Thoughts On Dealing With Change In A Creative Business pt.1
Thoughts on dealing with change in a creative business...
I know I am more than likely preaching to choir here, because no doubt those of you reading this who have already had experience of running creative projects, events and creative businesses as part of your career path will have often had times within that when you felt just this way. Like you no longer fit into the business that you have spent years working towards and creating around yourself. Your passion project, what people know you for, the thing you've won awards and gained hundreds of mailing list subscribers for. Is no longer you. You have moved on, your values no longer align with that idea, you've evolved and outgrown those shiny yarn filled dreams and craft party banter (very specific I know right) and are stuck between all the years of hard slog and who you see yourself as now.
That's where I am. Right now.
Today I wanted to begin with a very personal perspective of dealing with change in a creative business and where I am in that right now. It's been on the tip of my tongue for weeks but I haven't had the head space, time or words to try and describe the exciting and also scary shift that is happening. As the anxiety and to do list continue to grow whilst I try and juggle two seemingly different businesses, see friends and family and book in workshops and events for the rest of the year. I find that at this point when it all gets way too much for one small human to deal with that's when something big happens.
Around 2 weeks ago an article popped into my inbox and a line within that really resonated with me. The article was talking about balance and how as creative business owners we can often work so hard that we forget about making room to let things in. How important allowing change to follow big decisions or projects is. Because often we are so invested in the work we do we do not let it breath or let magic follow the energy we have created. I think that was when I really took a step back and thought. Hang on I have got to stop.
Those of you who know me will know that for the past 5/6 years I have run a craft company and that is the main thing that I have been working towards... craft DIY's, hen parties, magazine commissions, workshops, handmade items on Etsy, a craft book series... pom-poms. I have worked my arse off for all of that, and I am proud of most of it.
But I have outgrown that version of creative craft business Amy and it has shaken me because this new exciting inspiring passion project has come forward from the experiences of the past 10 years of my life and career and I am not quite sure how it all fits. That project is Women Who Create.... THIS. The site, the blog, the community and events... the possibilities. Possibilities that I just don't see with Super+Super crafts anymore. For the first time in 6 months I am super excited about writing, I am inspired by the new ideas, sharing everything with a community of creative business owners. At almost 32 years old I can see where I am and it feels authentic.
Last week I realised that that was ok. And I also realised that I cannot do both businesses to the best of my ability and make a success of them. Whilst also having a fulfilled life away from my laptop! And once again, like when we decided to close our craft studio in Brighton several years ago, I remembered just how powerful letting go can be for your creative spirit and inspiration.
I haven't shut anything down or switched anything off, but I have decided to let go of Super+Super as it is now and continue to build my new creative business path within WWC. Crafts will be a part of that but the why will be very different. Giving myself the permission to put it to one side until I know how the two can work together is scary yet a huge relief.
So for now I will spend a bit of time thinking about what elements I want grow within my new creative business.
What's the plan? The plan is to follow my passion, experiences and current projects and see what that looks like when I give it room to breathe. To get ready for the first #WWCweekend and keep growing this brilliant community.
Things I love about running a creative business include making and designing, teaching and skill sharing, people + COMMUNITY, being my own boss, helping others work towards their dream projects and careers. Craft for the sake of something else... for relaxation, for Craftivism, for sustainability, to pass on traditional skills, to help people communicate, to mend old clothes and broken hearts. So for now those are enough.
I am also going to take a brave leap and ask everyone on my current S+S mailing list to re-subscribe to a new WWC list if they feel what I am now doing is right for them. I am going to plan more WWC mini events and build relationships with the amazing local creative women in business in Nottingham with a hope to collaborate there. I am going to do regular call outs for blog contributors like I did last week. I am going to run fewer craft workshops but focus on making them very special. And I am going to undoubtedly have many freak outs along the way as I slowly let go of S+S the brand.
Ultimately I am making room to grow
If you are thinking of making big changes in your creative business, here are some practical tips that might make the transition a bit less daunting...
Do not compare yourself to peers or your favourite creative business on IG - take inspiration, but find your own way, you're great too
If it doesn't excite/inspire/empower you its probably not the right thing
Clear out the crap - In box, craft box, shoe boxes. Make space for the new
Switch to decaf - I find that strong coffee and anxiety are usually best of friends... lets try less of both
Call on business besty's to help you create an objective plan for the next few weeks - look into SMART goals
Get a new file/notebook and start fresh
Get out and move your body - walk, dance, stretch, cycle... you choose
Do not take on too much right at the start - this will lead to overwhelm and burn out
Invest in yourself whenever you can - training course, book keeper, creative coach, new equipment - but live within your means
Join a local meet up and be open to new projects, oppertunities and directions within your business -talk about your new idaes + get feedback, you too are also constantly growing
I'd love to hear from you if you are contemplating big changes to your creative biz... or if you've had experience, good or bad of making them previously. Please comment below with your invaluable input