I’ve noticed in working with creative entrepreneurs, especially designers and makers, and in my own work, there are certain places where we get stuck. Because we’re individuals, they’re nuanced, but there are definitely themes.
I’ve collected five of the most common blocks to doing our best work and shared some of my thoughts on how we get un-stuck. This list is not exhaustive, and so I’d love to hear your experiences of what gets you tied up in knots and how you untangle yourself. Pop a comment below or email me!
Worrying about what other people think
Okay, I’ll admit this is a lifetime’s work for me. I’m a people-pleaser, and every year I think I’ll kick this habit, and every year it is stubborn. So my experience is that it’s a practise. A long one that you have to do every day. I remind myself that I’m not here to please people. It’s not my job to make everyone happy. It’s my job to tell the truth, to be myself, to offer business practises and services that I believe in.
Worrying about what other people are doing
There’s the pleasing, and then there’s the comparison. There are so many books I wish I’d written, courses I’d love to run, events I’d love to host, conversations I’d love to have. And when I see other people doing them, it physically hurts sometimes.
And then there’s seeing other people doing things I hadn’t even thought of! Should I be doing that? How can a change my business strategy to include that, because it’s obviously working? Wait. This is always a signal for a pause. To get off social media, to take a walk, to remind myself of what’s important to me.
Comparison is another life-long lesson. But my best advice is to allow yourself that pause to come back to yourself, and to remember that you have to do what’s right for you.
Note: if either of these first two are big for you, consider Self Care on Social Media for Business Owners. We’ll get you some healthy boundaries around social media, comparison and those silly shoulds.
Creative self-doubt: this font or that? This format or that?
In the last 3 days I’ve had emails from coaching clients double checking their new designs. What do I think of the fonts? Are the colours right?
I can help with these questions for my clients because I already know the answers to the following:
- Who are you designing for?
- What do they care about?
- What’s the most important job for this product / service / offering?
- Do the design choices reflect these things?
Ultimately, feeling confident in your designs requires courage. It’s never easy. There is often doubt and fear lingering around. It’s about having enough of a connection to what you want to create so that you can push through the doubt.
I could write a whole other post (maybe a book?) on listening to the inner signals of what is right and what is fear, following our creative intuition. All I’ll say now is: I know you have a wise inner creative within you, one that knows the answers.
There’s not enough money
If you’re stuck in the “not enough, not enough, not enough” loop, I recommend logging off. Turn off your phone. Close down your laptop. Stop looking at the to-do list. For 15-20 minutes.
Instead, boil the kettle, make a tea or lemon and honey, and sip it. List a few things you’re grateful for, the prosperity you’ve already received. Go to town if you can. Be grateful for the kettle, electricity, and the chair you’re sat in if that’s all you can manage. This is the seed that shifts the worry and lets your brain know you have resources to get through the hard patch you’re in – or realise you’re not in a hard patch at all.
Alternatively, I also find just walking round the block for 20 minutes can shift the overwhelming not enoughness.
Trying to push through when really we need to rest and reset
This. This, my friends, is a theme amongst hard-working, gifted, creative, ambitious (mostly) female entrepreneurs and creatives. There’s a tendency to push and push and push. We think that’s what we’re meant to do – keep going forever, no matter what.
Your energy isn’t infinite, but it is renewable.
If you’re trying to get through an impossible to-do list. If you keep getting hit in the face by a wave coming towards you, with no chance for a breath before the next one hits. If you are so tired that sleep doesn’t even touch the sides (as it were). If you can’t remember what a clear head feels like.
You. Have. To. Rest.
Rest actually speeds up the creative process. Did you know that? It also speeds up success of all kinds. Because we don’t waste precious energy trying to do stuff that isn’t working when, if we had the mental clarity, we’d know that a thoughtful pivot would yield results.
I don’t write this to be facetious or to over-simplify the complex process of building a sustainable and profitable business. Business isn’t simple, but nor is it as complicated as our fear-based brains like to tell us.
So I write this to offer practical steps to get yourself out of stuckness and closer to your dreams.
I can’t wait to hear what works for you!
A few offerings
If you’re getting stuck, you might like:
- Self Care on Social Media for Business Owners. If I could release creatives from comparison and the distraction of social media, I know that the world would be better off. We’d have more true connection, more amazing products and services, and generally more happiness. Be part of this movement to create healthy relationships with social media, especially for business owners. Lifetime membership is £140+VAT.
- My January retreat weekend. Yes, you’ll rest and reset. Plus you’ll get time to reflect on your business and make an amazing plan for the year ahead. These retreats change lives, I’ve been told. Places are available for just £700, and you can book a place for a £250 deposit.
- One-on-one coaching. Let’s get into the detail of where you’re standing in your own way, or coming up against obstacles you can’t figure out yet. Create your own unique plan of six sessions for £750.