As a creator, whether you’re a creative executive, a full time creative, or working your side hustle, there is more to a successful creative career than the fun stuff of creating. To be effective, every creator must juggle three hats – the Maker, the Manager, and the Marketer. Integrating these three “M’s” can dramatically improve your career trajectory.

Let’s dig deeper into these roles.

The Maker

As the Maker, you write the stories, compose the music, paint the paintings. As a creative, this is probably the role you spend the most time in. This is where inspiration sparks and ideas come to life.

Being in Maker mode is fun and inspiring. But you can’t stay there all the time. While creativity can be its own reward, most of us are Makers intending to make money off our creations. We want our creativity to feed our souls and pay our bills. Getting your creations out into the world requires wearing the other two hats.

The Manager

The Manager is the unsung hero in the background that keeps everything together. This part of you is centered in organization, setting deadlines, and overseeing your project from inception to completion. The Manger is your own boss and assistant, scheduling meetings, paying bills, doing taxes, and figuring out new software.

It may not be as glamorous as the Maker role, but without the Manager, your ideas don’t go anywhere. Nothing ever gets done without some level of management. Whether you’re a fan of spreadsheets or a post-it note enthusiast, it’s essential to have a process to get from idea to finished product. The Manager is the backbone supporting your creative journey.

The Marketer

The Marketer turns your ideas into money. A lot of creatives feel uncomfortable in this role. It’s not easy to sell ourselves and our work, which is why I encourage everyone to have a ​personal​ and ​project​ Cocktail Pitch. If you don’t talk about who you are and what you do, no one will buy your products. Your creations – books, screenplays, songs – are your products and the Marketer sells them.

In today’s crowded market, the ability to sell your work is critical. You have your Marketer hat on when you’re posting on social media, networking in person, writing your newsletter, and guesting on podcasts. It’s the role that finds and builds your audience. Without the Marketer, your amazing creations might remain unnoticed, unbought, and unseen.


All three roles are essential for a long and lucrative creative career. Ignoring a role would be like trying to sit on a three-legged stool with a missing leg.

It’s okay to feel more comfortable in one role than the others. You might be an awesome Maker, a superb Manager, or a magnificent Marketer. What’s important is acknowledging the necessity of each role and developing skills across all three.

In the end, the perfect blend of these roles differs for every creative. Your career is a journey of continuously balancing and rebalancing these roles, of learning, growing, and adapting. Embrace the Maker for the love of your craft, the Manager for the structure it provides, and the Marketer for the opportunities it uncovers. Be prepared to wear these three hats, sometimes all at once, and celebrate the multifaceted creative person you are!

The world needs your creativity, and it’s up to you to unleash it. Be the Maker, the Manager, the Marketer, and show the world what you’ve got!

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