Owning a small business is tough. Ask anyone who has one, and they will likely grit their teeth and tell you they love it (and they do!) but also, that it’s hard. There are days as someone who is self-employed when it seems easier to throw in the towel, but I also love so many things about being independent and getting to follow my passion and dreams. Here are some of the things that help keep me sane when the going gets tough!
-Count your blessings: Sounds silly and a bit juvenile, but this can truly change my mindset when I am having a hard day, or dealing with tough business situations. I sometimes even write a list of the benefits of my business, things that have been “wins”, and moments that I am proud of. It helps me refocus, and remember why I am doing what I am, and what truly matters. Tip: Keep a magnetic pad near your work station or desk, or even on the fridge, and refer back to it when you’re having a hard time.
-Step away: When I am feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, I sometimes take a day off to unplug and recharge. It sounds counterintuitive, because it seems like I should work harder, but taking a day off helps me narrow down what needs to get done and not be so distracted. I highly suggest taking some time to get outside and go hiking, or head to a local lake or river. Fresh air does wonders, and so does some relaxation time. If you prefer more of a girl’s day out, a pedicure or simply eating lunch with a friend can really recharge your mental “batteries”.
-Do something new: I often push myself to come up with new themes or ideas, because it helps me stay fresh and creative. I find it also helps me to dream up some styled shoots, or themes to channel my energy. If I am really struggling, I try to go back to basics, and remember why I really do love my craft, and how important it is in my life.
-Outsource: When it comes to doing some of the day to day work, paperwork, or taxes, sometimes it can be difficult if it’s not a skill thats in your wheelhouse. It can be stressful and hard to learn something that is not something you’re trained in, and can distract you from the important work you want to be doing! That’s where outsourcing comes in, and what allows you to free your time up for more important pursuits. Consider hiring a virtual assistant, an intern, or a tax professional to help alleviate the amount of time you have to devote to non core tasks. You may find the expense is well justified and can produce more business revenue through new clients and better work!
-Find a mentor: Everyone, no matter how experienced, can benefit from someone to talk to. I really enjoy working with and learning from older and more experienced photographers when I have the chance. Whether that looks like attending a professional workshop, or inviting critiques on my work through contests or submissions, it has made me a better artist. Mentors can also be there to bounce question and concerns off of, and to answer logistical questions about taxes, LLC’s, and more.
Whether you’re a photographer or an artist, a creator or a businesswoman, finding balance is the true key to success. I hope these tips can help inspire you to find a balance in your life that will enable you to live your VERY best life!