lighting, and audio. To get better at each of these through practice, learning, training, and with the help of the right tools and mentors and you’ll rock on video.
  82. It will take longer than you think for you to succeed as a creator. But that does not mean that you go slow. Go as fast as you can. Because speed matters. More so if you want to be a professional creator.
  83. Make the quality of your content your focus. Because whether you like it or not you are competing with sleep and Netflix (or your audience’s favorite OTT platform).
  84. Don’t worry about a platform going away or not remaining relevant tomorrow. You improve your skills and they are transferable to new platforms. Vines were popular once and people thought that those who were on Vine were at a big disadvantage after Twitter shut down. But prolific Vine creators became really good at short-form video and used that to their advantage by creating engaging stories on IG and found their tribe there.
  85. Understand branding and positioning and use it to show your brand uniquely, and so that it looks the same everywhere you create content. It will make it easy for people to recognize and remember you. These two (recognize and remember) are the first steps in the process of someone trusting you.
  86. Stay directly connected with your audience via emails, or phone numbers because platforms go away or can shut you down  
  87. Wanting to get paid for your creations is not bad. Sell what you make so that you know how the market values it. And, the market does not lie.
  88. Focus on what’s ahead. Once you’ve published something – a course, a video, blog post, or website – don’t worry about it,   Free yourself for what you’ll create next.
  89. Build an idea bank for your creations, it will make sure that you’ll never be short of ideas to create something.
  90. Document your process. It is meta content in itself. It helps other creators. And you can turn it into a book or course if you want to.
  91. You will also find people who don’t agree with your point of view especially when you start gaining traction. That’s ok. Don’t delve into negativity.
  92. First impressions matter. So if you have some experience, invest time in polishing your first creation that you put out. Even if it goes out a week later than your original.  
  93. Choose what you go after thoughtfully. When you make a name for yourself and start seeing success, opportunities will come your way. Only go after the juiciest ones that align with your values and those that don’t take you away from creation and offer net positive returns.
  94. Don’t aim for perfection but gradual improvement.
  95. Create during your best hours, usually within 2-3 hours of waking up and early in the day or whenever your best hours happen to be. Keep the rest of the hours for planning, ideation, recharging, relationships, and partnerships.
  96. If you don’t have a lot going financially, keep your burn low so that you can continue creating for long enough. Because success as a creator can take longer than you expect.
  97. Keep your burn low, even after you make it. Then you can invest all additional cash into growth and creating a cash flow cushion. Because in the early days of a creator, one can experience feast and famine.  
  98. The best thing to remain financially stable is to give yourself a salary, which should be more than your cost of living so that you live comfortably. Rest put in surplus even during months when your inflows are super high. That surplus will make sure that you continue to pay the same salary even if your inflows are low.
  99. Become friends who hold the distribution keys, big names in your space who are ahead of you, or those who help other established creators.
  100. Interview people. It is one of the best ways to connect and be friends with those you want to connect with.
  101. Set big goals and back yourself to achieve them – even when you feel overwhelmed and don’t stop before you achieve them. I thought of writing and sharing with you 100 learnings as a creator. When I reached around 30, I thought that I won’t be able to do 100. But I took another shot, next day, and added about 40 more to reach 70 lessons. And, on my third attempt, I was able to share 101 learnings.

Hope you find value in this.

If you have questions, write to me.

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