Modelling success: A creative shortcut to better results

by | Apr 23, 2022

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Have you ever thought about modelling…? 

This may be a cliched chat-up line in the dating world, but applied with a little creativity and curiosity, it could well be a smart and valid shortcut to success.

So, if you’re looking for ways to fast-track your productivity and progress in your creative adventures, here’s a whistle-stop tour into the benefits of modelling success, and how you can begin to enjoy the magic yourself, ASAP.

The benefits of broadening your horizons

As an eternal Life Troubleshooter, I’m on a constant mission to improve things.

To that end, I’ve always enjoyed learning from other creative people, especially those who have mastered whatever I’m trying to achieve in my creative life, and life in general.

But one of my favourite tips from the wise and insightful Kylie Slavic is to learn from people outside of our particular industry or niche.

So, in my bid for more creative happiness and success for us all, I now make it a habit to learn from experts in a variety of subjects, ranging from health, business, relationships, finances, entrepreneurship and interior design – just a few of my passions beyond my creative pursuits.

And along the way, I’ve noticed a pattern that I feel will be helpful to anyone looking for more success in any kind of venture – especially those with Big Dreams

Across the many varied realms I’ve studied, there’s one common idea, which makes total sense – in fact it even seems blindingly obvious – and yet it can often get overlooked when we’re deeply focused on a project or challenge. 

The pattern I spotted was this:

If you keep doing what you’ve always done,
you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.

Maybe you’ve heard this before, and it seems so obvious – yet how often do we remember that if we want things to change, then things will have to, well…change.

modelling success spiral staircase

Self-realisation Vs The Comfort Zone

The trouble is, change is the difficult bit.

And understandably so – there are so many complex reasons why we do things the way we do.

For example, I’m currently reading the fascinating Quiet by Susan Cain and it’s just bursting with revelations about why I operate the way I do.

(It appears I am something of an introvert. My family are not exactly shocked…)

I find it enormously comforting to learn the causes behind my seemingly random or inexplicable actions.

I even was moved to tears when I first discovered my Myers-Briggs profile. (INFJ, in case you’re wondering.)

These eye-opening explanations can be really helpful in making sense of who we are.

yoga woman sunset modelling success

Doing things differently

But knowing why we do things our way doesn’t automatically change things.

For that, we need to do things differently.

There’s a famous quote attributed to Einstein, (aren’t most quotes?!), where he points out;

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing
over and over again and expecting different results.”

While there is comfort in the familiar, if our current actions aren’t creating the results we’re after, it makes sense that trying something new might be a good option.

So, if we’re craving more success in our creative endeavours or at least, signs of progress or improvement, it may be time to shake things up a bit.

But how…?

• • • 

Embracing change

One positive place to start is to embrace the prospect of doing it differently.

If the old way isn’t working, try a new way.

Be open to changing what you normally do.

If your current habits and responses aren’t taking you where you want to be, it’s time to reroute.

And one shortcut to more effective actions is the delicate art of modelling success…

hanging air plant modelling success

The Art of Modelling Success

For many creatives, the corporate world is a foreign creature, or perhaps a world they’d love to leave behind.

And yet there may be valuable lessons to learn from centuries of commercial success.

In the business world, smart companies are no stranger to the idea of modelling the success of others – discussions of business models occupy a great deal of the conversation in any modern business venture.

But what is modelling?

In the business realm, modelling is essentially looking at how successful businesses are operating and… copying them.

And why not?

If someone has discovered how to do something well, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time, just follow their lead.

If it’s a proven formula for the results you want, you don’t always need to be a pioneer and blaze your own trail – they’ve done the hard work for you.

All you have to do is be clever enough to learn what they’re doing right, then try out their techniques.

• • • 

A creative short-cut to success

Modelling success is not only for the business world.

As creatives, we can get creative and apply it to our goals, visions and dreams as well.

Here’s how to do it.

Let’s say you know someone who has similar responsibilities and commitments to you and yet they manage to write a new book every couple of years, something you would love to do but haven’t been able to manage. (Yet.)  

Or perhaps there’s a creative peer you really admire and envy how they never seem to be troubled by blocks or resistance.

You may wonder, How do they do it?

Well, if you could somehow uncover this information, you might find that they have developed some techniques and tactics that could also work for you.

If you know them well, you could just ask them how they do it.

Or perhaps you could spend some time with them and just observe their habits and the things they do on autopilot.

I’ll wager that there are many small things they do differently to those of us who struggle to stick to our best intentions for productivity and progress.

Maybe they simply prioritise their creative joys with more commitment and determination.

Or perhaps they have set routines or mindset practices for coping with the common creative challenges such as lack of inspiration or the Inner Critic.

Whatever their area of success, if they’re getting the results you want – it may fast-track your progress to find out how. 

doing things differently creativity blog post women surfers beach sea sunshine

Doing it your way

If you’re like many creative mavericks, you may be feeling an urge to resist proven strategies in the name of Doing It Your Way. 

(I can relate – I LOVE to align my creative process and practices with my personal preferences, it’s one of my favourite things to do!) 

Yet, there’s a way to enjoy the best of both worlds…

After you’ve discovered some new ways of doing things, you can cherry-pick your favourites and model any successful habits that appeal to you.

You can apply their strategies and tactics to your own creative realm, experimenting with these new options for productivity, inspiration and flow.

When your old habit attempts to play out, you’ll have a new awareness, ie you can choose to do it your old way, or you can give their technique a try.

• • • 

Over to you!

You are now fully-versed in the fine art of modelling success to fast-track your creative happiness.

So, if you’re looking for improvements in your results or creative process, I invite you to play with this idea of modelling success, and see how it might work out for you and your goals.

You may well find it’s the answer to your creative prayers.

Or you may find it’s just not how you like to operate, in which case, you can simply keep searching for the solution that fits.

(It will be out there somewhere).

• • • 

Success leaves clues

For more success, in any realm, a classic approach is to learn from those who are already enjoying the results you want.

You may find that you need to tweak their way to fit your particular situation, which is perfectly fine – it’s your creative life!

You get to do it your way.

But at least you’ll have been inspired to think differently, to approach the problem from another angle – instead of the old default reaction which wasn’t really working out for you.

So if more success is important to you;

• How can you apply this proven strategy in your creative endeavours this week?

• How can you be more open to new ideas?

• How can you identify and adopt winning formulas that seem to work a treat for your peers, mentors or heroes?

• How can you creatively model success?

If you have dreams of bringing your creative visions to life, just pause the next time you’re tempted to give in to overwhelm, resistance or despair, and ask yourself;


What would my creative hero do…?

• • • 

I hope this tip sparks some new helpful ideas or habits for you, or at least gets you thinking – and I’d love to hear how you get on!


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Hi! I’m Danielle and I’m the founder of A Life More Creative blog and newsletter.

This project is an evolution of the work I've been doing for the last decade on my Creativity Blog over on

I hope this collection of stories from the bumpy creative path inspires your own creative adventures.

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