#CreatorStories: Bad Habits To Leave Behind in 2023 As a Creator

The arrival of a new year is a great time to reflect and have a small tete-a-tete about life, where you’re headed, the things that worked in the previous year, and the things that didn’t.

Sometimes, these reviews make us see patterns of behavior that are not becoming for The Greatness we are trying to achieve, which means that we must inevitably leave them behind. 

For this week’s #CreatorStories, we asked creators to tell us the things they were choosing to leave behind in 2023 (and which you probably should, too). Here are five major dropouts, and then a few more!

1. Indiscipline, Inconsistency, and Village People

Sometimes the difference between you and 100,000 followers, a book deal, numerous brand endorsements, and speaking engagements is how disciplined you are in your craft.

Blowing hot today and cold tomorrow is not going to get you really far as a creator. Remember the old folktale of the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise was only able to win because he stayed consistent throughout, even though he was a lot slower than the hare. 

Valerie, a Storyteller and Brand Strategist says it best: “You can not overemphasize the importance of discipline. The mood will change, circumstances will not always be ideal, but you need discipline to stay on course, build consistency, and triumph in the face of adversity.” 

Chioma, a Content Marketer echoes this thought well, as she shares why she’s leaving indiscipline behind in 2023. “I have such a bad habit of starting a project and just dumping it later on. I see so many people in the creative industry who I look up to and these guys didn’t get to where they are today without consistency. So in 2024, I’m breaking every yoke of laziness, procrastination, and “stopping my goals  when something starts to feel too hard,” whether my village people like it or not.”

Way to go!
Village people – 0
Disciplined Creators – 10000000 

2. Doing Rush Rush Work, Impatience 

Good things take time. As a creator, taking your time to do good work will save you unnecessary errors, failures, and even money! In 2023 we are dropping impatience as a habit, and the people and environments that enable it. Including those clients who expect supernatural speed. 

In 2024, we are going to be asserting boundaries and accepting that producing good work requires enough time.  Lydia, the Social Media Manager here at Selar, describes rush work in a very relatable way. In her words, “You want to create one month of content in one hour? Who are you lying to? Where is the quality? The strategy?” 

Sometimes, we also need to assert these boundaries with ourselves and remember to trust the process. Grace, a Community Manager and SEO expert told us that 2023 taught her patience. “I had to be patient with myself when it felt like my career was not clear to me anymore. I had to be patient through upskilling. It’s a lot, but patience tops the list.”

Don’t let anybody pressure you. As we’ve unanimously agreed this year, “no gree for anybody.” Take your time, and the quality of your work will shine. 

3. Shyness, Self-Doubt, Undervaluing Your Work

2024 is the year we are not leaving money on the table. If there is anything of value that we can do, we are going to take advantage of it and charge our full worth. A lot of people are being paid for doing nothing, and yet, you have all these amazing skills and you are too shy to ask for what you deserve? That’s crazy!

Lisa, an Influencer is saying goodbye to doubting herself. “In 2024, I am leaving self-doubt behind. I am made for so much. My words, opinions, and doings have value. So I’m not going to allow self-doubt to cripple me again. This girl is going places. I have to believe in it.”

Nanascripts, a Digital Creator is doing the same thing, too. “I am leaving behind doubting myself. Being shy about my work. Not selling myself out well. I experienced growth in 2023, but it could have been better if I didn’t do these things.” 

While speaking with Nusaybah, a Social Media Manager, she gave practical insight into what valuing your work can look like, especially in the creative industry, where a lot of growth is tied to strategy. “In 2024, I’m going to draw a line to differentiate an inquiry and a consultation. With the nature of my job, many people usually ask so many questions to “test your abilities” but lowkey they are getting a free consultation. Moving forward, I’m going to limit my responses to questions from potential clients and if they ask deep questions, I’ll find a way to answer them without giving too much away.” 

Know your worth dears, charge it, and add tax.

Check out our Year in Review: 4 Billion Naira Paid and Almost 1M Users, It’s Still Day 1!

4. Overthinking – The Paralysis of Analysis 

A wise man once said, “overthinking no fit solve problem,” and we have to agree with him. As a creator, you are meant to create, not overthink yourself into a state of inactivity. Sadly, a lot of creators end up thinking about creating, more than actually doing the creation. 

This kind of behavior should die in 2023. There’s no two ways about it. 

Pamilerin, a YouTube creator tells us that overthinking has been very limiting for her. “In 2024, I am leaving behind ​overthinking my content. I used to do this a lot but it’s limiting my creativity.”

Like Pamilerin, many creators spend time that should be used creating content, to think about how their content will not be good enough. All this does is stop them from creating, which in turn reduces their ability to make an impact and earn more money. Melody, a content writer, and marketer, echoes these sentiments. “I’m leaving behind overthinking my content and job. I’m getting rid of thinking small and hiding behind fear.”

5. Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results

You cannot keep adopting the same patterns, habits, and routines, and expecting different results. The times are changing and you need to change, too. This is the only way to grow.

Praise, a Content Marketer and Strategist puts it better. “You can’t continue to expect a different result from doing the same thing. Whatever your goal is, find actionable ways to bring it to life. My goal this year was to build a community and improve my skills. So I joined a project that helped me do just that. In summary, involve yourself in things that help you grow and meet your set goals.” 

Tomi, a Creator, is also letting go of the status quo as she enters the new year. “I’m leaving behind not pushing myself to learn more, do more, and explore. It cost me a lot because I just remained stagnant and didn’t grow. Also, self-doubt held me back. But never again, I’m that shit!”

See: Selar 100: Top Creators in Africa in 2023

And Now, Some Honourable Mentions:

There were so many amazing answers, and so many gems to pick from, so here are a few more that you should probably consider adding to your dropout list. 

  1. Mistaking Frequency for Consistency: I am leaving behind mistaking consistency with posting every day. Pick a number and stick to it. That’s consistency. – Lydia, Social Media Marketer.
  2. Bad spending habits: Impulsive buying dealt with me in 2023. I was mostly broke and I didn’t have any savings. I spent my money on things I mostly didn’t need in the long run or things that I later got bored of and moved to the next flashy thing. Then when the time came for me to spend money on things that would impact me positively, I didn’t have any cash left spare. From my experiences last year, I learned to budget and make an Excel sheet of all my spending. Also, because I have the cash, does not mean I can afford it so I need to be calming down. – Praise, Filmmaker.
  3. Not Investing in Tools: I’m giving up looking for free tools up and down. Yes, it’s okay to use free tools but if I need to pay for some tools to optimize for my best work, I’m definitely going to do that. – Favour, Content Marketer.
  4. Not demanding pay first: Last year, I got scammed of over ₦1.5m from ghostwriting. This year, I’m leaving behind doing any work without first receiving pay. I’m also leaving behind doing free work for people. – Sekhani, Creative Writer.

It’s a new year, and a new opportunity to do amazing things. If you’re looking for where to start, we have a selection of blog posts that will help you figure it out. 

  1. 4 Creator Stories You Should Revisit While Preparing for 2024
  2. 4 Tips For Overcoming Your Fear of Posting on Social Media
  3. 5 Tips For Starting Out as a Creator (from successful creators)
  4. 10 Best Software & Tools for Easy Course Creation (Beginner Toolkit)
  5. Content Creation: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting Compelling Social Media Posts
  6. 10 Best Digital Products to Sell Online