Being a creative business owner poses unique challenges, because unlike my previous jobs, I have to be CONSTANTLY coming up with new ideas- from designs, to branding, to business growth and strategy. And honestly? I love it. It's one of the most fulfilling parts of being self employed. Over the last 7 years I have played a lot of mind games with myself- trying to keep myself organized, motivated, and moving forward. Here are some of the strategies I use that help me stay creative and moving forward, even when I’m not sure how to proceed.
I always write everything down. I carry a notebook around with me all the time; if you have an insanely brilliant idea, you're going to want to write it down when it comes to you because just like a dream, it’s sure to slip away.
I keep all these ideas written down and filed away- literally. I keep a file box with 6 files for different areas of the business. Usually creativity flows when I’m busy and my head (and my schedule) are full to the brim! Then a lull comes and my mind is a blank page!! Endlessly frustrating. These are the moments when I take out my files and dump them out- sorting through until I find the project I’m ready to tackle and bring to fruition. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but for me it’s served me well and helped me organize my chaos.
When I find myself in a true creative lull, uninterested even in woking on projects i’ve already thought up, I’ve found that nothing’s more effective to shake off a funk then shaking up my day to day routine. Switch it up! Even if its just taking a different rout to work, seeing different things can overhaul the auto-pilot that can come over like a fog and put you too much in your head. Changing the input changes the output.
Take time for yourself. If you never take a moment to clear out your head, nothing new can squeeze its way in! Whether it's a bubble bath and a glass of wine, or an hour of kickboxing that should spent been spent fulfilling orders, take the time to stay sane. It's worth it- I promise.
As I write this, I’m seeing it is a guide to how I stay creative, but it’s all the same tools I reach for when I’m depressed or unmotivated in other parts of my life as well; as an entrepreneur- especially one that works alone from home, these low moments can really sneak up on you. It’s been a real challenge over the years to hold myself accountable and not allow myself to hide out and let those feelings and melancholia grow. Keep moving, even when it’s the absolute last thing you feel like doing. Especially then. Life is like a circle, and it all comes around again.