There exists such a fine line between work and life as an entrepreneur – especially if you’re a creative business owner. There are endless ways to look at a creative piece, like changing that font one last time. Maybe a different shade of pink would make the title really pop? The endless possibilities make it so hard to find that balance between on and off, right?!
Then even if we’ve found balance and success – there comes fulfillment, which in itself is a whole other beast to deal with. Reaching that stage of financial wealth or achieving goals can be so rewarding, but what was it all for if in the end you’re just as stressed out, exhausted and miserable? So many entrepreneurs lose themselves along the way to the top that they forget to enjoy the journey along the way. Does that sound like you? Listen up, buttercup! We’ve rounded up seven habits to achieving balance and fulfillment as a creative business owner.
Every night, write at least three reasons you were grateful that day. It can be something as simple as finding a parking spot right in front of your meeting location, or getting a compliment on your outfit from a total stranger. The more you write down these little gems, the more you are aware of the blessings around you in your life and you can find fulfillment through minor achievements rather than only celebrating the big wins. Gratitude allows you to be mindful and project a state of high vibes, which will, in turn, attract so much more abundance into your life and business. It’s a virtuous cycle of fulfillment and it feels amazing. Try it!
What happens to you is only as important as how you choose to deal with the situation. So, did your big launch not go as planned? That’s not a failure if you choose to look at it as a learning experience! By mindfully switching your narrative, you become far less upset or overwhelmed with the bumps in the road. Instead, you are growing and learning to embrace change, which will help the next time an unexpected twist happens on your entrepreneurial journey. Getting comfortable with “failures” is what differentiates the businesses that will still be around for years to come.
Another great habit is changing the way you speak to yourself. It matters, a lot. If you’re feeling anxious about how big your goals are and can’t seem to find a way to get there that doesn’t involve stress eating; flip the script! Instead of telling yourself that you’re anxious, change that narrative to say that you’re feeling excited. Your state of being is all based on how you interpret your physical responses. So, the next time your palms are sweaty and heart racing – trick your brain to thinking it’s really excitement, and you’ll be able to get a handle on your anxiety with intention.
Much like a daily shower cleans your body, a daily meditative practice is essential to cleansing your mind. Try to find a practice that you can integrate that allows you to press pause for at least 15 minutes a day. It will help you to tap into that little voice in the back of your mind. That’s your intuition. Your gut feeling. It can easily get drowned out with all of the noise around you, but if you take a mindful break to tap into it, it can share with you so many great insights.
Maybe meditation isn’t your thing, but what about journaling? Putting pen to paper is somewhat of a lost art these days, but there is just something so cathartic about writing down your feelings. Whether you’re into bullet journals, gratitude lists, or weekly diary entries, it truly helps you feel in alignment with your goals and balanced. We absolutely love the visually stunning journal by Axel and Ash called Press Pause. Thanks to its different 52 weekly prompts and inspiring stories, it really gets your creative juices flowing!
Why did you start your creative business to begin with? Keep your mission and your vision at the forefront of your mind and decisions will become much easier to make. When opportunities arise, remember to think “is this in line with the highest version of my business that I’m trying to create?” If the answer is “no”, then politely pass, and you will open up so much more room for “hell yeses” to come your way. When you lead with your heart and maintain tight integrity, your clients will feel compelled to support you through repeat purchases and referrals.
Of course, planning ahead is part of the top habits creative business owners have to staying organized. However, often times, they will book themselves solid with back to back meetings or impossible deadlines. That doesn’t sound very balanced, now does it?
Which is why we believe planning ahead means including time for self-care and for play – daily. When this time is pre-meditated, it seems like it is another important task on our list for the day. By making it officially part of the schedule, it doesn’t feel like “wasted time” or like you should be working instead. It’s the best way to unplug, guilt-free.
Now what’s with the fluid productivity part? Even when booking your schedule in advance, always be mindful of how you’re feeling once it is actually meant to happen. Are you feeling out of creativity for the day and would rather work on invoicing your clients? Those days happen, and so it’s important to tune into your energy to make the most productivity out of how you’re feeling – therefore making it fluid. As humans and as women, it’s only natural to feel differently on a cyclical basis depending on our hormonal cycle. (Read more on productivity hacking your body with How to Make Your Menstrual Cycle Work with Your Business.)
As you attempt to gain insight on your goals and future steps as a creative business owner, it’s especially important to listen to your energy. Meaning: taking the time to read into what tasks are bringing you joy, excitement, and motivation to move forward versus those that seem to drain, tire, and depress you. Chances are if you’re avoiding (subconsciously or consciously) a to-do on your list, it’s probably because it’s depleting you.
This is where learning to say “no” to opportunities that don’t serve your purpose will be crucial in running a tight ship. You’ll free up so much more of your energy and time (which are finite resources) and be able to continue doing the tasks you actually love. If it’s something you can’t avoid, then maybe outsourcing is the answer. Can’t afford to outsource? Then head over to Barter and Be and exchange services with another creative business owner that is an expert in that field. Get rid of the guilt or thinking that you have to do everything on your own, because you don’t. No one else does.
Paying it forward is one of the most effective ways to find fulfillment in a person’s life. Maybe this means having children of your own or giving back to charities. It’s a noble way to share your fortune and knowledge with the world. Volunteering your time can also be an incredibly effective way to meet likeminded people who share similar values. It also gives your mind a break from only thinking about work and just allows it to roam free, unplug and open headspace for new creative ideas to stew. Oh, and don’t forget habit #5 to plan ahead and schedule it in!
In the end, what you should be striving for as a creative business owner is not getting more done but really having less to do. Agree?! What are your thoughts? Have you given any of these a try? If you’re still stuck, check out Self-Care Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs, Without the Price Tag.
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Includes affirmations, journaling prompts and self-care tools to help you take care in times of overwhelm.