I had been struggling for the last few weeks to come up with an idea and pitch for a project (for our ‘summer task’ university assignments). The problem is, I don’t have a specific idea in mind for a project – and for the ones I do come up with, I don’t feel particularly inspired. It turns out, it’s more important for me to help someone else. Maybe I don’t trust myself if I am doing things for myself – but I am always much more disciplined when having an outside motivator; what is more: most of the ideas I do come up with are not about ‘what to do’ but ‘how to do something’.
It may sound too pretentious or self-centered, but I think the biggest ‘project’ in my life is currently experimenting, learning and sharing the knowledge. I am not an inventor or creator – I rather feel I am a mediator; a medium for helping ideas get shared, developed, and brought to life.
I don’t consider myself as a particularly creative person in the classic sense of ‘creating something new’. I am not obsessed with visual ideas or images; I don’t wake up in the middle of the night with new melodies in my mind. I do, however, see myself as a creative problem solver – I find creative ways to do things, and I am motivated and inspired by other people’s ways to tackle problems; by learning, experimenting, applying the knowledge and sharing it with others. Give me a problem, answer a few of my questions, and we will most likely find a creative solution together, or at least ideas how to get started and what to try out.
For me, the process is very important, and I think of myself as someone who can grasp the basics and the framework of a creative project relevantly easy. I am technical enough to be able to understand and help at each stage of the process – from idea development, through planning and pre-production, to getting hands-on with the production, then polishing and post-production, and then delivering and marketing.
Although I am not particularly creative, I think of myself as someone who can understand creative people. I can quickly get to know the members of a team well enough so I can understand what talents they have, what they are motivated by, and how to try and channel their creative energy in a direction that is the most beneficial for the project. I am motivated by collaboration and I am feeling fulfilled when helping an idea come to life.
I help people around me with feedback, ideas and planning. We discuss and collaborate on all sorts of things – from a cover letter and how to approach a job application, through creative ways to communicate an idea, to how to make the best of a business project.
Working with me means always having a person to rely on who can give a second opinion, help with troubleshooting, have a clear idea of what the project looks like at each stage, and a partner to brainstorm and discuss ideas. When people decide to work with me and trust me, they have a dependable person with a (hopefully) professional attitude, to whom they can leave the organizational and logistic part of the project and focus on what they can do best – being creative, experimenting, and bringing their vision to life.
I guess one way to look at working with me is to call it ‘having a professional collaborator’. Once I understand an idea (and make sure I communicate with the people at each stage of the idea development), I am 100 % invested in making it happen.
If the person is not yet clear on what their idea exactly is, I help them to get clear – asking questions, going through each detail with them. I’ve found that once you can explain the idea (be it to me or someone else), in all its details, potential problems and possible solutions, when you are clear about the aims of the project and how to get there, it becomes much easier to create a realistic plan and follow it all the way to success.
So I don’t have a dream project. But I can help make your dream project happen.