Now that I’ve been working as a solopreneur for many months I have some takeaways for you on moving to a life of creative independence.
(1) FIND BALANCE.
This is the MOST important takeaway I can offer you. I have been a stress ball for the past month because I’ve said yes to way too much. My desire or feeling of obligation to always be working only makes it worse. This past week I slowed down my mind, did morning meditations and made yoga a priority. I even said yes to lunch and poolside fun with friends! I feel more relaxed for it and still managed to get work done. And now, this week, when I really need to dig my heels in, I’m refueled! Make sure you honor your spiritual and physical needs. If you can’t do it for yourself, remember it isn’t only for you: it impacts your relationships with loved ones. What actions and schedules can you create in your life that will allow you to find your creative equilibrium?
(2) Say yes ONLY to projects that are in align with your creative mission.
When you first start out you may not have much going on in terms of cash flow. THIS IS OKAY. If you set yourself up for this opportunity or are still working to help realize this goal, you need to lose those feelings of financial fear and instability. Don’t take every job or task that pays just because it pays. I’ve heard this one from many people, especially Danielle LaPorte (also via Srini Rao), and yes, it’s easy to say if you are in a place of financial security. But take a moment. Just think about it. If you remember that balance in your life is important consider this: if you jump only for the currently paying jobs rather than focus on your creative mission, your creative goals still aren’t going anywhere. Answer “let me think about it” when people bring opportunities to your door. Hold your time and your mission as the sacred goal it is.
(3) Connect with like-minded people.
I’ve said this before, as have many others (especially Scott Dinsmore of LYL), but it makes a huge difference in your momentum to complete your projects as well as your level of consistent inspiration. I’m beginning to make some great connections in Muscat and these women are enthusiastic and supportive of goals. Between my husband, my “Muscateers” (I can’t help myself sometimes), and my loved ones living around the world, I have constant creative refueling. When you take your refueling time, spend time with people who pump you up and inspire you. Not only are you taking a break, you are getting a pep talk at the same time!
If you have a creative goal or dream, these keys to surviving creative independence are so important for your success. You don’t have to be a solopreneur to practice these takeaways. If you plan to develop a project on the side while you have another career, these are just as important, if not more important, for you to consider. Set yourself up for creative success!
The past 6 months of being an independent creative business have been eye-opening and exciting. I’ve learned so much! I overscheduled myself constantly. I realized I always feel like I should be working. Despite all of it, I’m loving every minute of it. It’s been an awesome ride and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next. Join me and take that creative leap. Sign up to Artist Strong and get access to the Artist’s Toolkit, a space of ever-growing creative play resources and strategies to develop your creativity. Say yes to creativity and connecting with like-minded people. We all will be better for it.
BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: How have you navigated your first months of creative independence? Or, ever take a sabbatical to work on a project? Share the pros and cons of your experience below.