Leading a creative team through startup growth is a pretty challenging challenging. My role has shifted from being responsible for the business alone to being responsible for the growth and development of a group of individuals- with a good deal of overlapping purpose, but with a lot of individual aims, as well.
With any job, you’d ideally like to be progressing technically (getting better at the job at hand) while also building in more personal fulfillment.
Maybe your bosses aren’t asking you these things (or you’re not asking yourself in the case of self-employment) but I think it’s good to do so at least a few times a year.
I find that weaving the personal with the professional (though it takes paying a lot more attention) can go really far in keeping a team engaged for the long-term. And for us, thankfully, we’ve begun to build a little space in our business lives- not only considering today’s tasks but being able to pick our heads up and see a tiny bit into the future- as all successful businesses must do at some point.
Here’s a look at our personal / professional overlaps. Take a moment and answer these questions for yourself- and maybe adjust your plans, talk to your boss or take that leap that you’ve always wanted.
PROFESSIONAL + PERSONAL OVERLAP QUESTIONS:
Professional Purpose: What are you meant to do in this world, with regard to skillset / contribution to the world?
Role: How does your current job define your position within your company?
Current Focus: What projects are you focused on now? What learning process are you in at the current moment?
Current Challenge: What makes your focus challenging? If you’re in the middle of learning new skills or meeting a big goal, what’s your personal challenge?
Personal Purpose: What do you feel like you’re meant to do on this earth?
Once you get these answered, you’ll be able to know more about if your position will support your growth, you’ll have talking points to bring to a boss or manager and maybe you’ll even have evidence that might allow you to leave a job or adjust something in your life to make a change.
LIZ PAINTER, TEAM CAPTAIN
Professional Purpose: I desire to help businesses become advocates and create social change. I help them come together to create systematic change. I’m interested in balancing the meaning of our lives with our actual to-do lists. Purposeful work within the day to day is something I spend a lot of time thinking about.
Role: Team Captain, responsible for ensuring a people-focused workplace exists and continues to evolve WHILE supporting the business.
Current Focus: Building structure, creating processes, turning Team Flea into a team full of human / creative connection.
Current Challenge: Getting caught up in the day to day tasks.
Personal Purpose: Helping people care for themselves so they can be purposefully connected to their life’s goals.
SAMMY FRIEDMAN, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Professional Purpose: Intentional generation (ideas / cash flow / products), with a lot of structure and strategy.
Role: Director of Ops, the intentional structuring (and analysis) of our cash flow, products and energy.
Current Focus: Getting vendor stuff off my plate and taking on the large-scale financial world / operational world. Shedding my previous role as Creative Community Manager and getting used to my new role.
Current Challenge: Taking time off, making more sustainable habits. Relinquishing some control. Creating tech solutions that support business as well as the humans using them.
Personal Purpose: Intentional space for myself. Helping other people act on their why rather than autopilot. Purpose-based auto-piloting. Human being versus human doing.
STEPH SHELDON, FOUNDER + CREATIVE CEO
Professional Purpose: To help Cleveland become the most creative it can be, to Defend Creativity in large.
Role: CEO / Team Coach, where my goal is to be the one who knows everything about us, so that I can make the best decisions for us all, very quickly.
Current Focus: Planning + Product Development
Current Challenge: Prioritizing Business growth that isn’t at the expense of personal growth, prioritizing personal growth that isn’t at the expense of business growth.
Personal Purpose: Defending Creativity
SAM PEARSON, BUILD CAPTAIN
Professional Purpose: Making the world a bigger place for people to experience. Seeing the beauty in the small moments. Actively seeking positivity. Providing spaces that make special moments possible.
Role: Builder of our dreams.
Current Focus: Building out an experience at Night Market for shoppers and for Team Flea.
Current Challenge: Getting good at Trello (project management) + creating process that allow building to happen with efficiency but also with true collaboration (with my team) that helps the business grow.
Personal Purpose: Make things come to life. Making creative experiences come to life by seeing what you already have and making it special.
KATIE RUSH, EVENT COORDINATOR
Professional Purpose: Collaboration, working with lots of different people, understanding what someone is intending to do and how I can help them get there. Helping creative people make their dreams a reality.
Role: Coordinator- where my goal is to demystify the things that scare people and also help them plan effectively.
Current Focus: Becoming knowledgeable in permitting + all the technical aspects of running this type of collaborative business.
Current Challenge: Stepping back to see the big picture, while also staying on task.
Personal Purpose: Making people’s impossible dreams seem possible, helping people follow their hearts, by encouraging them and also following my own.
AUBREE BAUER, ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Professional Purpose: Bringing creative vision to life more + collaborate with others in doing so.
Role: Artist in Residence // Bringing a more handmade / artist touch to the group and the brand.
Current Focus: Using Trello, studying the brand of Cleveland Flea, getting to understand the brand cadence and what is needed for business / marketing.
Current Challenge: Creating structure.
Personal Purpose: Bringing creativity into people’s lives. Opening up their imaginations more. Staying honest to myself.
Steph Sheldon writes about business, team flea and the personal world of becoming a CEO or the boss of your own life. Find her over HERE for more on business and personal development as a creative individual.