I've recently moved my creative business to fulltime and although it is still very early days I have already learnt so much about how I work. I hadn't really thought about it before I made the decision to leave my day job, I just knew that it was the right thing to do.
At times it can feel like a rollercoaster with its highs and lows on a bit of a regular basis, but alongside it comes the most extraordinary self discovery and fulfilment like no other I have experienced in my work life.
Self Doubt Coach Sas Petherick recently described this on Josephine Brooks Podcast 'On the Make' as 'the self development program you never signed up, the endless invitation to look at yourself, because suddenly we are in charge' This is so true, having a creative business is a self discovery in itself. You are constantly learning about yourself because in this self employed world you are the boss, there is no one to say 'do it this way' or 'the policy says this' you have to rely on yourself and there lies the discovery of the person you really are. This is a true revelation.
It's been 9 weeks since I've taken my business fulltime and here is what I've learnt so far:
I am motivated by the stick
This is based around the traditional motivation theory 'Are you motivated by the stick or the carrot?' I have figured out that I am motivated by pressure and pull and it seems to generate the most productivity. It would be great to be more productive with the prospect of treats and gifts but no this doesn't seem to work with me (although I wouldn't say no to a treat!)
I tend to do the good/easy stuff first
I have also noticed that I like to do the good/easier stuff first, I like to ease myself in to the harder stuff. So for example I like to make and design products in the morning and do the admin/finances in the afternoon. In a recent Instagram post I asked people what they thought there working pattern was and the majority said they prefer doing the harder stuff first.....so looks like I am in the minority on this one but that's ok, because at the moment this works for me, it may change though and time will tell.
I'm not good with routine ( I like variety)
With only 9 weeks into working fulltime on my business, I've noticed that I don't have a strict routine. I actually like variety and find that this is what keeps me interested and focused on tasks. I tend to react to orders and will work constantly on them until they have finished, whether it is in the morning or in the afternoon it doesn't really matter. I know roughly what needs to be done and I will do it. My next steps are to introduce a set time each week for doing a dedicated task whether that is for example marketing, pitching or wholesale.
I love making candles
I really do. In fact working fulltime in my business has reinforced this. Making candles relaxes me and makes me feel good. I love the techniques, the process, the scents and the finished products. Phew its reassuring that I am in the right job! Over the last few months I have created a new Spring candle Ginger, Lemongrass and Rosewood as well as starting to work on a new Summer Scent which I will be launching over the next few months.
I love designing and creating new products and scents
Having the space and time to create new products and scents has really made a difference to my creativity and output. Before I would definitely struggle to fit in dedicated time to do this and I would tend to design any new products and scents in my Holidays and evenings. I've noticed that my output has been better too, recently I decided to create a new DIY Candle Making Kit after requests from customers and my retail stockists. Normally this would take me weeks, even months to do and with focus and planning I was able to create and launch a new DIY Kit for my online shop in a week (give or take!)
I actually like working with people and company
I love the Instagram community around me and it continues to be so supportive and encouraging. I have really enjoyed connected with other like minded people over the last few months, who all continue to inspire and encourage me as we support each other through our businesses. I have really grown to lean on this support, especially when you are having a rough week or feeling you need a lift. I have continued to work on my word of the year connecting and still go back to it every now and then.
Here are some things that have really helped me over the last few months and I hope you find them useful too
The Insta Retreat - Sara Tasker Me & Orla
Planning and productivity for side hustlers - Josephine Brooks
Small business copy writing workshop - Fiona Burrows
Small Business wholesale Mentor - Therese Ortenblad
Whether you have dreams of running your own business or your are working on your business on the side, part time or fulltime, I hope you find this useful!