Work on Yourself –> Heal Your Business

Here’s a really vital idea for business growth: knowing who you are will help shape your business. 

This is true whether you’re growing your business, starting a new business, or figuring our what business to start.

I’m going to eventually write up a longer post on my entire entrepreneurial journey. But for now, here are the main ways in which working on yourself can change how you approach your new creative venture. These are things I’ve learned for myself and from my work with my clients.

  1. Know your WHY. This is a vital question to ask yourself at every juncture of your journey. When I was growing my clothing line years ago, I would often get stuck doing public relations or going back and forth with a showroom across the country, managing inventory and setting aside samples to send away to people who would hopefully publicize the line. I didn’t like this way of working. I entered into fashion naively. In a way, that was a great thing. But I was distracted by the stalwarts in the industry and the tried and true “way” of doing things: Make a sample, show it to “tastemakers”, get publicity and so on. And now, of course, years later, there are alternatives to this path. But back then, my gut said “no”. The answer to that lay in my WHY. Why am I doing this business? My answer was this: ‘I love the creative process of making art, and I want this art to be accessible to others so that they may experience joy.’ Thats it. No mention of publicity or giving away free stuff. Whenever I reconnected myself to this answer, I experienced great leaps of creativity and even an uptick in sales. I enjoyed myself, I had fun when I was talking about my products, and that translated.
  2. Know your limits. Entrepreneurs are idea people. Entrepreneurs are also expected to be ‘jack of all trades’. You are the finance person, the sales person, the design team, the marketing team, the web tech, the social media folks – all rolled into one. That idea can be intoxicating and exciting at first. It’s certainly useful to know all the running parts of your business. But it’s depleting to actually do all these parts as one person. And going back to #1- I’d wonder if its necessary to do all these parts at all. Now it’s easy to get a virtual assistant or use a calendar app or a social media planning tool. Knowing your limits will help you be your best.
  3. Fail and tell. We hear stories of failure from entrepreneurs who have made it. They look back from their secure vantage and can tell stories of failures and mistakes. While these stories are great to hear, whats missing is the context. What’s great about social media lately is that we can connect with people who are failing in real time. “here’s how I failed as a parent today…”, “here’s the way I lost my temper today…”, “i made a really expensive mistake today..” And for all its flaws,  I love social media for this. It helps us share our humanity. Shame cannot survive in sunlight. Instead of hiding away that you lost money or time or accidentally burned bridges, talk about it. Share it. Once the ouch has worn off, try again. I spent years worrying that my failure would cost me sales. But I realized that the opposite is true. In my current business (the business of therapy), I share my mistakes and thus find lessons I can use in both business and for personal development.

I have so much more to share about my journey. What I’ve found over the years is that our endeavors may change, but we take ourselves to each new project, new relationship, or new life stage. And it’s all intertwined. For instance, having the ability to Fail and Tell in your personal life will help connect during conflict in a relationship.

Are you a creative looking for more confidence or to find deeper self-worth? Reach out.