Love Your Career and get good advice from Caroline Sandford

What can we learn from NZ Creatives

It’s NZ Music Month this May, and we have so much to celebrate for the amazing talent we have here. Along with many others, I am a big fan of Lorde, and have followed her career closely – from the release of her first song – Royals – to her latest performance at Coachella. I have taken a particular interest, not only because she grew up locally and went to schools just down the road from me, but because she has ‘made it’ at a young age, in a very cut throat industry.

There are many more talents to celebrate in the music industry such as Broods, David Dallas, The Naked and Famous, Sixty 60, to name a few (take the opportunity this month to experience them), and when we look more broadly at the creative industry, we have many acting successes – Sam Neill, Jemaine Clement, Karl Urban, Lucy Lawless, Melanie Lynskey, Anthony Starr…….., and  many celebrity chefs –  Annabel Langbein, Ray McVinnie, Josh Emett, Simon Gault, Nadia Lim.

So what lessons can we learn from our creatives about what it takes to be successful?


The first and non-negotiable rule is TO BE YOUR SELF! Think about the examples above and you can see how absolutely they are being themselves – putting their uniqueness out in the world. To be who you are supposed to be and not be dictated by what others believe you should be, is the most important aspect for success – star or otherwise.


Understand what it is that you want – what is important to you. Some might be chasing the money, but if that is not what is important to you, it will not motivate you for long. We all need to make money to survive, but after that, figure out what is important to you. Success needs to be defined in your own terms.


Sometimes you have to do stuff that you may not get paid for or is not glamorous, but will lead to your goal. Take opportunities as they arise, as long as they take you towards your goal, not away from it.

“Know yourself. The most successful are never the most gifted, but those who know best how to exploit their gifts” – Maxime Buchi – Publisher/ Creative Director of Sang Bleu Magazine, Tattooist


Build relationships and network wherever you can.  You might have an amazing gift, but if no one knows about it, or gets to see it, then it is wasted. Success is most often built on the connections that you make.


Hard work – you can’t get away from this – although there are those that appear to get all the breaks, what isn’t visible is all the hard work, rejection and failure. Know that to be successful takes a lot of hard work and long hours to get that break.


Resilience – we all need this in bucket loads – learn from your mistakes, don’t lose heart, and keep persevering. It takes many goes to get there and it takes guts to keep going. Take time to look after yourself as you strive for what you want.


Believe in yourself – if you don’t ask for something, you are unlikely to get it – be brave, back yourself and go for it.

Now it is your turn to put these into action – you have your “Green Light”  as Lorde would say – now GO!

If you want help with how to figure out what makes you tick, what you really want or how to make this happen, contact Love Your Career to book in an appointment.