Your Travel Companions

The creative person is a jazz musician (improvising and experimenting) living in a pop music world (formula thinking, tried and true). When the two worlds collide, there can be a fusion and some pretty impressive music, or an explosion.

Why are some people so difficult to deal with? There are several reasons, among them the fear of change. These are not confident people. It could be the enormous amount of pressure people are under. Think about films and the mixture of big budgets, tight deadlines, collaboration and egomania and you get a fairly combustible mix. It is safer to do it the way it was successful before.

It could be the bottom line people (stockholders, CEO’s, middle management types) who want to squeeze one more penny out of every project. Which means you won’t get enough time, money, staff, or support to do the job right.

Creative people want to make something impressive, something to be proud of, damn the costs. The innovator (that’s you) is often more concerned with the work than the bureaucracy and does not deal well with paperwork, punctuality, policy and other left-brain rules and regulations. Through compromise, things can work out, but they can also turn ugly quick.

This is reality. If you want to see your work produced, you have to learn to deal with management types, committees and idiots. At the same time, it’s important to take steps to minimize their (negative) effect on you. Two steps, in fact: First minimize interaction with them; communicate through mails. Second, use behavior modification techniques; if they start saying something negative, LEAVE.


Who are these people? This quiz will help you find and weed out the worst offenders. On a piece of paper, write your name and circle it. Around you, write in your friends/clients/co-workers. Circle each one and draw lines to connect them to you. Try to include all the people you spend time with. Think about your recent interactions with these people. Inside the circle, under each name, fill in a happy face (they are positive people), a sad face (negative people, but ones you still want in your life) or a crazy face (they drive you crazy); this last category comprises the ones to get out of your life if at all possible. You might want to think again about those sad faces, too. Every negative person in your life slows you down, holds you back and affects your own happiness and success.

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project,  a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.


Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences