How to Celebrate Your Successes – Big or Small!

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We dream of quitting our day jobs to follow our creative passions.

We chase the idea of being in charge of our own day to day and the flexibility of working for ourself.

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to do so well while still learning the aspects of running a creative business as we go, that it’s easy to skim over the top of all of the achievements you HAVE made because you keep looking towards your larger goal.

We often forget to stop, look back, and see how far we have come. It is so important to reward yourself as it creates a positive feeling towards a job well done instead of a burnt out, restless night before getting back into it the next day with a ‘here we go again’ approach.

You know the feeling, that little pang of pride, that sense of achievement you get?

As soon as you feel that feeling you need to celebrate it! Even if it is just a small success. All successes are a step in the right direction and all of them are important.

You are your own boss when you run a creative business. You have no one to pat you on the back, give you an early minute or simply say ‘thank you’.

Did you make the local paper? Share wine with friends.

Did you secure a custom order? Spend an afternoon outdoors breathing in fresh air and light.

Did you finish a project that has been lingering? Buy yourself a small gift. A candle, a magazine or some new music.

It really doesn’t matter what your reward is. We are all so different and we all find joy in different places. It could be a glass of good wine, an afternoon reading in the sunshine, a trip to the beach or an early night after a long soak in the tub.

It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be time consuming. It just needs to feel good, and allow you to take a moment to say ‘well done’ to yourself.

 

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Here are a few great, pampering ways to enjoy your creative biz journey even more by really celebrating every milestone you reach.

 

Itty-bitty successes

1. Spend the afternoon reading a great book.
2. Have a long soak in the tub.
3. Take a slow walk to enjoy the outdoors.
4. Have a glass of wine (or two!)
5. Share the joy by having a good chat with a great friend.

 

The in-between successes

1. Buy yourself a new candle.
2. Go for a mani, pedi, or massage.
3. Take a day off and get some salty sea air.
4. Drink some champagne, the real stuff!
5. Enjoy a picnic with friends or family.

 

Life-changing successes

1. Book a weekend away somewhere relaxing – or maybe go on a yoga or mediation retreat?
2. Go to the best restaurant in your city.
3. Start planning (or booking!) that big holiday you have been thinking about.
4. Do something new and exciting, go on an adventure.
5. Visit your hairdresser and enjoy some retail therapy.

 

You need to acknowledge a job well done, reward yourself and celebrate even the smallest success in order to create the positive reinforcement required to keep yourself motivated and inspired.

 

How to Create an Efficient Workspace

 

 

 

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Running your creative biz from home sounds like it comes with plenty of ease, joy, and freedom.

In truth, it takes even more determination, self motivation, and organisational skill to work from home than from a traditional workplace. Working from a spare room, shed, workshop, or even the dining room table can create a tug-of-war struggle between work and the rest of your life.

One of the biggest motivation and inspiration killers is a messy, cluttered, busy, or disorganised workspace.

So to welcome in the new year a reorganisation of your workspace can be a great beginning!

Here are 5 elements of the process that will help you get your workspace ready for a new year of business.

 

1. Purge

First and foremost, a purge us necessary in order to make way for the new planned projects, de-clutter what you no longer use, clean up your email inbox, finish off any book work, and tie up any loose ends. This is a good time to reach for the too-hard basket also (I’m sure we all have one of these!).

Once this is done you will have the physical space and mental clarity for doing what you love, and you’ll be running your creative business with more efficiency.

 

2. Allocate

It can be beneficial when creating an efficient workspace to allocate space to different aspects of your work. Have a space dedicated to your book work or your new project can create an efficiency when moving between tasks.

Of course, the smaller the space the harder it can be, but just a little bit of allocation and organisation in this area can go a long way.

 

3. Comfort

Don’t forget to look after yourself! What do you love that can be included in your workspace? A teapot and selection of teas, a bowl of fresh fruit, a bottle of Pinot Noir close by for when you work late, a radio, or a space for your furry friend.

These are just little examples that you can use to incorporate comfort into your workspace. Make it a happy place that you want to be in as often as possible. Bring a little home into the “office”.

 

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4. Decorate

This is something you should always think about. Take pride in your space no matter how big or small.

Pick fresh flowers, grow some indoor plants, put up some of your favourite photos/prints/art, burn a candle, and create an inspirational pin board. Make your creative space inspirational and a joy to inhabit – and you’ll not only enjoy your time there more, you’ll also be inspired by the beautiful things around you.

 

5. Tidy

Having a de-cluttered, organised, comfortable, and beautiful space is a wonderful thing (though for creative people it is much easier said than done!). Our busy schedules, late nights, family commitments, and unstoppable minds mean a workspace rarely stays tidy for long.

To battle this, try as often as possible to finish a work day on a high note by doing a quick desk clean up and materials put-away.

Just 5 minutes as you finish up for the day will make a huge impact and will help stop the space become unmanageable.

Planning for Perseverance


Perseverance and Navigating Obstacles

 

Planning for perseverance is as easy as taking a few moments to think about what you would do if you hit a brick wall in your biz.

Imagine scenarios in your creative business that could occur at some point and know how to react so you don’t hit panic when something doesn’t go to plan.

Because, to be honest, it rarely ever does!

Below are five things to consider as ways of helping yourself persevere when all seems lost.

I can confidently say that ALL people who start a creative business will need perseverance at the top of their skills list.

 

How to Avoid a Brick Wall

 

1. Focusing on the end goal is the best way to persevere. It is so easy to get lost and lose sight of the reasons you started your creative journey.

Having a clear picture of your end goal while keeping in mind that there will always be obstacles and detours will help you from feeling dread when something doesn’t work as expected.

 

2. Recognising that there will be obstacles is important… but so is actually recognising one when it arises and facing it head-on. Sometimes a change off-course can feel like a huge burden or an end to your dream.

Take a moment to feel the emotions, recognise that what is in front of you is not the end of your creative career but instead, just an obstacle or a detour on your journey. The path to success is not straight and smooth.

 

3. There will always be another way! There are always alternatives to choose.

Family, finances, health, and weather will constantly affect your creative business. You have minimal control over these external influences so learn to swing with the punches. You will find a way if you really want to.

 

4. Sometimes these obstacles are easy to work with and a quick decision will solve it. Other times there will be obstacles that seem impossible. Ones that make you tired, restless and fearful for the future of your creative business.

Always take the time to think back to why you started on the creative journey and what you set out to achieve. If you need to take a break, it will still be there! Find your inner strength to make it through these times and come out the other side even more determined than before.

 

5. Really this is one of the most important factors. Staying healthy in mind and body through the good times will give you strength to make it through the harder times.

Take time for yourself, nurture your relationships, rest, drink tea, practice yoga, meditate or whatever it is that keeps you feeling your best and you will find the hard times don’t have to be as hard as they may seem.

 

 

5 Tips for Work-at-Home Creatives

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During the Holidays, it’s no doubt you get together with family that perhaps you don’t see much of the year. 

Inevitably, you will be asked ‘What have you been up to?’  When you start telling them about working for yourself from home, I am sure there has been at least one person who exclaims, ‘MUST BE NICE!’  Little do they know!

Working from home is not as easy as the stereotype would have you believe.  

In fact, it can end becoming MORE work than the ol’ 9-5 you ditched to become a full-time entrepreneur.  

Now that’s not to say it can’t be everything you ever hoped for. 

Treating your business seriously and learning to practice professionalism and are a must.  

Here are five tips in order to keep from losing your mind and throwing in the towel:

1. Always make sure to present your best self.  You may not be going in to an office where you are surrounded by coworkers, but this is not the time for ratty sweats and last night’s mascara.  Make it a pre-workday ritual, wash your face, comb your hair, get dressed!  You wouldn’t present a sloppy piece of work, so don’t present yourself that way (even if no one is around). 

2.  Create a dedicated working space.  Having a space you set aside just for your business, will mentally prepare you to get busy!  It also allows you to create that separation from your work when the day is over and you move to the next room (or the other side of your apartment).

3.  Always remember, YOU ARE NOT A RECLUSE.  Have a life outside of your home.  Just because you work at home and live at work you are not a shut-in! You need to make that physical break regularly. 

4. ORGANISE.  ORGANISE. ORGANISE.  Clearly, I think highly of this practice.  As a small-business owner, you are juggling many, many roles.  You will need to have a good handle on your different tasks and learn to manage.

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5.  Having a plan will help with this.  Do you have yearly goals?  Monthly goals?  Daily goals?  Well you should!

Know where you are going, and plan a clear path.  Write down your daily tasks that get you to those goals.  Set deadlines!  Meet those deadlines!!  You always need to know where you are going and how you are getting there, or what is it all for?

Lastly, be prepared to plan again if you get thrown off course.  

All that being said, working from home really can be wonderful!  

You need to develop discipline, though.  

Keep reminding yourself why you love what you do, and stay focused.  And maybe you can even initiate casual Friday and show up to work in your gym clothes and top knot.

Do you have your own practices that help you work from home?

6 Quick Steps to an Energising Morning Routine

 

 

 

 

6 Quick Steps for an Energising Morning Routine

 

Creating that separation between work and home is already hard enough for the average person.

 

Finding that space is even harder for us entrepreneurs.  

 

Admittedly, I have been guilty (okay, sometimes still am!) of letting the pendulum swing in favor of work.  Thankfully, there are a few tricks that help me to keep that tendency in check.

 

One change I’ve implemented that has helped is creating, and sticking to, a morning routine.

Your current routine may look something like this: wake up, grab smart phone, check emails, scroll through social media updates you missed while sleeping.  

But where are YOU in that wake up call?  

From that first moment in the day, you are catering to others.  Put aside business (and hey, that includes your iPhone!) and allow yourself to transition into work at a more emotionally-appeasing pace.

 

Creating a Morning Routine

Here’s a sneak peek into how I begin my days:

  • Alarm clock.  No snooze!  No phone! 
    • By having an alarm clock, I’m avoiding the temptation of grabbing my phone.  I also NEVER hit snooze.  Let’s be honest, 15 minutes extra does not create any sort of satisfaction.
  • Mini-Yoga Session. 
    • Our bodies deserve to be treated nicely.  And what’s nicer than a nice series of stretches after a good night’s sleep?
  • Warm lemon tea and a Gratitude Journal.
    • Lemon and water have a magic energizing effect.  I am also a big proponent in everyone keeping a gratitude journal.  Start your day with some serious positivity.
  • 20 minutes of Reading.
    • This is my favourite part of the morning.  Your mind is clear, it’s still early and quiet, and it’s all for you.  I like to read a motivational book for these twenty minutes.  Currently reading: A New Earth (again).
  • 10 minutes of meditation.
    • Lie down.  Close eyes.  Breathe.  Okay, we all know that meditation is not as easy as that!  But I do find that in these morning hours, especially after warm tea and a round of gratitude, I am in the best possible mindset to meditate.  Practicing focused presence for a short period each day will help you handle whatever comes at you.
  • Shower and Get Dressed! 
    • Now this is an important one!  I feel it’s important to include as part of your routine.  Too often as entrepreneurs who work from home, we grow comfortable.  And by comfortable, I do mean quite literally as well.  Sweatpants and oversize shirts.  Take yourself seriously.  And dress to impress, even if it is just impressing yourself.  You’ll also do better work if you feel good about the way you look.

 

Of course, your routine can and should vary!

Find something that works for you.

But do remember, in order for it to be effective, you must stick to it everyday. Preferably at, or close to, the same time everyday.

And don’t worry, I won’t tell if your sweatpants do make an occasional appearance…

 

Now I’m curious, what things will you add to your morning routine?