When you run a creative business, your focus as an artist can shift from doing what you love to generating income. While I consider entrepreneurship to be an art form in itself, I can admit that running this business has stunted my creativity. I don’t remember the last time I did something creative just for fun, without expectation. Starting this vlog has introduced me to the world of video, and this week, I caught the bug. Even though I plan to continue incorporating video into my businesses, I’ve decided to let myself off the hook regarding performance. This is my new playground. When was the last time you unleashed your inner artist and allowed yourself to explore a new medium?
Do you ever wonder what your fellow creative entrepreneurs are up to? In between the big wins, product launches, and collaborations are the small steps (some forward, some backward) that lead to those turning points. Here’s a transparent account of a week in the life of a gal in passionate pursuit of business growth, personal development and those magical milestones.
Monday, August 14th
Even though I was coming off of a beautiful, inspiring day with my Mastermind partners the previous Friday, I wasn’t feeling so inspired on Monday morning.
Rather than dwell, I moved forward by attacking some less significant items on my to-do list. Typically, I like to start with the projects that lead to big-picture goals, but I thought that rapidly checking things off might be just what I needed to propel me into the afternoon.
The afternoon was spent on prepping for freelance work, clearing out the old inbox, and assigning new tasks to Mandy, my virtual assistant. I’ve started using Screenflow to record workflows and instructions, and then send them over to her in the form of short tutorial videos. This has become so helpful— especially in the tasks that I ask her to do once a month because it gives her something to refer to so she can refresh her memory.
Tuesday, August 15th
Hello, Tuesday! It felt so good to be over those unexplained Monday blues and back to my old self. I had quite a few freelance projects in the hopper, which meant taking a break from my own projects, but also meant a mental break.
Since I have been working on these magazine layouts for this company for almost my entire career as a graphic designer (over ten years, eep!), even when there’s a heavy work load, it’s something that comes second nature to me. I’m usually able to flip on the tv while I’m designing, which meant I could do some “vlog studying” at the same time.
I somehow ended up down a wormhole that led me to Casey Neistat, who I’m now deeming the godfather of YouTube. This guy totally inspired me and left me ending the day in a massive research project, searching for the perfect vlogging camera.
I initially stuck this model in my cart, because it came recommended by Amy Schmittaeur, another YouTuber who I’ve been following. In further researching, I came to learn that the camera’s microphone was on the top of the camera instead of the front which wouldn’t make for great audio (currently one of my biggest struggles).
Plus, I really wanted a camera that could be used for more than just vlogging. My mind was seriously running wild with ideas for creating videos when we travel, and even imagined that I could start reviewing all the coffee shops I love to explore. Is video becoming my new favorite medium?
In the end, I settled on this camera, that offered a light weight that would allow for easy portability, plus it had a port to plug in an external microphone for voice recording. The little fuzzy wind protector looks pretty ridiculous, but I’m thinking that most of the voice-related video that I’ll be filming will either be in my house or in my car. I may have watched a lot of vloggers, but I haven’t yet acquired their lack of fear when it comes to recording in public. Goals!
Wednesday, August 16th
After doing some early morning freelance work, I shifted my focus to crafting a new set of promotions for DesignCuts‘ latest bundle (this time mockups, woohoo!). While it’s easy for me to speak glowingly of a company that I genuinely love, it’s still tough to plan so many social posts and emails, month after month.
I’ve been trying my best to make each “promotion” less of a sales pitch and more of a helpful message, and this approach has been making them much simpler to create. The more I focus on writing with one particular person in mind, the easier it is. Not only does it lessen the difficulty of writing, but it makes the emails and messages more relatable to the person reading it. Wins all around.
When those promotions were complete, it was time to wrap up last week’s Diary of a Creative Entrepreneur post and get it published before returning to more freelance work.
Thursday, August 17th
It’s usually this time of the week when I’m itching for a change of scenery, so I headed out to the coffee shop. It was one of those mornings where I was having a hard time deciding what to work on because each task felt equally important.
I was reminded of a book I read last year, called “The Best Yes,” which taught me a very valuable concept: sometimes there is no right choice! Rather than spend time pondering the very best option, just pick one and get started. In the end, I landed on clearing out my inbox, since I hadn’t opened it once the day before.
The process took me into the afternoon— coordinating with upcoming guest bloggers for MichelleHickey.Design, and then back to freelancing.
Friday, August 18th
I woke up Friday morning with video still on my mind. Even though I have looming projects, namely the Elegance and Enchantment redesign, I still was feeling the pull to learn everything there is, surrounding the video platform. From filming technique to video editing to becoming a better speaker— I want to do it all, and do it with excellence.
Sometimes, I teach myself new platforms because I know they will lead to growth in my business, and increased profits, but this time, it wasn’t the case. I rarely let myself create for creativity’s sake. What kind of artist does that make me? I made the decision to just let myself dabble, without expectation, without the requirement of generating money, or viewers. When was the last time you tried something creative, just for fun?
In the afternoon, I worked on a quick email campaign, letting my Elegance and Enchantment readers know that they had a coupon code available to them for a limited time, in further efforts to boost the Facebook ads we are running.
I made sure to take advantage of ConvertKit‘s easy-to-use tagging method, to keep track of those who clicked on the links, showing interest in The Enchanting Mondays Library. Having that data meant that I could send those users over to Katie, my FB Ads gal, and she will then be able to re-target them with new ads next week. So easy!
Lesson of the week:
Creatives need the space to be able to explore new mediums without expectation or the pressure to perform. It’s not only okay to dabble in new endeavors, but it’s also healthy practice for anyone who considers themselves to be an artist.
What I’m reading:
What I’m watching:
What I’m listening to:
A mix of my audiobooks (above) and lots of Broadway Showtunes.
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