I’m pretty sure every parent thinks their kid is the most awesome kid ever, so it comes as no surprise I think mine is pretty darn swell – like, he’s the best little person ever. But in all seriousness, my son has taught me so much – about life, kindness, creativity, positive energy, motivation, inspiration, integrity, honesty, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, sweetness – I could go on & on for hours, so in short: My son has really helped shape me into the person I am today, and in no small part, shaped me in the creative maker I am today, too. Today is his last day of school then it’s on to summer break & unlike most parents, I am ridiculously excited about having him home with me all the time. He is such a good helper, totally supportive of my monster biz & he ignites my creativity. So in honor of finally having my son back all to myself, here is a short list of the many things I have learned from him & how I apply these valuable lessons.
Always be authentic
Fads fade. Always be 100% true to yourself, your beliefs, your style. Don’t do what everyone else is doing just for the sake of “fitting in” or as a maker, getting sales. Think about it like this: when that trend is over, so is your success, unless you can somehow rebrand and assimilate quickly to the next fad(s).
For instance, I won’t change my product photography just because black & white rooms and gold dots are trending – how could my products possibly stand out if they blended in with what everyone else is doing? Besides, black & white is boring & I don’t like gold. I’d rather be the wild, colorful, imperfect mess I am than a pale black & white carbon copy of what everyone else is doing. Stay true, dudes!
Lift others up
Any time I see a maker sad about lack of sales, frustrated with the direction their biz going in or just stressed to the max, I make a purchase from their shop and/or try to offer some words of encouragement, resources to help them out of their rut or to send a sweet gift to brighten their day. Someone once did this for me, a few months into monster making. Their simple, kind action is the only reason I am still making monsters today. If they hadn’t stepped up when they did, I would have not continued with Lu & Ed. Totally not an exaggaration. A simple act of encouragement could be make all the difference in a person’s life. I know it was for me. Aspire to inspire. Always be willing to help others & lift them up.
Make time for what makes you happy
Seriously, eat coffee ice cream for breakfast & cereal for dinner sometimes. Skip doing the laundry to go for a walk. Go to lunch with your friends, have a water gun battle or play hide & seek with your kids. Whatever makes you happy, whatever makes you laugh: make time for it. Life is so short, and so precious. Work to live, don’t live to work! Make memories, not status updates. Remember moments, not just milestones. Mediate & just be still sometimes. These time-out moments are what ignites my creativity & motivates me to finish a monster making marathon. The secret to hard work & good results is making time for the things that make us happy! No matter how big your workload, no matter how many items are on your to-do list – make time for what makes you happy.