This week I wrote a post about what it’s like to do work you love and what you might have give up in order to practice your craft. That’s the beautiful and sometimes tragic thing about owning a small business.
The post was picked up and run in the weekly Etsy Success Newsletter and consequently my site was overrun (in a good way) by hoards of artists doing what they love, but oftentimes without the financial reward as of yet that made their venture make sense to most.
If you want some inspiration glace at the post, but pour over the comments – they are by far the most moving words that have ever appeared on this blog. (Side note – if you’re not shopping on Etsy you are missing out on the easiest way to find very cool, creative and unique gifts.)
The post is a pretty high level riff on what I believe about being in business, but sometimes you also need the practical, okay, I am doing what I love, but I lose focus and I get stuck – how do I get unstuck and back on track.
What about now?
I don’t know if I have the answer for that, but I can tell you what I do to get back in touch with the purpose for my business.
Feed the head
Between the highs and lows of reading email, pouring over industry blogs, and creating compelling arguments for why someone should choose your business or product, the mind can get exhausted.
For me, one of the smartest things I can do, before I ever turn my computer on, is to read something that makes my brain smile. There are many books that fit that category, for some it might be a sacred text like The Bible or The Upanishads . For me these days it’s Anam Cara by John Donahue. It’s a book I’ve been through numerous times and still find new insights with each reading.
If I start my day that way I always have a good day
When I get stuck, I start judging everything as either right or wrong. I start reacting to things that don’t matter. I get defensive about emails that point out my mistakes in grammar. (I know, hard to imagine I get those, right?)
When I eventually get around to wondering why I’m stuck, I make a point to consciously give in and release judging anything as either good or bad for as long as I can. It’s amazing how your perspective on the things going on around you can change when you decide to give in and witness your thoughts instead.
Another sure sign that I’m stuck is that I start acting out of scarcity rather than abundance. I know for certain there is more out there in the world than I could ever consume, so when I start thinking solely about what’s in it for me, I’m headed for a rough day.
My routine for getting out of this mindset is to simply start giving gifts to everyone I meet during the day. This is actually easier than it sounds. In some cases I do go out of my way to make a physical gift, but I can also make a referral, send a handwritten thank you or even offer a silent gift to a stranger at lunch. Sappy as it sounds, I’m the one that gets the biggest gift that day!
I think we can make this whole business thing so hard, but it’s not really that hard at all. In fact the beauty of owning a business where you do what you love is that sometimes the right thing is the easiest thing to do. (with apologies to The Fray)
Sorry if it seems like my marketing blog is wandering off in odd and mushy directions, must be spring, but to me there’s little distinction when it comes to small business between the things that drive our lives and those that drive our businesses.