How’s That Workin’ For Ya?

My younger brother is a man of few words. He prefers to simply get things done and discuss them as little as possible, but when he does speak, he generally gets straight to the point, without much prettifying up the message.

One of the phrases he likes to use, whenever someone is complaining about something they’ve tried over and over with little to no results is, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?” It’s said without judgment, and not at all in a snide or snarky tone, but it sets the parameters of the conversation. You’ve told him your tale of woe, and now he’d like you to take a step back, evaluate, and report on your progress using those tactics. It’s brilliant in its simplicity, even if the message behind it is rather complex.

One of the things that creative people tend to shy away from is analysis. The creative process, we’ve been told, is a magical thing that simply happens due to a combination of magic, luck, and talent, and there’s little help or hope in crunching numbers or looking for trends when we’re busy being “creative.” I think this is one of the most detrimental outlooks to creative people that I continue to see over and over.

Analysis of how your work is doing doesn’t mean chasing after whatever is currently trending. I call that practice “chasing eyeballs,” and it can kill creativity in its tracks. However, if your creative process consists of simply dumping the same type of content in the same platforms over and over again and not seeing what’s resonating with your audience and what turns them off, you risk abandoning the idea of an audience altogether to simply chase your bliss.

I hear many complaints from creative people that they’re not being recognized for the hard work that they’re doing, but part of the work is seeing what creations of yours gain an audience and what simply doesn’t connect, and adjusting accordingly. While analysis and research seem like they could be anti-creative, they’re essential components in balancing your creative endeavors with building a brand.

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