This post is taken from the talk I gave at Creatives Hub Live! London on 16th July 2013.
Creatives Hub Vision
Let me start by saying in an ideal world there would be no need for Creatives Hub. There would be no need for specifically setup mini-hubs -small 10 people or less accountability groups. There would be no need for podcasts aimed at inspiring people to get stuff done. Getting out of the perils of procrastination, indecision or fear.
There would be no need because our natural networks would be working well. Our family units would be strong, our relationships would be healthy; we would be spending more time connecting with other human beings, than connecting with our devices. We would be having fewer deeper relationships rather than a multiplicity of low level of relationship which Social media can sometimes lead to.
We would be spending time on our own because we choose to – not because we fear picking up the phone to make contact with other human beings or because we want to avoid conflict, or generally lack confidence.
In this ideal world, we would be making more things. We’d be writing more books, painting more pictures, starting more businesses. We’d just get stuff done. That’s not to say this isn’t going on now as it is, but I believe there would be even more.
I don’t know about you but I love stories. I’m currently in the middle of writing a science fiction book -and Its been a fascinating process. So I’m thinking a lot about stories, how they’re constructed, what to put in, what to leave out.
So, I want to tell you the short personal story of how creatives hub came about.
I’d often had a fairly large network. I come from a big family, I’d always been fairly heavily involved in the churches I’d gone to in the past, I’d had various jobs where I was in front of many people such as lecturing at a university and running short courses for local colleges. You get to meet a lot of people this way.
Around 2009-10 a lot of things changed
- I’d not long stopped going to a large community church in St Albans that I’d been part of for several years.
- I was spending at least three hours of my day -four days a week commuting too-and-from a job in Basingstoke.
- I moved into a flat on my own where as I’d always previously been living with other people.
- I was then made redundant from the Basingstoke job in 2011, and months after that I had to sell my car.
Now thats not exactly a story of someone hard up, but that’s not the point. The point is from having a large network of people around me and the ability to get about quickly, in a short space of time I found myself spending way too much time on my own.
Job wise it was ok as I’d always been freelancing as a web and graphic designer in the background so post redundancy I just ramped that up. But my process of working from home meant I’d chat to clients, get the info I needed and just crack on with the project. So I still didn’t need to have much contact with other people.
My creativity was not helped, my inspiration was at an all time low. And all those ideas I constantly had, those dreams I wanted to achieve were in danger of being lost in a malaise of de-motivation. And although I got a steady flow of work, it would not be enough to keep me going for too long as a sole source of income. But, it was when I was consistently spending several days without leaving my flat that I knew I had to do something.
Now, whilst I wouldn’t say I was depressed, -despite one depression app saying I should get help! (-and its amazing that there’s an app for everything isn’t it?), I was certainly quite consistently low and lacking motivation for many things. If you can relate to some of that and want to know more of my thoughts round that time, I wrote a blog post on creatives hub website a while back teasingly entitled “meeting the checkout girl at Morrison’s was the highlight of my week“.
And I’m not the only one. In a recent article on the BBC discussing NEETS, people Not in Education or Training a poll by the UCU lecturers’ union reveals that many feel isolated and are lacking in confidence:
- 40% feel they are not part of society
- 36% believe they will never have a chance of getting a job. One third have suffered depression
- 37% rarely go outside the house
- 39% suffer from stress.
This is not a good situation to be in and change is a must.
Ok. So what did I do? How did I get out of that malaise? Well, I dusted myself off. Stopped feeling sorry for myself and looked around for some places to connect with others.
I found some local and not as local networking events and went along. In a short space of time I met a copywriter with whom we fairly instantly connected and started working together and now I think we’re on our seventh or eighth client. I met Claire at Drinks and Links who you’ll hear from later and is now involved with Creatives Hub. And I met many of you. I got to chat about my ideas and run them by people and listen to other peoples ideas and experiences. So my network was once again growing, and growing quite rapidly. My confidence and motivation was heading in the right direction.
Now whatever situation you go through in life you then start to see many others in similar situations. Its like buying a yellow car. All you notice is yellow cars.
I got chatting to many people over the next few months and regularly now, who find themselves in the following situations:
- They find it hard or sometimes a hassle to connect with other people
- They struggle for motivation
- They often having lots of ideas but don’t achieve many -if any
- They Procrastinate. A lot!
- They often revert to Facebook and Twitter as go-to distraction methods
- They feel like they’re not creative
- They think they have little or no hope of making a living out of doing what they love
I say ‘they’ in all of that, but of course you could easily read “me” or “i” as all of them relate to me and I’m sure to many of you.
Now, imagine yourself a year from now, how far you could take your ideas with a group of like-minded people around you urging, cheering you on. Imagine if you could rid yourself of the perils of procrastination and get stuff done. Imagine if you could recognise your innate creativity and produce better more confident work.
Imagine if in a years time you started that project, that initiative you always wanted too. Go on. Imagine…
Well that’s why I started creatives hub. I wanted to create something that would provide as our slogan says ‘inspiration to ignite your creative life‘. To help people connect with others on a regular basis, to provide that accountability group that has now been so beneficial to me and I know others. To encourage people to go for it with their ideas -to risk failure, but not let it hinder them. To have stories to tell. For me it’s about providing opportunities for others to thrive.
So that’s the vision for creatives hub. We want to see hundreds of mini-hubs all over the world with members inspiring each other to get stuff done, to have a growing network of podcasts allowing people who have something to say to worry about saying it rather than worrying about the technology. To encourage people through events like this and our workshops, coaching and training events to make a difference both to themselves and to others.
And you’re here at the start. And we thank you for that. We have one mini-hub, two podcasts (though soon to be three), run our first CHLive event and a workshop that we haven’t even delivered yet. And you know what? We might fail. But what we certainly will do is try.