The past week I’ve been lounging around in my comfy cool PJ’s, drinking copious amounts of water, gently perspiring and resting most of the day. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been due to me flying to warmer climates to enjoy a much-deserved Summer holiday. Nope. No plane catching for me.
Instead, I’ve caught a nasty summer cold and chest infection. I’ve coughed and spluttered my way through this week, feeling pretty dreadful. Much to the despair of my hubby. He even had to return home one lunchtime to help me with my orders because I was too away with the fairies to do it on my own. Thanks hubby 🙂
I haven’t really felt like writing this post either, but this is illustration life. Working for yourself means, dealing with whatever business life throws at you. Even when you’re ill, you have to get on with it. There’s no sick pay for you luv, not when you’re self-employed.
However, as always there’s a positive in every situation.
Wins This Week
This week, lying in my pit of illness, I’ve had A LOT of time to think. In-depth about my creative business and what I want to achieve, focus on and do more of. And the work I want to do less of.
Learning to Say No
This has meant learning to say NO. And for the first time I’ve turned things down. Including paid work. Only little things at the moment, but saying NO, with the bigger picture in mind has felt empowering.
As a result, I’m in the process of clearing the projects I’ve said yes to and really shouldn’t have. You’ll know the projects. They feel like a huge struggle to do and you just resent the time you spend on them. You’d rather be doing something else. Worst of all, they leave you feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve said yes to some projects with only the £££ in my eyes. Consequently, I’ve done work I’m not proud of and sometimes feel I’ve sold out on. Cheapened my brand. This may seem harsh. But taking on work that doesn’t feel true to your ideas and ethics does that.
I’m applying this to my personal life too. Saying no to social engagements because I know I’d rather be somewhere else. Frankly I wouldn’t be giving that social engagement my full attention. Spending time with people who drain my energy and are negative, is creatively sapping. Therefore I’ve chosen to say NO more often and dodge certain social events.
As I get older I’m definitely more comfortable doing this. And actually, I don’t want to spend time with some people who make me feel a bit shit. Instead, I’ve come to value even more the people who make me laugh, understand my troubles or are just bloody good fun to be around.
Read this post about learning to say no, without guilt and with grace by minimalist coach, Jessica Rose Williams. There are some great insight and examples of how you can apply the art of learning to say no in your life.
Simple Productivity Tip: Swat, Spritz & Shine
You know those little jobs that niggle at you? Peck at your consciousness. They are like summer mosquitos dive-bombing you just as you’re about to fall asleep. So annoying. You’ve no choice but to get up and swat them away. Or get the fly spray out.
Well, I’ve had a few jobs on my to-do list for months. This week, from my sick-bed, I’ve finally tackled them and swatted them away from my to-do list. This has included simplifying my About Page and adding a Press and Mentions section. Why did I take so long to do this?! I feel so much better now they are completed.
My advice to you is, get the simple tasks sorted and out-of-the-way. You’ll feel so much better for it. And it leaves time and mental space to get on and do the jobs you really enjoy. With this simple productivity tip, I now have more time for the creativity I enjoy.
I’ve spritzed some positivity into my day. Made it all shiny and organised.
Just a Card Campaign
I was so happy to be asked to contribute an interview to the Just A Card campaign blog. I was interviewed by the lovely Kate Marsden aka ‘Made by Mrs M’. I love this campaign. It’s simply about supporting local/independent/small business. Please do pop over to their blog to read the post and about the campaign. Even better, follow the artists and designers, buy a card, a print or spread the word about their work.
Being Ill Obvs!
Being my own boss and having to work whilst ill is not fun. As I mentioned above, I had to call in help from the hubby. This also made me think. What would I do if something more serious happened? What contingency do I have?
Currently, my business is in the position that I can ask my hubby, my sons or my parents to help out. However knowing I want to grow – grow my business, grow my orders, my team, my income etc, I’m going to need contingencies.
I’m now considering other income streams, machinery, resources etc to build contingency into my creative business.
Most importantly I’m considering the stress I’ve put myself under, during this journey, which has probably caused me to get ill in the first place. I’ll be working on this whilst I am on holiday – next week woohoo! And will, of course, report back.
Frankly, this post has exhausted me so it’s time to leave you with my quote of the week…
Your heart is the most powerful muscle in your body. Do what it says – Jen Sincero
Have an inspired day
Read more about my creative business journey in the illustration life series