Makers Megaphone Coaching


Posts tagged Small business
GET INSPIRED [Makers Monday Motivation 4.16.18]

Let’s be honest, even the most creative among us runs into days - or even whole seasons - when we just run dry. You know, those times when you can’t come up with new ideas, when you open up a new blank page in a sketchbook and just stare at it unsure where to start, or when you find excuses to do anything but go to the studio and get to work. 

As the owner of a business that is currently a team of one, I can’t really afford too many of these uninspired and unproductive periods. So, to get ahead of future inspiration droughts, I created what I’m calling the “Creative’s First Aid Kit.” My “kit” includes a list of ideas and go to activities to have on hand for whenever I hit an inspiration dryspell and need some help getting over the hump. In my experience, Advil's never worked to cure a bout of writer's block! 

Today, instead of a sharing a Makers Monday Motivation challenge for the week, I’m simply passing along to you some of the ideas I’ve put in my Creative’s First Aid Kit, to hopefully serve as a resource for you the next time you encounter the creative blahs. This list is just the beginning, and I’d encourage you to make this list your own, by adding any activities you enjoy and know fill you with inspiration. 


Possibly treatments for the creative blahs: 

  • try to connect with people, see if there are any interesting events or meetups happening locally you could attend
  • go to a museum or see a new exhibition
  • get physically active
  • read a book
  • go to a bookstore or library and just poke around to see what seems interesting
  • find a neighborhood, or part of town you’ve never been to before (or spent much time in) and go just explore. 
  • go to a new coffee shop and people watch for a while
  • call a friend to catch up
  • take a walk and let your mind wander
  • mentally and physically step away from your work
  • do something completely different than your normal routine
  • cook a meal you’ve never made before
  • clean the house
  • watch a travel or nature documentary 

Things to avoid at all cost: 

  • scrolling mindlessly through social media
  • staying near your sketchbook, screen, studio whatever the source of your creative block is. 
  • accepting defeat 
  • beating yourself up
  • think you might as well just quit 
  • get on a shame spiral
  • doing mindless and unproductive, time wasting activities

Hopefully you have a week full of inspiration, but if not, don’t worry….it truly happens to all of us! In my perspective, the problem isn’t having the dry spell, it’s what you do once it hits you. Having a coach on your team is a great way to stay motivated and work through challenging seasons. If you’re feeling stuck, I’d love to support you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session today. 

We’re in this together!




EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED [Makers Monday Motivation 3.5.18]

Of all the life lessons I learned by living in New York City for fourteen years, there is one that I think has been particularly useful to running a creative business:

Anything can ready for it.

Let me explain.

NYC is a place where quite literally anything can and does happen. From the moment I would step out my apartment door in the morning, the only thing I could predict about my commute to work was that it would be unpredictable.

On any given morning, I could cross paths with an entire group of 2nd graders on the way to a field trip, encounter a full mariachi band looking to make some money on my crowded subway car, experience unexpected “police activity” that resulted in the entire train being held underground between stations for an unknown amount of time, or have a pleasant run-in with an old friend and chat the whole ride. This spontaneity is what makes urban places dynamic and exciting. It is also why I always tried to allow extra time, made sure to have good reading material, and brought snacks, some Advil and water (at the very least) with me when I left home, “just in case.

Alternatively, I could always spot the folks who weren’t prepared and really struggled with this NYC “expect the unexpected” reality. They’d pace back and forth huffing and puffing waiting for a train to come that was late, or appear totally shocked and disgruntled when the subway was re-routed due to track repairs.

For sure, it is frustrating to not have things go as you had planned, but if we are blind to the possibility that stuff just happens, we end up letting these road-bumps overly affect us.

Now that I’m living in the much calmer midwest and running Makers Megaphone Coaching full-time, some days my commute is simply walking across my apartment to my desk. Yet, I can now speak with confidence when saying, the mindset of expecting the unexpected is not just a good practice for stressed New Yorkers, it’s also so important for anyone who is self-employed or runs their own venture. 

On any given day, the things I hope to accomplish, or the revenue I anticipate coming in, can change on a dime. Even in the last few months, I’ve had projects I thought were going to happen fall through the cracks, clients cancel last minute, or new opportunities that were better than I could have planned come up from unlikely sources. The unexpected is just the nature of self-employment and small business life. This is why for this week’s Monday Motivation Challenge, I’m encouraging all creatives to consider ways to be prepared for whatever may happen.

Consider ways you can be more prepared for the unexpected in your creative practice:

  • Is there a way you can diversify your revenue stream in case one source drys up? (wholesale, retail, online shop, manufacture, etc)
  • What can you do to keep a pipeline of new orders or future projects in the works? (marketing, newsletters, events)
  • Do you use contracts when working with others? If not, could you start?
  • Can you keep some space in your schedule and not overbook, in order to allow for the unexpected?
  • What safeguards can you put in place to give your business a bit of a buffer in the event unexpected things happen? (time, money, support, etc.)

No matter where you live or what you spend your days doing, you will likely have days where things don’t go as planned. I hope with a little foresight, these events will be merely hiccups instead of throwing you totally off course. 

We're in this together,