Staying Inspired Running Your Creative Business
Why our businesses can’t survive without it:
It’s fair to say that creativity sometimes eludes all of us … especially when the day-to-day gears of running a business must still stay in motion. Fresh thinking is paramount to keep us at the forefront of our industry and motivated with getting up in the morning, especially when self-employed!
The issue is that stress, pressure and busyness are prime killers of creativity and this is particularly difficult when small creative businesses do not have the resources to lessen the strain.
The never-ending to do list:
It’s true, my to do list only ever seems to grow. Just when I think I’ve accomplished one stack of important tasks, my brain finds space to miraculously invent all manner of new to dos, just to keep me occupied.
However, there have been times lately that I’ve deliberately and most consciously jumped off that rumbling treadmill. Usually I’ve not had the time and of course I sit with impending guilt of what I should be doing, but I’ve done it! Ultimately the reason I did that was because I asked myself ‘why run a creative business if the little joys become so hidden amongst the rigmarole?’
How to make changes:
The first thing to do is to commit to breaking your normal routine, it’s so easy to get tied down to what we know so well and what sits comfortably. This however is unlikely to be where creativity lies. Take some time to organise yourself, your work space and your brain, then go seek some inspiration.
- Take your sarnies outside at lunchtime and get some fresh air, you could even grab some snaps of your view
- Put on some uplifting beats and simply sketch/write for half and hour, make sure that you have no end goal in mind
- Have a mooch at YouTube and find a video to follow, where you can challenge yourself to learn something new
- Change your surroundings, meet a friend for the afternoon, drink coffee and brainstorm, let your mind be free
- Set some time aside to play with your ‘craft’, be naive in your accessing of it, give it fresh eyes and no judgement
Putting it into action:
This morning was a morning I wasn’t particularly feeling my to do list, so I committed to finding inspiration instead. I put the learning, exploring and playing aspects into action and I sat at my bench … making!
Having run my jewellery business for 9 years, there’s actually surprisingly little of it spent at my bench. Having made non-precious jewellery for much of that time, I’ve never felt it justifiable to commit to a proper jewellers’ bench (Ikea counter tops, kitchen tables and second hand desks have fit the bill thus far!). But having moved to a larger workshop this year, I finally made myself a bench and have promised myself more time bonding with it.
The best thing:
The ironic thing is by NOT doing what I was supposed to be doing this morning, by NOT having an end goal, by NOT making everything business focused (I’m secretly such a rebel!) … I find myself MORE inspired, MORE motivated and feeling MORE accomplished … which I have no doubt ultimately will feed into my creative business … although shhh, I’m not thinking about that!
It’s amazing … you’d think a jeweller would have lots of jewellery made for herself by herself … but I find that’s untrue. You spend so much time making for others, that you are the last one with any for yourself!
In committing to some time to seek some inspiration. For me that was sitting at my bench and making myself a pair of earrings, just because. There was no labour intensive sketching undertaken and no real planning involved. Just the chance of freedom, without business motives. Time to get familiar with my materials and my tools, just because.
I believe so strongly that creative business must commit to these moments. Without your inner passion, your business will cease to run. If you’re still in need of inspiration (and procrastination time) then check out a few more tips from Huffington Post.
But if you’re ready to go … go now, don’t waste any more time … x