As small business owners, freelancers and generally creative humans, we go through times of pure joy and excitement, but we also go through struggles. Things may not be working the way we wanted them to; money may be non-existent or we just might be having a down week, where everything feels like it’s going wrong. When you’re going through times like these (which we all do!) it’s important to remember that you can change it around. You have the power, the passion and capabilities to get through the shite, and to come out of the other side stronger, clearer and ready for action. Here are a few tips on what to do when it gets hard.
Visualise the life that you want
If you follow my instagram, you might’ve seen that I did two talks this weekend; one at Google Campus in London with Young Gold Teeth, and another with Brighton Etsy Team at The Old Market in Hove. Both talks were different, but I spoke about this topic at both, and I’ll tell you the anecdote I told the others.
I was watching an interview with Jim Carrey and Oprah from 1997 the other day, and it was all about how Jim Carrey is a massive believer in the law of attraction and visualisation. Before he hit the big time, he would drive up and down Mulholland Drive in Hollywood every night, visualising these huge directors telling him they wanted to him in their films and what huge fans they were of his work. He also wrote himself a check for $10 million for ‘acting services rendered’ and dated it Thanksgiving 1995. Keeping it in his pocket for at least 3 years, it deteriorated and deteriorated until 6 months before thanksgiving ‘95, he earned $10 million from Dumb and Dumber. Whaaaaaat?!
This is just one example showing that visualisation really works, if you put in the hard work. Of course, you can’t visualise the life you want and then just watch Netflix. You need to put in your best work each day to see results.
Mindset is just as important in business as is completing tasks like invoicing, accounts, emails etc. If you go into your studio/office each day with a smile on your face and at least one positive thought, you have the power to have a brilliant day and get through it.
I know that sometimes I can feel awful even if nothing bad has happened. It’s just a natural human feeling, which can be all the more frustrating as you don’t know how to solve it! But the key is to understand and accept that not every day is going to be brilliant, and that’s fine. You just need to bring your best work to the table and use your day with intention.
This is the one of the main reasons as to why One Girl Band exists! If you don’t get a whole lot of support from family, friends or your home environment, talk to the people who understand exactly what you’re going through. OGB is about bringing creative women together who are going through the same trials and tribulations of self-employment so that they can see we are all in the same boat. We’re all doing our own thing, and that means that we can feel lonely and isolated from time to time (or, let's be honest, most days!). We all feel the struggle when it comes to money and income, or workflow and scheduling. It helps me immensely when I talk to one of my pals who is also self-employed about any challenges I have because I know that she gets it. There’s the spark in the air when I realise she knows exactly what I’m on about. Post on the facebook group whenever you're feeling low and I promise we'll be there for you.
If things are disastrously shitty, and you don't know if you want to do this anymore, take a break. Go on holiday, a retreat, a staycation; anything that will get you away from work. I had a mini break just last week when I went to stay at my OH's parent's house because I just needed a change of scenery. If you're getting frustrated and feel like you're going round in circles, then let your clients/customers know that you're taking your break, and actually take one. Avoid emails, avoid socials. Just focus on looking after you. It's perfectly ok to do this, so try not to let that guilt crop up. They say that absence makes the heart fonder, anyway. Then, when you get back, answer these questions. Sit with your answers, take time but try not to over think. This will hopefully help you gain some clarity on what the hell you're doing.
- What do you want to make happen in your business, at this time?
- What are the current career goals you are working towards?
- For the next 6-14 months, what do you want to focus on in your work?
- 5 years from now, where would you love to be in your career?
Being a small business owner, or a freelancer or an artist isn’t all of the fun and games you see portrayed on social media. We’re not all sipping cocktails at Soho House in meetings, or sitting by a poolside in Thailand replying to emails (no bad vibes to those who do!). It’s hard. Some days it can feel like the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and those feelings of self-doubt, discouragement and struggle can make you want to quit. But if you show up every day with your truest intentions and the most commitment and dedication you’ve ever given to anything ever, you will see results.
I promise you it’s worth it.
I’m cheering you on.