You are a beautiful and unique combination of creativity, passion and drive. It is these wonderful qualities that have brought you to becoming a creative entrepreneur. It’s the same things that have triggered me to become a creative entrepreneur.
Here’s a little something you might not know about me…
Seven years ago, while I was still employed in a soul sucking government job, I knew I needed something more in my life that would keep my fire lit or else I was going to end up like Roz from Monsters, Inc.
As a result I ended up the proud owner of a little organic soap company called, “Mountain Girl Organics”. I learned how to hand-craft soaps, lip balms, body butters and all things related to bath and body care. I loved it!
I had an online store (this is where I first fell in love with social media strategy) but I also frequently popped up my shop at farmer’s markets, holiday gift bazaars and other bohemian type of events.
It was my first experience with ‘Creative Entreprenuer Burnout”. We’ll call it C.E.B. for short.
Thank goodness my first entrepreneur endeavor was one where product testing required me to soak in the bath tub testing Epsom salt and buttermilk bath formulas!
After a long weekend of shows during the holidays I remember soaking in the tub thinking how physically tired I was, but also that I had absolutely NO desire to get out of the tub, put my creative hat back on and make soaps, bath bombs or anything else. My creative cup was empty.
The bigger problem is for creative people, like you and me, our creativity is what drives almost all aspects of our lives. We need to feel that creative energy flowing even when we are doing mundane tasks. So, when our creative energy is running on empty our work and personal life can feel out of balance.
Being a solopreneur means we work from home, keep odd hours, take care of a family, and maybe even have a part-time job while we build our business. This makes it even more important to create and implement a self-care strategy to preserve our precious creative juices.
I’m sharing my favorite, and tried and true, strategies for maintaining balance and staying creative and inspired!
Make time to cultivate your own creativity
It’s important that you don’t isolate your creativity to your business endeavors. That is a bee-line to burn out. Most of us are drawn to our business model as some type of off shoot of our innate creative magic. As we invest more time in our business we invest less time in stoking our creative fire and the flames begin to dwindle, which in turn impacts our business and we feel like a failure. Stop me when I lie!
Set aside time to paint, draw, take pictures, explore, hike, dance or whatever helps you feel free to be and create whatever your heart desires… not what your business requires.
Create a 20-minute ritual
This is my favorite tool and the one I use on the most regular basis. Set a time for 20 minutes (or 2×10 minutes) and journal, read or meditate. I suggest finding a way to Pavlov Dog yourself and prime your senses to recognize this routine.
For example, I have a special essential oil blend (made it myself!) that I only use when I’m settling in for my morning routine. I put a couple drops in my palms, rub them together, close my eyes, cup my hands around my nose and take a deep inhale. My body associated the smell with a shift in my attention and state of calm. You could do this with a sound (or song), smell, location in your house or whatever feels like you could prime yourself to simply be mindful and present. You can get more info on creating this powerful ritual in my blog post here.
Set times each week to unplug
Holy shit we live in a world of 24/7 connections! Smart phones and social media have all evolved so quickly that we haven’t had the time to mindfully select how we want these to influence our lives. As a result, we just get and stay plugged in ALL. THE. TIME. Time to change that paradigm.
As part of your business plan set specific hours, days, and times you will unplug. Be intentional and let your clients and customer know this is how you do business. I suggest at least one full day of social and email unplug then set hours on your work days when you are no longer available. For example – Totally unplug on Sunday and unplug after 7:00pm on other work days.
Join a mastermind
So maybe you’re asking yourself, “How does joining a work group of other crazy entrepreneurs going to help me not burn out?”. Good Question!
So much of our work as solopreneurs is, well, solo. We are at home – alone – busting our humps! We NEED a support community of people who understand the challenges we face AND can offer help and show us we’re not alone in this.
I’ve belonged to a few masterminds both paid and free. When you are first starting out a mastermind can be as simple as a facebook group of others in your industry or a local meet up group that has a low cost to join but provides accountability and resources.
Use your North Star to keep avoid shiny object syndrome
If you’ve worked with me in a 1-on-1 you know that part of my process is to help you find your North Star (or Anchor). This is a clear and concise statement about WHY you do what you do and it aligns with your deepest desires for being a crazy entrepreneur.
There are two reasons this helps you avoid burn out. The first is when we are clear about why we are doing this work it makes the set backs easier because we are clear on what we need to do to achieve our ‘why’.
The second reason is works as a vetting system for not being distracted by everything that pops up as we grow our business. You can use your North Star to assess if a particular investment of time and/or money moves you closer to your goals. If you don’t take the time to get clear on your North Star you’re at the mercy of every random thought and shiny object that shows up, then you look back on your 90 day plan and realize you’ve done nothing to move your business forward. Boo!
There you have it my creative entrepreneurial friend – Five ways you can keep your creative fire burning not burning out. The world needs your creative juju and it also needs you to love and take care of yourself. Please share this on your social media page or with a friend so that we light up the world with creative juju!