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How To Be More Resilient in Uncertain Times: 7 Tips for Creatives

Posted on in Articles · Creative Advice

When faced with events that cause widespread uncertainty, we can become fearful about the present and future, especially when those events are beyond our control.

Like the COVID-19 pandemic, it has brought an unprecedented impact on our lives. Following the pandemic, I guess we can all agree that we have witnessed a change in the way we interact, do business, create and experience reality.

But believe it or not, you do have coping skills that will enable you to handle these trying times. I will pinpoint some notable challenges that you may face, as well as what you can do about it moving forward.


1. Technological Advancement

laptop motherboard
Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

There is a lot to be said about how technological advancements benefit creatives and how they might increase our productivity and creativity. They are becoming more accessible for producing creative products, especially with the rise of generative AI tools.

Amid ongoing debates about the ethical use of technology, you should be aware of how it may be affecting your creative work.

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.

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. One way to achieve this is by doubling down on your strength, experience and expertise to create something unique and add extra value to your brand, your products or services.

On the other note, if you’re concerned about AI tools generating artwork that may infringe on your rights particularly so if you’re an artist, let me assure you – there is no need to feel worried.

Dr. Kate Darling observes that society will keep valuing works of art created by humans. An AI system cannot envision ideas and concepts as intentionally or dynamically as a human artist can. Because of this, the need for uniqueness in the art world still exists and will remain for a long time, much as the desire to acquire an item that is “authentic.”

Technological advancements can provide more opportunities to bring your artistic visions to life, if you understand how it works and how to use it responsibly.


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 last two years.

Consumers have more freedom and choices than ever before. Safety has become the new trust as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers 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 points. Instead of pushing for sales, it’s time to consider building solid relationships with your audience 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 notifications on your mobile devices regularly instead of working on that project you know would be impactful.

When you work towards changing your behaviours and building habits 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 your privacy.

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.

Make sure that the information collected about you – that is shared and used came from sources you can trust and is governed by at least a baseline privacy legislation.


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 lower-income nations. The cost of living is lower in these places. As such, workers in these regions are willing to accept 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 in areas other than your price.

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


6. Financial insecurity

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

The past two years 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 build your wealth through long-term investing.

I’ve 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 (forthe recordI’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

Judging from major and global current events, economists may generally agree that we’re headed for a recession. Regardless, I hope you are aware of the challenges highlighted and be well prepared to tackle them.

Rest assured, doors of opportunities will open up for you if you remain optimistic and be responsible for your own security and the progress of your creative endeavours.

Are you coping well so far? Feel free to share your thoughts.


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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