14 creative entrepreneur leaders give advice for a successful 2018

As business coaches for creatives, we chat a lot with our clients about what they should be focusing on and when they should be focusing on those things.  But, there isn’t a magic formula that works exactly the same for everyone. There is so much to consider (our clients’ strengths, their experience, their goals, their audience, their lifestyle, what’s working best in the industry, what’s working best in other industries, etc.) when it comes to creating that custom game plan.


Maybe you already have your Word of the Year! Maybe you’ve sort of sifted through what you think you should/want to/need to focus on in 2018? Whether you have that tidy roadmap yet or not, we recommend soaking up some free and incredible advice from some of the top leaders and educators in creative spaces.


We asked some of our favorite people (some just happen to be friends, too!) leading the creative industries one question in hopes that their answers, all compiled together would give you…


  1. Encouragement as you head into 2018
  2. Direction as you’re trying to decide how you want this year to go
  3. Permission to figure out what works best for you and not do it all
  4. Hall pass to skip some of the business mistakes they’ve/we’ve had to overcome
  5. Insight into what industry leaders are up to and seeing if those things spark creativity or clarity for you

And so, we asked these super smart entrepreneurs…


If you had to choose one thing creatives should focus on in 2018, what would it be?


Focus on what you don’t have to do! I didn’t realize until the last couple of years that if I truly wanted to grow my business, I had to think like a growing business. When I started paying my sister $15/hr to do some work two years ago, I never could have imagined the growth and freedom we would eventually experience! Make sure you create space and margin in your life for your big goals to happen! // Katelyn James



Don’t let dollar signs blind you from your mission. // Brooke Saxon-Spencer, Belong Magazine








For us, 2018 is all about structured flexibility. We’re going to set ambitious goals in every area of our life, and put a written plan in place to achieve every single one of them, while at the same time giving ourselves enough grace and margin to be flexible as we adapt to our new role as parents. // Amy & Jordan



Tune out all the noise and focus on your unique assignment here on this earth. // Lara Casey








Make time to connect with people you admire, connect with people you can offer advice to, and connect with people who encourage you and support you. Make a list of people you want to connect with in 2018 and make it happen! Say yes when people reach out for advice, and at the same time reach out yourself. // Joanna Waterfall, Yellow Conference



We need to focus on doing it differently. The more and more the industry grows and the more crowded the space gets, it’s more important now than ever to lean on the creative part of creative entrepreneur. The principles of marketing won’t change. But it’s time for us to master the principles, and then do them differently. How can we elevate our content? How can we give a more high-touch experience? What can we do that shakes things up? // Ashlyn Carter, Ashlyn Writes



Focus on building relationships and creating video content. // Davey & Krista







My biggest mistake in past years has been rushing into the year with so many to-dos, too many ideas and no sense of direction. 2017 was the first time I took time to plan, look ahead and figure out what worked for my business (not what was working for everyone else’s) and in return, it was my most fun and profitable year in business! There’s something to be said for stepping back, waiting and making intentional moves forward! // Kat Schmoyer, Creative at Heart Conference



Declutter. The constant jumble of excess stuff leads to such discontentment for me, so focusing on getting rid of what doesn’t matter to make more room for what does matter makes an enormous difference in not just my job satisfaction, but my bottom line as well. // Abby Grace




The phrase echoing in my head for 2018? Do the things you need to do. It may sound simple, but it’s hard work figuring out what those things are, what they aren’t (hello, essentialism!), and cultivating the discipline and accountability required to do them well…. hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, and beyond. But hey, the results will be worth it… right? // Jen Olmstead, Tonic Site Shop



Go after what makes you feel alive and take big risks to cross dreams off your list! Get off the sidelines and into the game! // Carrie Grace







Let’s focus on focus! Give your best time only to what moves the needle in your business (and real life!) and forget the rest. Routinely asking this question from Gary Keller (author of The One Thing) has revolutionized my approach to work… “What’s the one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” // Callie Lindsey




Celebrating and sharing what makes you you! You have something so special to offer, just by being who you are. Your unique approach to your business and client experience matters… so what can you do in 2018 to let your light shine? // Andra Barkey & Kelly Zugay, With Grace and Gold





Part a) What do you want to be known for? It’s a big question. But, what good is it to build a business around something that doesn’t include the answer to that question! Part b) Have a plan. A roadmap. We’re talking marketing. We’re talking strategy. We’re talking business moves that feel like the perfect representation of you and business moves that feel uncomfortable (maybe it’s using more video!?) that not many others are willing to do.  // Becky & Jesse Morquecho (Yours truly!), Idealust


What stands out to you? What lines up with how you want your year to go? What words jumped out at you? What inspired you to take a different approach to 2018? We’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂




Comments 7

  1. These are some of the things that stood out:
    Do the things you need to do
    Be you
    Do things that are intentional to make your business grow the right way
    Make a plan

  2. Kat nailed it. That’s exactly how I felt going into 2018…like I overwhelmed myself last year trying to do too many things and grow my business too fast. This year is all about intention, positivity, and patience.

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