Whenever someone is being hired to do a job the client usually wants to know their credentials. What makes them qualified to do this job and do it well. In today’s day and age where many people have created careers based on their creative talent, the question still remains:
What makes you qualified?
So what makes a creative entrepreneur qualified? As a creative entrepreneur myself, I’ve grappled with the reasons behind what makes me qualified to do what I do. I’ve been organizing since the age of 6, but it wasn’t until 2015 that I decided to turn it into a business. I’ve been coaching and motivating people to reach their goals since college, but it wasn’t until 2014 I became a certified business and life coach.
Are my certified coaching skills better than a coach not certified who has coached for 15+ years?
Are my organizing skills that I've developed since childhood less than someone who’s a certified Professional Organizer?
WHAT DETERMINES HOW GOOD YOU ARE IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
It all boils down to what you can deliver. Are you able to produce the results that were intended? When you produce good results, word travels. Whether you’ve been trained in an academic setting or not, if you deliver (especially over deliver) you are sure to get noticed.
WHEN IS CERTIFICATION VALUABLE?
When you're just breaking out in your industry, people may have a hard time believing what you say. Certifications help people pay attention. You wouldn't take this baby seriously, but if he said he was a baby genius and studied at Harvard you'd be all ears wouldn't you? (He hasn't btw..studied at Harvard that is. But he's absolutely a baby genius.)
Now certification is helpful for opening certain doors. When you’re certified, you then become part of a respected community. People look to these communities for referrals. You may have been dancing since the age of 4, but if you graduated from Julliard School of Dance, opportunities may be greater for you initially.
I insisted I needed training in coaching, because there were skills I wasn’t aware of how to use. I didn’t feel confident enough in my abilities to coach someone on their goals. (And your confidence is everything. Let’s be real, it’s confidence that got Trinidad James his 15 seconds of fame) 15 seconds or not,
confidence gets you places doubt cannot.
Certification Builds Respect for Your Industry
When it came to organizing, I felt confident in my abilities to transform someone’s space into a well-oiled haven of order. I didn’t “need” to join NAPO and go through their certification process to call myself a Professional. Buuuuuut the more I learned about the industry, the more I realized how much I didn’t know. The more serious I began to take organizing as a career instead of merely a hobby, the more I began to respect my talent. And the more I wanted to invest in it.
Certification is another word for training
Every industry doesn't have a certification process. How do you become a certified singer? You don't. Certification is another word for training. What training have you done to increase your level of expertise? What classes have you taken? What seminars have you gone to? Who have you been coached or mentored by? Every skill needs some level of training. The more you invest in your skill the more others respect what you do, the more YOU respect what you do.
Needless to say, I started my certification process this year. You can’t become officially certified until you’ve done over 1,500 hours of paid work within three years, taken a couple of tests, completed a few courses, blah blah blah (Interested in becoming a CPO? Click here for the certification process). I’m not certified yet, but I’m well on my way.
Certification Expands Your Network
Everyone has heard, to expand your net-worth, expand your network. As cliche as it sounds, it's true. The more people you know, the more resources you have access to. The more people will think of you when their in need of your product, talent, or service. The more people you can reach out to when you're in need of something outside your industry.
Since I decided to take this leap, the world of organizing has expanded greatly. I’ve attracted more business and my network & net worth has increased in value.
HOW TO FEEL CONFIDENT NO MATTER WHAT STAGE YOU’RE IN
IV is completely confident he can climb off the bed. I quickly kill his dreams because I'm not ready to see him bust his head. It never stops him trying.
The more I grow as a Professional the more I respect what I do. The more serious I take my craft, the more serious people take my business.
Although I’m at the beginning stage of my business, I’ve been organizing for YEARS, and there are some areas I have down pact. Like nurseries/ baby rooms, bedrooms and home offices. It’s important to identify what you do well right now.
Whatever you do great in the present, do more of it until you become great at something else. People can’t turn away from greatness even if they try. No matter where you are in your career, stretch yourself to evolve in other areas. This is how you become great at something else. But never think you have to be great in all areas to start anywhere. Focus on what you do best right now until you become better. Because you WILL GET BETTER.
HOW DO YOU BECOME AN EXPERT WHETHER YOU’RE CERTIFIED OR NOT
To become more knowledgeable and confident about your craft you have to dive into it. We all have been given a skill, but it wasn’t given to us perfected. If you want to use these skills to make a living you must sharpen them. Meaning you must practice, practice, practice.
“You can’t pay someone to do your push-ups for you”
Respect your craft, learn your industry, find what you love within it and get to know it like you know the favorite character of your favorite TV show. God knows I know Carry Bradshaw like we grew up together. That's my bestie.
DO ENTREPRENEURS NEED CREDENTIALS OR NOT?
Absolutely, but you can determine what makes you certified. Don't diminish your skill or industry by not taking it serious enough to invest in it. I met a speaker, Marcus Y. Rosier, last week who dedicated 2 1/2 hours each day since October 2010 to developing his skill. If you see him speak, you can tell. He's phenomenal. What you invest in your skill will always show when it comes time to perform. Make sure it's something you're proud of.