Have a Business You Can Be Proud Of
Have a Business You Can Be Proud Of: : How to Sustain Authentic Creativity in a World Full of Entrepreneurs
Women in the modern age have been gifted with a fierce sense of ambition and independence. From career to health, family, adventure, and love, we want it all. In Charleston, it is nearly impossible to sashay down the street without passing an emerging female entrepreneur.
The last few years mark a massive paradigm shift from ladies in the corporate world to the goddesses of passionate hustle. Everyday women are exchanging the drab hours of 9-5 cubicle life for a career of freedom, opportunity, inspiration, and creativity. The traditional career path is no longer enough - this is a generation of dreamers and visionaries.
And the dream is a big one. To work from home in undies or poolside in a bikini. The promise of 6 figure businesses that operate anywhere with wifi. The most successful female entrepreneurs seem to live in a world of rainbows and butterflies where innovative new concepts and fresh ideas spring out of thin air.
I’m here to share the secret: the simple solution passed on to me years ago and the unique take on it from many outstanding, wise, and successful women.
When I first set foot on the terrain of entrepreneurship as a fledgling yoga instructor, I was wildly unprepared. This decision assured an all-inclusive package of days filled with meditation, sunrise French Press on the porch, sand between my toes, and plenty of time for fiction.
Two years and twenty classes a week later, the anticipated bliss-filled paradise resembled something closer to factory work.. Somewhere along the way, the desire (ahem...push) to succeed annihilated my passion and took every ounce of creativity with it.
Enter comparison, the thief of joy.
Comparison leads to imitation - the antithesis of creation. Creation is the joy of entrepreneurship.
Creation is freedom.
Luckily, this period was short lived.
Ferocious burnout happens all too often in the realm of female entrepreneurs. The empowered choice is declared. Decisions are made. Chess pieces are moved. Jobs/Careers are pulled off the board and business are launched. Check Mate.
Then the rainbows and butterflies go suspiciously missing. Why is the laptop still open at 10PM? What happened to the innovative ideas? When did those funny lines between my eyebrows set up shop?
Where is the well of seemingly endless supply of creative innovation?
The secret solution is twofold. First, be completely, unapologetically honest about what makes you unique. Not just from behind the glare of a screen, but in all compartments of your life. Second, craft a personalized framework to maintain a space of flow, in lieu of force.
Taking the leap to turn your after hours passion project into full time business is exactly that - a leap. A beautiful, exhilarating leap of faith. Deep down you know there is a net, but the reality of running a business can be daunting. Especially when going at it on your own.
Old fears can sink in, the “what if they don’t like me” voice starts chirping. Old, dusty patterns show up. Go go go go go. Instead of shifting into reset mode, the dive into comparison, imitation, and overworking sinks to overwhelm. This forceful attempt to “fix it” or “figure it out” denies the natural ability to create.
With an endless supply of emerging entrepreneurs at the helm, the pressure to power through and “keep up” can be potent.
Don’t try so hard.
Shifting gears into forceful overdrive immediately severs the ability to be fully expressive.
In personality driven business, creativity and authenticity are of utmost importance. Your uniqueness is your superpower. This is the magic that will draw in soul mate clients, connect you to your target market, and eliminate competition. Indulging in interests that don’t directly contribute to your business. Your passions, quirks, friends. Nurturing this side of yourself, nurturing what makes you tick, this is the solution.
Creativity derives not from keeping up with the goddesses, but from feeding your soul.
If your uniqueness is your superpower, then it follows that the methods you use to pull yourself out of overwhelm into inspired creativity will be unique. So instead of giving you a list of answers, I am handing over a list of questions. Your answers, and how you chose to act on them, will be yours alone.
Though your answers will be personal, we are never truly alone as solopreneurs. There is an abundance of women offering their guiding light and openly sharing wisdom. Women who have been running their business from the heart for years. Wildly creative and authentic women who believe in community over competition. Because they know who they are, how to turn inward for inspiration, and reach for support when necessary. All of this means they never have to compete, only thrive.
A rising tide lifts all ships, my loves.
So the next time a creative funk swings by for a visit, slow down, have a cup of tea (chamomile, bien sûr!) and consider these simple questions to invite in creativity. And enjoy the wisdom of a few women who have transversed the terrain to the land of rainbows and butterflies before you.
Question to consider: How is my self care?
Self care is the backbone to a creative business, yet ironically it is the first thing to go when the calendar gets crowded and the ‘to-do” list gets lengthy. Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place.
What self care guru Ash Cebulka has to say:
Self care is key to my creativity. When I'm consistent with self care, it fills up my creative juices so I have the energy (physically, mentally & spiritually) and clarity to dive head first into making my art. Another question I consider is what do you need to feel the way you want to feel right now?"
Question to consider: Have I gone from flow to force?
Sometimes we just get stuck. Plain and simple. This is your body, mind, and soul’s way of calling for a time out or a change of scenery. The solution already exists inside you, it is just hiding behind the pressure.
What Rachel Gordon, owner of One Love Design, has to say:
“If I'm stuck on a dress or idea that needs creative flow I will put the situation into a timeout. Sometimes I start a different creative project or just do my "todo list." Sometimes a beach walk or yoga class is worked in then I return to the situation with fresh eyes.”
Question to consider: How are my friends/family?
If the answer to this is, “I have absolutely no idea” it is time to check out of work and check into your relationships.
What Sarah Frick, co-owner of Charleston Power Yoga, has to say:
“You have to live your life and let your career be an extension of that. Not the other way around. You'll be miz if you do. I always think "kitchen party atmosphere". On and off the mat. In and outta the studio. I mean who doesn't love a kitchen party!? Amiright!? All the best ideas around one (wine and women filled) think tank.”
Question to consider: Am I honoring my rituals?
Crafting a personal ritual has the potential to ignite subconscious memory and make innovation feel amazing. Design a ritual that feels light and free, then invite creativity in for a cup of tea.
What Emily Cassel, Feminine Leadership Coach, has to say:
"Whenever I'm creating something new, I always start with a ritual to align energetically with what I envision. I focus on inviting in, instead of forcing, the creation. I surrender to the process, and "romance" the new idea, almost like seducing a lover. I put on a "power outfit" and craft a new playlist that captures the essence of the new creation, so that I'm embodying the right energy. Then, I ask myself what would be the most fun place to start and what would I love to do now? Then I start to take inspired action using the momentum and enthusiasm I've cultivated! This always makes the process so fun, helps me get super clear, and allows me to easily reconnect with the vision of what I'm creating and share it with people, making an invitation instead of a "sale".
Am I being chased by a Velociraptor?
Ok, so I snuck this one in for fun.
I stumbled across it on pinterest a few years ago. Since then, I seem to ask myself this question at least once a day. It brings a little lightness when I create unnecessary drama. Most of the time, the solution doesn’t require diplomatic negations or a lawyer. Just breath. And laughter.
Do what you need to do to let the panic out, move a little, cry if necessary. Look over your shoulder for the Velociraptor, then move on.
Trust yourself. Take care of yourself. You were born to create, not compete, not force. Your task is to enjoy the process.
My name is Bethany.
But my friends call me B.
I believe education is the best method to empower the world, whether it be traditional, spiritual, or self-study. Only when we are truly informed do we have the capability to question our limitations, expand our creativity, and start defining life on our terms.
I’ve used my traditional education and my 12 years of yoga experience to create a career and lifestyle I love. Mine is a life of specific design.
And my life’s purpose is to help you do the same.
I studied all the rules and decided for myself which ones to break.
At any given moment, you can find me handstanding on a foreign beach, running down the rabbit hole of some new subject of study, discussing philosophy over a bottle of red, or laughing out loud at a table full of friends.
My lifestyle and business coaching programs are designed to help you create your own set of rules, so you too can move through life with a sense of freedom and style. This is more than a career, I’m on a mission to help YOU take your practice off your mat and into a beautiful life, all while adding more authenticity and love to your world. Care to join me?