Once could argue that to some extent, every single one of us can be classified as a consumer. After all, we consume everything from food to information and entertainment. However in this blog post, I want to focus specifically on the Consumer Mindset VS. The Producer Mindset.

It’s increasingly apparent and palpable that we live in somewhat of a “throw-away” society. For most people, it’s the norm to update to the latest electronic device as soon as it comes out, or to refresh your wardrobe every season and even knowingly purchase products that you can easily throw away and replace.

This consumer mindset has of course been encouraged and nurtured by businesses that profit from selling the next thing we can consume. But is this something that is contributing to the greater good? I think most of us could agree that there’s a lot of ways we can improve our impact on one another and our planet through simply shifting from a Consumer Mindset to a Producer Mindset.

So what exactly is a Consumer Mindset?

Put simply, it’s having the mindset of never being able to get enough. It’s always wanting more and working to satisfy that relentless appetite.

Many of us get stuck in a Consumer Mindset out of fear. We don’t want to risk failure or rejection, so it’s easier to become a cog in the machine, work at your job and buy things to help you feel happy and secure, even if that means going into debt and spending more than what you earn. If you examine society at large, this is how most people live and part of how the economy is designed to function.

What is a Producer Mindset?

Those with a Producer’s Mindset on the other hand, strive to create value for others and and focus more on meaningful contribution over consumption & gain.

They are the creators, innovators and mould breakers who aren’t afraid to risk failure and rejection in order to birth something meaningful and helpful to others into the world. Rather than being content with being a cog in the machine, they find ways to build a better machine that benefits more people and runs more efficiently.

How to make the shift

Whilst we will all continue to consume something to some degree, after all we need to learn, grow and evolve in every sense, we can make the mindset shift in understanding that consumption is not the be all and end all of our lives.

You can start to make the shift from simply beginning to view the world with a Producer Mindset instead of a Consumer Mindset. This doesn’t mean you have to invent the next revolutionary electronic device or find the cure to heal all disease, but it does mean shifting from consuming to contribution.

Instead of asking yourself what can I buy that will make me happy? You can ask yourself what can I contribute to others to add real value?

Instead on focusing on better off and furthering only your own interests, you can focus on working with others, strengthening relationships and building community.

This can look like growing your own herbs and sharing them with family and friends, to contributing your skills and passions through a blog or even curating playlists of your favourite music and sharing it online. It’s as simple as asking yourself “What’s my jam?” and sharing that goodness in whatever way you can.

It all starts with you

All meaningful change starts with making a simple decision and taking action. Examine your interests, hobbies and talents and see what simple and accessible things you can do to provide value for others and start there. If every single one of us make this simple mindset shift, the world would change for the better in an instant. So what are you waiting for? How will you start to make the shift from consumer to producer today?

 

 

Want to learn more about open-source? Head on over to opensource.com. Need creative services for your business or brand?  Get in touch with us and we can help take care of as much, or as little as you want! check out the services we offer  here.

 

 

Cosmic Creative Studio is a boutique agency that specializes in content creation, design, branding, strategy and consulting for people and businesses who want to succeed by making a positive difference in our world.

 What is Open-Source?

At Cosmic Creative Studio, we work exclusively with open-source systems and software, but what is open-source & why is it better for your business?

When a program is open-source, its source code is made available and accessible to its users. “Source code” is the part of software that programmers can manipulate to change how the application or program works. Programmers can then make improvements such as adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.

That means that absolutely anyone has the ability to modify it and then distribute their own versions of the program. Furthermore, users have the ability to distribute as many copies of the original program as they want and anyone can use the program for any purpose. There are no licensing fees or other restrictions for using the software.

Sounds like a pretty good deal right? On the contrary, proprietary programs, tools and software often come with access and licensing fees and the source code is not made available to the public.

So why is open-source better for your business?

You save money.

Often when you want to use a program, you need to consider the purchase price itself, additional costs like virus protection & support charges as well as any ongoing expenses associated upgrading to the latest version as a new one in released. Open-source programs are often completely free to access, with an option to donate to help support ongoing improvements made by the developers. By choosing open-source, your business can potentially save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on subscription and access fees.

You become part of a community that focuses on benefiting everyone.

For us, one of the most important reasons to go with open-source is being part of a community that is focused on benefiting everyone. This is an important way that we live our values as a business! Open source software often inspires a community of users and developers to form around it. The community comprises of people who produce, test, use, promote, and work together to improve the program or system that they use and love. This spirit of collaboration for everyone to benefit is a meaningful way we can all make a positive impact in our world.

You get better product and customer experience.

If you think about the advantages of having a whole community of people from all around the world being able to make improvements to the source code, you can imagine that an application will always get better and better. This goes from everything to security, to usability, to customization, to additional enhanced features to better support. It’s very likely that with a community of users, testers and developers, someone has already come across an issue you need to sort out and has the answer ready for you.

You can properly try before you buy.

Even though most proprietary tools these days have a free “trial period”, it often comes with limited features or a constrained time period. With open-source tools, you can have unlimited time to use all of the features and see how well you can make it work for your business. Once you learn the ropes and make the program work for you, we recommend you make a donation to help support ongoing development of the application or software.

Our favourite open-source tools:

Before we made the switch to open-source systems, we thought that it would be too difficult and that the programs wouldn’t be as easy to use. Whilst applications may not always look like what you’re used to, rest assured the functionality, support and everything mentioned above is just as good if not better than what you’re already using. Below are the tools we use to carry out our day to day business operations.

Operating System:

We use Ubuntu Studio which is a Linux distributed operating system to run our computers. The security is much better than Windows or Mac based OS and the community support is awesome. In terms of useability, Linux OS is very easy to use and they offer different versions catered towards you individual needs. Ubuntu Studio includes all the creative tools that we use for graphic design, photography and video mentioned below.

Office Tools:

We use Office Libre as our office suite. It contains applications that are equal to, if not better to Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Mac Pages and Mac Numbers. You can download and use Office Libre completely for free here.

Graphic Design:

Almost all graphic designers if taught formally, learn the Adobe suite of graphic design tools. This is only natural as often, proprietary software is what is being used by institutions. We hope that more and more people will utilize the functionality of open-source software which is often equal to, if not better than their proprietary counterparts.  Below are the programs we use instead of their proprietary alternatives:

 

  • Instead of Adobe Photoshop, we use GIMP
  • Instead of Adobe Illustrator, we use Inkscape
  • Instead of Adobe In-design, we use Scribus

Photography & Video:

We edit all our photos and videos using open-source software. Don’t get us wrong, we started on the whole Adobe Suite too, and of course the programs are functional and awesome. But with all the benefits of open-source software listed above, there really isn’t any reason to switch our whole operation to open-source. Below are the programs we use instead of their proprietary alternatives:

Web design:

We use WordPress to build our websites. Over 35% of websites on the internet are built using this open source software. It’s important not to confuse wordpress.org with WordPress’ paid offering which is similar to services like Squarespace and Wix. Whilst the interface interface may not always look as sleek as a paid subscription service like Squarespace, there are a lot of plug-ins, website builders and tools that can help you easily build your own website and often for a much cheaper price in terms of both up-front and on-going maintenance costs.

 

 

 

Want to learn more about open-source? Head on over to opensource.com. Need creative services for your business or brand?  Get in touch with us and we can help take care of as much, or as little as you want! check out the services we offer  here.

 

 

Cosmic Creative Studio is a boutique agency that specializes in content creation, design, branding, strategy and consulting for people and businesses who want to succeed by making a positive difference in our world.

Podcasts are a great way to share valuable knowledge and experience with your audience. In terms of content creation, it’s a great value proposition because you can promote your brand whilst providing educational information and meaningful content to your community.

There’s quite a few things involved in launching a podcast so if you don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled our top 5 tips below:

 

Have a compelling enough “why?”.

There’s a lot of podcasts out there and one of the common mistakes we see clients make is wanting to launch a one just because their peers have. Good podcasts require careful planning and a significant amount of work so we recommend that if you’ve got information to share that can benefit your audience, that’s a great place to start.⁠

When clients approach us to help them launch a podcast, the first thing we do is get crystal clear on their “why?”. Apart from having valuable and educational information to share, other great reasons include building the profile of their brand, increasing exposure and audience and increasing collaboration opportunities. after all, teamwork makes the dream work!

Know what’s involved in creating & launching a podcast.

That way, you can figure out what you can/want to do yourself, and what you need to get help with.⁠ There’s quite a few steps involved in launching a podcast from the planning process, to recording and editing each episode to publishing and then of course sharing and promoting your podcast.

If your tech-savvy and good with design, it’s definitely possible to handle every step yourself and it’s a great way to save money and get things done with virtually no budget. If you do however need to outsource some or all of the process, then figuring out exactly what you can and can’t do will help you focus on getting the help you need.

Be crystal clear on your area of focus and who your audience is.

One of our client’s Sigrid Tasies is a leadership coach and has an amazingly empowering podcast geared towards leaders and changemakers called Sacred Leadership.⁠ Just by the title alone, you can easily identify Sigrid’s area of focus and who her intended audience is.

Before diving into planning and recording your episodes, make sure you’re absolutely clear on what your focus area is and who your podcast is for. Getting this right and front of mind from the get-go will make planning each episode much simpler and is essential for the overall consistency of your podcast.

Get your tech sorted.

This includes everything from making sure you have good audio quality when recording, to sorting out the artwork and a way to publish your podcast so that listener’s can access it.⁠

For podcasts to be enjoyed by your audience, you need good audio quality. This means investing in a microphone for either your phone or laptop and making sure you record in an an insulated and quiet space.

If you’re publishing your podcast on iTunes, you also need artwork that meets their specifications. This includes your profile picture and the display thumbnail for each episode. The great thing about this is that you can use the same artwork to promote your podcasts on your social media platforms.

Have a content schedule.

Whether you’re doing everything yourself or outsourcing, you want to make sure that you’re organized and set the proper time aside needed to record, edit, publish and promote your episodes. Having an effective schedule also make’s it easier for podcast guests to collaborate with you.⁠

There’s nothing worse than putting all the hard work into creating your podcast, only to drop the ball with recording, publishing or promoting episodes. Successful podcasts are planned in advance and have enough buffer time to account for things that aren’t in your control such as guests missing recording appointments or last minute revisions.

 

 

 

 

Ready to launch your own podcast? Get in touch with us and we can help take care of as much, or as little of what’s involved! You can also check out some examples of our work, including podcast graphics & audiograms here.

 

 

Cosmic Creative Studio is a boutique agency that specializes in content creation, design, branding, strategy and consulting for people and businesses who want to succeed by making a positive difference in our world.