Do you ever feel like you get ‘stuck’ in the day-to-day of your business?
Do you find time has gone by, and you wonder ‘what have I achieved’ today… this week… this month… or even, this year?
This often comes about because we get caught up in the urgent tasks in our business – filling orders, answering emails – and neglect the important long-term planning and business development that actually moves our business forward.
By having a set time, at least once a month (or, if you can’t manage that, then every quarter) to purely focus on long-term goals, priorities, and planning, you should see a marked increase in your business momentum, and in how accomplished you feel!
In this members-only episode, I outline my advice on how to have an effective planning day. One that will not only be super-effective, but also, super-enjoyable!
We all know how hard it can be to switch on our creativity when we have so many things to think about in our daily lives.
And I’m not just talking about the business side of what we do. Rarely are any of us simply running a creative business: we are also parents, siblings, friends, employees or carers – not to mention regular, relentless day-to-day chores.
Creative block can often be caused by too much workload, stress, or simply lack of motivation.
Here are a few simple techniques to help you conquer creative block.
Do something completely different – Maybe if the creative juices aren’t flowing then you just need to trake a step back and do something completely different.
Go for a walk, cook up a feast, do some non-creative business work or even go play paintball!
Your brain may need a little rest so it is important to grant that when needed. Make sure you keep it guilt-free though – you have to actually switch off.
Learn to work when you aren’t feeling inspired – Sometimes just going through the motions is all we need to get things kick-started.
It’s kind of like exercis – we may not love the thought of it, but once we are out there for that jog we actually do enjoy it! (Sometimes!)
So head to your workspace and just start. Pick up whatever you are working on, set yourself a short time frame to avoid frustration, and more likely than not you will be back in the swing of things before you know it.
Embrace block as part of the process – I don’t actually know a single creative person who hasn’t faced creative block.
Keep in mind that is is part of what you do. Knowing its there, knowing how to best deal with it, and being aware that it will pass can actually help clear the block quicker. If there are tears, who cares? Make a cup of tea, take some time out and just know it is part of the process.
We all knew when starting our creative business that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. This quote sums it up perfectly!
Let your imagination run wild – Do something for you. Make art. Scribble, experiment, make mess, involve friends or the kids and just have a good old silly time!
This is like a day out for your creativity. Feed it what it needs so that it can continue to grow and flourish.
Talk about it – Open up about how you are feeling.
Find someone willing to sit and listen, write it down, or even talk to it. Yes that’s right, talk to your creativity block!
Why is it there? What is stopping you from being your incredible wonderful creative self that you know is there? Ask these questions out loud or on paper and then answer them.
It may sound a little silly but it may just help you find your block and begin the process of removing it.
Whatever you decide to do don’t let a creative block get the best of you.
We all know we can work through it. It could take hours or it could take days, even longer in some instances!
Look back at previous blocks to learn from the past, be aware of when you are in a creative block so you can deal with it effectively, and prepare for future blocks by staying strong and keeping positive.
This whole running a creative business thing sometimes feels like a never-ending work in progress… that we’re never ‘finished’. But is this a bad thing?
Let me give you a little tip.
You will never finish.
You will never be done and you will never reach perfection.
But this is ok! It is more than ok because no one ever does. You, your life, relationships and your creative biz are all works in progress.
It really is all about the journey. This is why you need to enjoy every moment of your creative career. The downs are as important as the ups and the goals once reached will leave the space for more goals.
Your biz is forever evolving and this is a wonderful part of being your own boss. Watching your business grow and evolve is rewarding.
Here are a few things to consider when it comes to this evolution in order to truly embrace and understand the rewards of your business.
Take a moment to remember when you first started.
Did you really think you would be where you are now? Are you surprised by what you have achieved? I certainly hope you are.
It is so easy to get caught up in the every day challenges that we face as creative business owners that we forget to stand back and really check our progress.
You are not lost. You are never lost. You are exploring, discovering and learning.
If you find yourself somewhere unexpected or unplanned it means you are forging a new and exciting track in your business. This is an important idea to remember. Walk forward with confidence and trust the natural path your creative business leads you on.
There is a constant pressure felt by creative people to please others.
You obviously want to please people. Your family, friends and customers are all very important – but you need to remember you are doing this for yourself.
Expectation can sometimes be a burden. If at any point you feel you cannot deliver as expected you need to be honest with yourself. Your life is here to be lived by you. If you need a holiday, take it. If you don’t want to undertake a commission, don’t. You need your business to work for you and not the other way around.
Use your brain here to weigh up options instead of becoming a slave to the expectations of others.
As a creative business owner you will have a mind buzzing with ideas.
A whole bunch of possibilities will be there, always.
This is a wonderful thing! You can choose which possibilities to make realities, which ones to discard, and which ones to hold on to for later.
Do not try and do everything at once – but know you have the freedom to work with all possibilities and you have the ability to create more along the way.
If you write a list of everything you need to do to succeed in your creative biz, and you ticked them off one by one until you got to the end would you have a perfect business?
No. By the time you finish that list there would be an entirely new list!
It may be more precise, it may be more thorough but it still won’t get you to the finish line. Just ticking off tasks is no way to enjoy your business.
Love what you do as you do it – not just when you finish – and you will forever be content.