There are two sides to being a creative person.

The first is the act of creating. This often starts in childhood when our imagination finds its way into a safe space: a canvas, a microphone, a journal, a computer. We find somewhere that prompts an openness within ourselves, and it's from there that our favorite work emerges. We discover our own unique voice.

The second is the act of sharing whatever it is we create--or, in most standard terms, "selling" what we create. Once you've made something of value, something that means the world to you, how do you go about getting it in front of people? For many creatives, this is a sensitive topic, because we are raised to believe that money somehow dilutes whatever it is we are working on. And so what happens is this divide occurs: the starving artists, and the savvy marketers.

Most creative types are either one or the other. They are either the really brilliant artist with absolutely no sense of how to market, brand, and effectively share his or her work with the world (and/or usually get screwed by signing the wrong contract in the process of trying), or they are the savvy marketer who makes great claims to be an innovative, creative genius, but produces work with the depth of a kitchen sink.

Look at any industry-leading creative minds and see how they mastered both: the act of creating from the heart as well as understanding how to effectively and strategically take themselves to market.

The pitfall so many creative types fall into is that they never find balance in the middle. The really hardcore artists can't even allow themselves to have the conversation of how to "market" themselves, because they think anything they do will somehow devalue their craft. And the really savvy marketers (the advertising industry is a perfect example of this) throw around words and titles holding the word "creative" at the forefront, but aren't doing anything even remotely creative.

And so what happens is that creative people's greatest obstacle becomes themselves. Artists don't want to think as marketers, and marketers don't want to think as artists. But the truth is, you need both. If you are a talented artist and no one knows it, that's unfortunate--not just for you, but the rest of the world. And if you are a talented marketer, really good at getting a sub-par product in front of a lot of people, that's also unfortunate--not just for you, but the rest of the world.

The act of "being creative" is all about first coming from the heart, that original place in yourself you discovered as a kid that made you love whatever it is you do. And the second half of that is then learning the art of sharing your work with the world.

You need both. You must be ambidextrous.