It's Been a Year
One year ago I was gathering--thoughts, wits, and the pieces of myself that had been fragmented. After I left healthcare and its community, I began traveling down this path in the darkness of uncertainty. As the days grew darker, it seemed to match my need to go inward and recalibrate, reassess, slow down. Those first several months were very quiet in the studio. I felt like an exposed nerve, awkward, lonely.
But each day I stepped into the studio, I thought to myself, "sanctuary." It has been a haven I created with my creative energies: warm, nurturing, curious, bright and grounded. I showed up each day to meet myself where I was--not where I wanted to be, but where I was. I tinkered with media and researched art business practices. Slowly, things started to take shape.
I took my first soft commission in January, then another in March/April. The website took months to build and launched in April...and I was off and running. It was a spring start, with a summer explosion of growth. Now I am gathering, harvesting a crop of lessons, growth edges, and twinkling insights into the future of my business.
Maybe it's my artist brain, but I frequently think metaphorically. Here I hold a basket filled with lessons and notes gathered from a year into this business. Perhaps it will be helpful for others on this journey.
Creativity is intertwined with curious experimentation and risk. I continue to follow the breadcrumb trail and map the terrain, every day.
- Meet yourself where you are, not where you want to be. This leads to authenticity.
- Yes, starting a business is expensive, but you do have to start somewhere. Use your resources and create your goals for the future, even a visual board for this.
- Keep going a little outside your comfort zone.
- Ask yourself, "how would I do this or that?" when admiring other successful creatives and their styles/ideas. Ask, "what do I want to do?" Follow the spark and the joy.
- Networking is not only good for business, it's vital to artists' health and balance. It's an exchange of ideas, connections, and troubleshooting.
- Trust your intuition and allow for plenty of freewheeling and play. There's a sense of letting yourself get out of the way to let things come through, of being a channel. Follow the hunches.
- But also, do your research, of the market, products, tools, practices, resources.
- Stay focused, and as Steve Jobs said, "stay hungry, stay foolish."
- Maintain a growth mentality. We can't be good at everything, but we can learn to do just about anything. Give things time, and keep showing up.
The Path Ahead
For the first time this year, really, I am beginning to gain some clarity and direction. As things take shape and form, I start to see the greater picture. Just as I craft a painting in broad and small brushstrokes, so it is with a business. I see many things in my mind's eye coming up ahead, but I remain open to the opportunities not yet seen.
What are you harvesting or gathering this season?
I would love to hear in the comments.
Leave a Reply