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7 Challenges & Ways Creatives Can Stay Resilient In The New Normal World

Posted on in Articles · Creative Advice

I guess we can all agree that the COVID-19 has brought an unprecedented impact on our daily lives. 

We are experiencing a rapid change in the way we interact, do business, create and experience reality, post pandemic.

Learning how to be resilient however, isn’t difficult at all. Here are some noticeable new normal challenges being faced by creatives ‒ and what you can do with it moving forward.


1. Technological Advancement

laptop motherboard
Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

There is a lot to be said about the benefits provided for creatives in terms of technological advancements and how it can aid our productivity and creativity. 

There are, however, some things to be aware of that technology may be affecting your creative work.

As technology becomes available to more and more people, and with all the tools that can produce creative products, there are people who are able to compete with you and undercut you.

What you can do

You need to be careful about being too dependent on technology. Consider factoring in how your expertise transcends the technology you use. 

Double-down on your strength, experience and expertise to create something unique and add extra value to your brand and your products. 

For example, if you make a living building generic websites using pre-built web design tools, you are in danger of losing out to someone who produces websites with a distinct feel, dynamism and with lots of added value.

There are many ways to add extra value to your area of expertise, from better service to high quality work, it’s up to you to work out what works best for you.


2. The way people buy, have changed

The traditional ways of buying, advertising and selling are changing. You will be at risk if you are unaware of how to adapt. We have seen dramatic changes in consumer behaviours and how products and services are sold and marketed, especially in the past year. 

Consumers have more freedom and choices than ever before. Safety has become the new trust as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have grown more and more comfortable with online shopping, contactless interfaces that rely on gesture, voice and proximity. 

Marketing campaigns aimed at larger non-defined audiences are getting lesser and lesser impact. 

What you can do

It’s time to get to know your niche audience, their wants and needs – and their pains. Instead of pushing for sales, you need to be building solid relationships with them over time.


3. Distractions

Modern-day distractions are one of the biggest threats to progress faced by creatives. In a world full of electronic notifications, we are increasingly getting interrupted 50-60 times per day.

Devising a plan to minimize distractions is of utmost importance, especially if you want to do great work. This could mean making stern decisions to stay on course without deviating. This may be one of the hardest things to do but you will be duly rewarded for your grit.

What you can do

Awareness is key – become more aware of how much you are allowing distractions into your life. We tend to get distracted by low-value activities like checking social media accounts regularly instead of working on that project you know would be impactful.

When you work towards changing your behaviours and build a habit around minimizing distractions, you will ultimately be more focused, have a more productive and fulfilled life.


4. Privacy infringement

I guess by now you are aware that your own privacy is increasingly being exposed – to the Web, social media and to governments, particularly so if you don’t take responsibility to protect it as a creative person.

What you can do

Be well informed with how your privacy is being affected. Then, equip yourself with the knowledge of how to best combat such infringements.


5. Cheap competition

Creatives are often confronted with competitors that are offering their creative services at ridiculously low prices. Competitors like this do exist in countries like India, the Philippines and Ukraine.

The cost of living is lower in these places. As such, workers in these regions are accepting less pay from global clients for certain jobs. 

This is affecting the ability for creatives in higher-income parts of the world to get work and get paid for what they are worth. Even if you are residing and making a living in the lower-income parts of the world, you should not be lowering your prices and settle for lower earnings.

What you can do

When you’re selling against a lower-priced competitor, you must sell your service on the basis of some competitive advantage.

It’s important to know your worth and boost your own value as a creative and service-provider in areas other than your price. 

Become exceptional at one or two skills; develop a style, craft a brand and become indispensable!


6. Financial insecurity

woman holding us dollar bank notes
Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash

The past year have been turbulent for many creatives and I am no exception. The loss of jobs, savings and businesses shutting down were the most imminent fallout.

One thing we can all learn from this is to take responsibility the best we can for our own financial security.

What you can do

The best foundation to deal with financial insecurity is knowledge. Take the time to truly understand how your finances work. Learn ways to increase your income, develop better budgeting habits and the likes.

I recently read Rich Dad’s Increase Your Financial IQ by Robert Kiyosaki. In the book, he stresses the importance of budgeting and building wealth on a budget surplus.

I’d highly recommend that you read this book (I’m not in any way earning any commission or affiliated with the Rich Dad, Poor Dad brand) to equip yourself with the financial tools and knowledge to weather any unforeseen financial uncertainties in the future.


7. Poor time management

Young man covered in sticky notes, work overload
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Time is a precious resource. I have been guilty of managing my time poorly in the past and saw myself in a constant state of learned helplessness

As a result, I missed out on spending time nurturing myself and doing the things that truly matter to my personal and professional life. I knew I had to manage my time well, if I wanted to immediately regain control of my life; and that’s what I did!

What you can do

Change your routine until you find your rhythm ‒ Find a work routine that suits you and keep updating them, according to your preference. Make time for work and leisure.

Learn to say NO!  The word NO isn’t something to be feared. When you say NO, you’re giving yourself a chance to enjoy a successful work life balance. 

As a creative, you need to keep your priorities clear. Once you know what you need to focus on, say YES to what benefits you.

For those unimportant things, you will know it’s time to let them go. So just say NO!

Schedule personal time  Do not neglect your “me time”. It is absolutely essential to take good care of yourself by scheduling some personal time to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

Spending some personal time has huge implications for your productivity, health and well-being. This also applies to your creativity and feeling motivated to get things done.


Concluding thoughts

In this rapidly changing “new normal” world, I hope you are aware of the challenges highlighted and know how best to tackle them. 

Rest assured, doors of opportunities will open up for you if you remain responsible for your own security and the progress of your creative endeavours. It’s up to you to learn how to adapt in dealing with such changes to stay resilient. That’s what I learn.

How are you adapting? Feel free to share your thoughts too.


Further reading


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Hazel Lee is a digital designer and startup hustler, currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She launched the YDJ Blog in June 2015 and founded YDJ with the intention of inspiring and empowering creatives.

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