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How Do You Balance the Creative Aspects of Your Work with the Demands of Running a Business?




Being a creative business owner means you have to wear many hats. Sure, you are the artist, but you are also the financial manager, the marketing manager, the event organiser, the product development lead, and the communications manager all at once.


It can be very difficult knowing how to juggle these different mindsets and tasks. So how do I go about it in my day to day? Here are five lessons I’ve learned so far that help me run my creative business.


1.      Learning to Trust Your Creative Pace

One lesson I’ve learned has been to trust how my body wants to create. Some months, I am fired up with creative energy and I am desperate to spend time in the studio painting every day. At other times, my creative well feels drained and I don’t feel much, if any, desire to paint. I try to listen to these creative urges and ensure that I follow the pace my body naturally wants to create at. If this means that some months are heavier on the art than on the business side, or vice versa, that’s okay.


2.      Create in Collections

It helps enormously that whenever I create, I am working on a collection. This helps give structure and purpose to my painting time. It means that my painting is never ‘random’ – it is always in service to the bigger picture.


3.      Know the Value of Your Art

At one point in my journey, I stopped creating art for over a month because I felt so overwhelmed by all the other business tasks I had to do. As the weeks passed, I found that I was becoming drained and demotivated.


Why? Because I wasn’t doing the thing I loved and the reason I started running my business in the first place.


Since then, I have tried to keep a rule of creating for at least an hour or two every morning, unless I am not in the mood. This experience taught me the value of my art – it might feel ‘less important’ than the business tasks on occasion, but without the art there is no business. The art matters. It’s good to prioritise it.


4.      Get Creative with Running a Business

I fundamentally believe that running a business is a creative endeavour. Creating content for social media can feel like a drain, but there is also so much scope for unleashing your artistic juices when creating reels or photos.


One way I keep my business tasks fun is by prioritising the visual art side of things. For example, I make my email newsletter as beautiful as possible, and I enjoy updating my website because I get to play with colour and fonts.





5.      Know the Bigger Picture

I found it much more stressful juggling art with business tasks when I was aimlessly doing whatever felt right at that moment in time. Once I settled on an annual strategy, planning my time effectively became so much easier. In effect, I plan the year’s goals very carefully, but I allow the day-to-day goals to be more flexible according to my mood, creative energy levels and motivation.


For example, if I know that one of my year’s goals is to work on rebranding the website during the first half of the year, then I will stick to prioritising that business task over the spring period. But if I don’t feel energised for website work on a particular day in spring, I don’t need to lose sleep worrying that I am falling behind. I can focus on painting, or other tasks instead.



Conclusion

Follow the ease. Follow the flow. One of the joys, and challenges, of being a creative entrepreneur is that you don’t have a normal 9-5 schedule. Throw the “rules” out the window and learn what works for you. Trust your intuition – if you like routine, make one. If you prefer to be spontaneous, do that! Develop a working pattern that maximises your ability to create and rest and thrive and get things done. And don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing it.

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