This week I have been learning a lot about myself and the things I need to challenge myself with as a business owner and creative. There were a few times this week I felt pretty lost in what I was doing and where I was going with my work, actually both Mike and I did. We stayed up late last night talking till almost 3 AM. We tossed around where we were going with everything, what we wanted, and what we were missing? I think we needed to get out some of our concerns and the things we each had been mulling over for our business, our clients, and our work. Where we ended up was that we see some big challenges in doing what we are dreaming of. We realized that cutting our own path is going to be no easy task and that we no longer can compare to what the rest of the world is doing. Honestly I don’t know why any of us do. We all are simply doing our best to be the best we can in the best way we know how. What we really realized was that we still had reservations, we have been spread too thin, and there were still places we needed to let go more.
What we realized that comparing ourselves to anyone or any company was only going to rob us of the dreams we have. We have the problem of perfection and over commitment. We as two people want to do the work of ten, and get down on ourselves when we ultimately fall short. Big talks like this are never easy, but goodness they feel good. So though I got only 4 hours of sleep last night, I feel like I found some sort of clarity on what had been robbing me of joy for the last few weeks. It was good to expose the things we knew we needed to work on and to recenter on what we want out of our work and what we TRULY are passionate about. More than anything I was able to develop 3 things I wanted to work on mentally as a creative entrepreneur. I wrote them in my personal notes but I am sure I am not alone in needing to learn these things to be better at chasing my dreams, innovating, and creating work I am in love with.
(Side note, we have amazingly brilliant and inspiring clients, we love working along side them to build their brands. This is about how we create, not our clients)
This is a huge thing to me. Many times I forget to pat myself on the back when something awesome happens, but I have always said that no matter what happens in this life of doing what I love I will never let it change me. What I create is simply my passion and what I have been called to do in this world. The first time I learned true humility was about 4 years ago. I remember meeting this man when working at the Olympics in 2008. I sat on the bus with him for nearly a week and a half and we chatted about life, the games, and where we were from. All I knew was his name was Phil and he was an older man and also the only person going to the Velodrome at 5 AM everyday with me. He always went to the press section and I always went to my post down in the Mix Zone. One morning I went to get coffee before beginning work and I asked Phil if he wanted some too. I ran in to my boss and he asked where I got the coffee and if he could have the other I said…well this one is for Phil and he laughed. I asked him why he was laughing at that, and he said do you know who that Phil is? I said no. He proceeded to tell me it was Phil Liggett who has been the voice of the Tour De France for years. Sure enough as I asked more people they were baffled I had no idea who he was. Granted I was working in the Indoor Cycling arena, but in that moment the respect I had for him was huge. He never once said to this little college student anything about having multiple dinners with Lance Armstrong or inducted in to the British Cycling Hall of Fame. He was a household name to cyclers and to Europe. His humility taught me an important lesson that I still think about whenever a moment comes when I could name drop. Humility is hard, oh so hard, but I think the true test of a good person is finding a way to stay grounded and real and to realize that no matter what you are no different than anyone else. You do what you do. You love what you do. End of story.
The one thing I am terrible at is moving past a failure. Some of you that know me on a more personal level may not even know this, but my biggest fear is being disappointing. I am harder on myself than anyone else could possibly ever be. I expect a lot out of myself so when I fail I really take it in more than I should. Sometimes that expectation is good, but I need to sometimes let go when I fail. Being a business owner and creative, failures are important…possibly more important than successes, but I sometimes let them sink in too deep. So I am telling myself to lighten up, let myself learn, but don’t hold on. Move forward. Let myself off the hook sometimes.
Finding beauty in imperfections is a huge challenge. Being in the world of creativity, blogging, and owning a business, you are constantly putting yourself out there and at first that was really nerve racking. What if I didn’t look good in that top? That makes me look fat! Oh gosh I look so tired in that photo! Or what if my work is not the best? What if someone thinks they could have done better? What if? What if? What if?
Gosh those thoughts kept me up for a long time, but lately I am realizing I am who I am. I can only be the best version of that person. I can only do what I feel called to do in this world. I know I will never look a certain way and I think that’s a hard thing to accept, but I know I can make myself feel really awesome by eating right, working out, and living a clean life. Everyday is a reality check with that thought, though. I think that is normal for every woman, right?!
But as a creative this is still a struggle sometimes. Even creating the type here today I had those thoughts, but the best way to challenge yourself is to let it go. Push out the work that does fulfill me and go with what feels right. Trust my gut. Imperfections can be beautiful and feel real. It shows your realness and gives an impression of you when you let your work be what it is.
This is the kind of post that should end this week. I wrote these 3 phrases on Tuesday when I was ready to kick a kitten because I was so frustrated with myself… I wanted to blame it on other things, but it was me. I needed to redefine some things and give myself a reality check. I am learning. We all are, but I think remembering these three things can help us remain intentional, grounded, and focused as creatives and entrepreneurs.
Happy Friday friends. Make the most of this weekend!