Monday, August 10, 2015

5 Traits of Successful Creatives

“I believe that God has put gifts and talents and ability on the inside of every one of us. When you develop that and you believe in yourself and you believe that you're a person of influence and a person of purpose, I believe you can rise up out of any situation.” – Joel Osteen

Every day I meet creative Christians looking to figure out a path to making things work. They are looking for the answers to how to be successful with their talent, when others can’t find the secret recipe and just give it up.

It’s a long road for those of us who want to live out our creative life, and to get through it, I think you need five things.

1. Purpose

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill

One of the first things we have to know is the why. Sure, you know you want to sing, or paint, or dance, but why is it important? Just to make yourself feel good? That’s not a wrong answer. To please God who gave you the talent? Also a completely valid purpose.

As Christians, we sometimes want to use our talents to bring people to Christ, or set a good example. But just so you know, this isn’t mandatory. For some reason, we are told if we don’t use our gifts only for God’s glory they are wasted. I’m not sure He requires this. We can do a lot for the kingdom with our spirit, words, teaching, and other things that our creativity opens the doors to.

2. Passion

Of the five things here, this may be the most important. If you’ve lost it, it’s imperative to get it back. It’s the one thing we can’t teach people or make them do.

Only you can have the passion for this. The fire in the belly that make you get up early, stay up late, and work harder at your craft than anyone else.

“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you're passionate about something, then you're more willing to take risks.” – Yo-Yo Ma

3. Optimism

The power of positive is an important part of lasting as a creative throughout your life. If you don’t believe things are going to work out and that you can be successful, well you likely won’t.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

I am successful because I believe I will be. It seems silly, but it helps.

4. Persistence

These last two go hand in hand. I talk a lot about not quitting. The creative people I know that have success are the ones who keep evolving. They keep learning and are insatiable about getting better and finding new ways to do things. They will not take no for an answer for long, and always want the next level of quality.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

5. Patience

Well, if you’ve read this far, you already have this. You wait, and watch. You stand pat while others fold. You keep doing what you do as others quit and look for greener pastures.

I’ve said many times, the reason I have become successful is that I have stayed with it as the years go by. Many times I get work just because people ask if I am still doing it.

You may be an artist and just by staying an artist get called for an opportunity because someone remembered a previous show. You may be a writer and get a gig writing because you have kept your stuff out there in front of people.

Any of these five things mark the difference between people who had some talent but never did anything with it, and the creative person who lives a full life happily creating.

“What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one's ease or vanity, or uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.” – Victor Cherbuliez

Have a great week!

Eric Copeland is a producer, composer, and author mainly because he still is. He works hard at all five of these to succeed as a full time creative person. If you’d like to talk more about your creative life, contact us here.

If you are a Christian music artist or songwriter and would like to find more success, come talk to us at


  1. Very confirming article! I just posted this morning on my FB page about believing in yourself & sticking to your guns!

  2. Great list! - PPOPP! Really wonderful focused encouragement. So helpful on this journey. Thank you!

  3. To add...I believe when glory to God is the purpose...everyone wins. Because the Glory of God gives everything light. Rev. 21:23

  4. Thanks for being a persistent voice of encouragement for songwriters everywhere!


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About the Author

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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at