How to Turn Your Creativity into a Career

Strategies that you can use to create a full-time income.

Matt Lillywhite
Dec 30, 2020 · 4 min read
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Photo by Clayton Webb on Unsplash

“Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to someone wanting to create a full-time career from their creative passion?”

I was asked that question last night during a podcast interview. The host was curious to know my answer as I managed to create a full-time income and travel the world before the age of 22.

I took a few moments to think of a meaningful response. And then, after a few seconds of formulating an answer in my head, I began to list a couple of practical things that people can do to turn their creativity into a career.

Here they are.

Replace Your Short-Term Mindset With Long-Term Thinking.

This is something that took me a while to wrap my head around as I used to think that success could be achieved within a couple of days. But once I did, my entire mindset changed for the better.

There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Because in 99.99% of cases, someone’s success will have been 10 years in the making. Quoting the entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk:

“In the grand scheme of things, eight or nine months is nothing. Even a year is nothing. Nothing happens overnight. When people tell me I’m “lucky”, that I’ve had so much “luck”, I get so frustrated. Luck has nothing to do with it. I worked weekends and holidays every day starting at fourteen years old to make this happen. I think back to all the time I put in of real, hard work before I saw any of the benefits.”

Sure, you might see a YouTuber enjoying the privilege of traveling the world and having millions of followers right now. However, fans rarely see the sleepless nights that creatives often have to endure in order to get to wherever they want to be.

Let me tell you something that might be a hard pill for you to swallow. You’re (probably) not going to create a full-time income from your creative passion overnight. But if you continually put one foot in front of the other, you’ll eventually reach your desired destination. Darren Hardy said it best:

“Since your outcomes are all a result of your moment-to-moment choices, you have incredible power to change your life by changing those choices. Step by step, day by day, your choices will shape your actions until they become habits, where practice makes them permanent.”

Consider Where You Could Be In 90 Days.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a formula that you can implement to guarantee success in whatever field you’re in. Because the truth is that there’s a variety of reasons as to why many people don’t succeed.

Maybe you don’t put in the necessary work to achieve your goals. Perhaps you’re a terrible artist and are completely delusional about your creative talents. All of that is possible. So you might want to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself how badly you want to turn your creativity into a career.

But providing you still want to go ahead and create a full-time income from your passion, I’m going to tell you what worked for me.

A 90-Day blueprint is something I used during my first few days as a writer. In essence, it’s a step-by-step plan of what you’ll do to develop the necessary skills & experience to become successful.

I said to myself that I’d write a new article every single day for the first few months. I also learned from talented writers such as Ayodeji Awosika to understand how to format my posts and become a better writer in a short amount of time.

And sure enough, the strategy worked. Learning a lot of new things in a small amount of time enabled me to make more progress than I ever thought possible. Within four months of deciding to become a full-time writer, I could pay rent and buy groceries with the income earned from my articles.

  • If you want to be a writer, use your 90 days to learn how to communicate your thoughts in a way that’s easy for your audience to understand.
  • If you want to be a YouTuber, use your 90 days to understand the platform’s algorithm so you can make interesting videos that reach a massive audience.
  • If you want to be a singer, use your 90 days to practice different vocal notes, scales, and anything else that might be useful in a variety of genres. In essence, become versatile and show everyone in the music industry what you’re capable of doing.

You get the idea. Figure out where you want to be, and then identify the actions that will enable you to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time. In the words of the author, James Clear:

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

Once I began applying the above points, It was much easier to create a full-time income from my creative passion. And once you start doing the same, I’m confident you’ll see huge benefits, as well. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.


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Matt Lillywhite

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A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (

Matt Lillywhite

Written by



A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (

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