Everybody is looking for the key to doing consistently better work. What’s the secret? Ironically, burning hot jealousy.
The pressure on creatives, marketers and the like to continuously create amazing and innovative works is immense. It’s in the job description and it’s why our clients come to us.
At a certain point, however, we all get there. The creativity block.
For anybody creating, a block of any kind is to be expected. It’s as natural as getting a cold every once in a while.
The challenge though is to find ways to overcome it. If we can’t get over them, creative blocks are the kiss of death to us all. It would be like a star sprinter not recovering from an ankle injury.
The Three Kinds of Creativity Blocks Affecting Creatives, Marketers and the Like
Type 1: Inability to Create
We sit there in front of the empty canvas—that website that needs developed, that blog post that needs written for a client or that visual asset that needs designed—and our brain stalls.
We try to break the ice a bit. A walk. A cigar. Another cup of coffee. But yet, still, nothing.
Type 2: Inability to Innovate
If you’re not running into a roadblock entirely then maybe you’re creating nearly identical works. And maybe it’s getting you pretty upset at yourself. Why the heck can’t you do something exploratory and different?
The temptation to do the same ole, whether you realize it or not, is too great. It’s also all too easy to slip gradually into it without even knowing it.
You’re especially susceptible to this if you’re working within a certain industry almost exclusively. Maybe you have an influx of real estate clients. You’ll be prone to creating similar works across platforms if you’re not careful.
Type 3: Missing the Quality Mark
Last, but not least, maybe your work just isn’t reaching its full potential. Plain and simple, you know it, but you’re not quite sure what to do about it. The rituals aren’t getting you to the same place and it’s killing you inside.
How Do We Always Do Our Best, Most-Innovative, Highest-Quality Work?
With these three cases, what can you do to get your work back on track if you are in block city?
And more importantly, how can you be in the state of constantly innovating in a big way?
Do Work That Makes You Jealous
Here’s the secret to consistently doing better work, especially over time.
You need to do work that makes you jealous, each and every time.
When I set out to design and develop a website—or anything—for a client I’m creating something that I’ll be jealous I didn’t build for myself.
Doing Work That Makes You Jealous Makes You Think Differently
When you’re intentionally setting out to do work that “makes you jealous,” you’re coming in with a different mindset.
You’re seeking to one-up yourself, rather than settling for the same old way of doing things (which granted, might already be at a high-level of quality). This puts you in a perpetual state of innovation. Your own standard for “what makes you jealous” will continue to increase as your skills and portfolio continue to grow.
Doing Work That Makes You Jealous Puts You Even Closer to Your Work
It should be our intention to get intimate with our work. We should pay attention the nitty, gritty details and carefully craft every aspect of the project.
At times, it’s hard to get close to a project for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because we’ve hit a creative block.
Seeking out to create something jealous, however, gets you even closer to the work. The project becomes deeply personal and truly comes from inside.
Case and Point …
I lead the charge over at Top Hat IMC, a marketing communications agency. Recently, we were recruited to rethink the brand identity of a digital marketing agency. Part of that was recreating the website.
When I was working through the redesign, I was proposing a concept that I wish I would’ve thought of for Top Hat. Every page made me more and more jealous. I kept thinking to myself, “Damn. Why didn’t I think of that for us? This is freaking awesome.”
By the time the website I was ready, I was hesitant to release it. I felt so strongly about the final product that I would’ve utilized that website for Top Hat any day of the week.
The end-product for the client due to this mentality? The absolute best it could be. Innovative and world-class.
Go Out and Make Yourself Jealous
Go out hell-bent on doing work that makes you jealous.
- That next blog post—cultivate it in such a way you wish you could steal and post it on your own website.
- That next website—design and develop it so well that you wish you could use it for yourself.
- That next logo—create something that makes your jaw drop.
- That next marketing strategy—assemble an arsenal of tactics that you wish you could use to do your own bidding.
Here’s to doing work that makes you jealous,