Confessions of a Self Starter

Dearest Thom Reader,

Beginning another September month with Spring Cleaning and a summer to look forward to, I've decided to bring in a personal element to Thom, and I'm starting here.

I get asked a lot of questions about my job. I have my fingers in so many career pies, people tend to look at me like I'm insane. In chronological order, I'm an actor, producer, director, show-runner, photographer, content creator, accessories designer and one-woman-show/CEO of two very profitable, yet very different companies. I'm most frequently asked; "How do you do it?" The only answers I've ever really come up with is self-care, sacrifice, and sleep. There is an old age adage of balance, but if you're really going to get that dream, there isn't a lot of balance involved, I'd call it planning.

To be blunt, it's bloody exhausting. Waking up every day, setting your own goals and visions with no guidance or external input, just your gut. You are the strategist, networks, communications, IT, graphics, accounts, marketing and digital managers of your ideas and the roof over your head depends on them. On top of that, I'm entirely self-taught at nearly everything I do - but that's not what I find hard. It's difficult to admit, but the hardest part about being a self-starter is compartmentalizing your audience's reaction. Artistry is a vulnerable space, and usually, if it's done right, the creativity comes from a personal place.

Is it hard to continually remain inspired and motivated and move four different careers ahead at the same time? Absolutely! But the hardest thing comes down to fear. The fear of the creations being too much or the fear of creations not being enough, both equate to the fear of being myself. Something we all go through, and something that I don't think I'll ever entirely overcome. The only advice I can offer is to just get out and try.

Oh and try not to compare yourself to others, Rome wasn't built in a day.


Full disclaimer* I'm not always inspired, I don't have all the answers on managing teams, I'm twenty-six years old and working all of this out as it happens. I have no long line of media moguls behind me, just a good head for business and hunger to create. I have to plan outfits and meals to make sure I don't resort to take out and look like Hagrid. I'm awful at technology but great with visuals, and when I get up in the morning, I get to work. I have a short attention span, and I don't wait around for people to give me permission.

Giving myself permission to create and share those creations, whether a film campaign pitch to a highly regarded Australian fashion house or something as small as uploading a book recommendation via a cute flat lay. That particular fashion house came back with a "We'll keep you in mind for future projects" - but at least I gave myself permission to introduce myself, share my ideas, flex my pitching muscles and go after what I wanted. I would have been shocked if they responded with a portion of their budget left to allocate to little old me, a stranger and a rookie at the time. But I got their e-mail, they followed me on Instagram, and they keep watching. One of these days I'll get the call, I just have to keep creating for other clients and even spec work. Work attracts work.


To touch on the sacrifice part; it's Saturday night, I had a massive week of brainstorming and working Melbourne Fashion Week. One would think I just put Gilmore Girls on and chill out, but now - I'm expanding Thom into a blog. Creating and my enthusiasm for my work is just a part of who I am.

I hope this demystifies the journey a little bit and inspires you to put your head down and go after whatever you want. If you're reading this and want to hear more, let's kick off the comments and move through this self-starter journey together.

I'll leave you with this... If you're not willing to risk it, you'll have to settle for the ordinary.

So much love, Arielle

Arielle Thomas