If you follow me on social media, or even just here on this blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been super MIA these last few months. I only posted on instagram ONCE in November, and the post before that was October 12th. Let’s not even talk about how long it’s been since I posted on this blog. Yikes!
First off, I’m sorry. The readers of this blog sincerely matter to me and I hope that some of you have stuck with me.
Though the break was purposeful, I still took it kind of spur of the moment. That’s not always fair to those of you that expect a post from me, so I decided to explain myself a little in this post.
A big reason that I took a long break from both the blog and my social channels is that I felt that I was spending too much time stressing about posts for either one and prioritizing that end of my business way more than I should. My workload has been quite busy, then the holidays hit, and I knew I needed to take a step back and re-evaluate.
Let me just tell you, this break has been exactly what I needed! It’s been wonderful to not stress about numbers, photographs, content, or scheduling, and instead focus on current client needs and what I needed in my own life for a change.
PERKS OF TAKING A BREAK:
Working on Personal Projects
While I do consider my blog to be a ‘personal project’ of sorts, it’s still a facet of my business. In fact, this is where it all started, right here with all of you. However, there are so many things I want to do in this life and sometimes the random tasks involved with running an online business take up a huge chunk of time. I definitely feel like social media and this blog are vital to my business, but sometimes I need a breather to think my own thoughts. I’m always more creative when I’m not constantly checking updates and followers. Plus, I love being able to offer all of you extra goodies that I can’t seem to get around to when I’m running in a million different directions. I now have so many new ideas for the blog, things I can bring to you guys, and a more focused direction for my business overall.
Bringing Back Inspiration
I think a misconception about being your own boss is that you get to spend your day doing whatever you want. That is just completely not the case. To stay on top of everything my life basically runs on multiple to-do lists. There becomes a point where I have the same tasks every single day and specifically being a creative person I struggle with that. I like changing things up and trying different avenues. Something as little as ‘Prepare an Instagram Post’ everyday can get a bit monotonous. Honestly, I love what I do, and I actively try and keep things interesting. So when I started to really get bogged down with social media and felt like I was losing creative energy and time every morning, I knew it was time for a break. And honestly, it’s been so refreshing to not even open instagram for weeks at a time. I still respond to messages and comments, but my time on the app has been cut down drastically. During this break I’ve been able to get fresh ideas and really get excited about posting again.
Evaluate My Business
2017 was my first FULL calendar year working from home. Crazy, huh? I can hardly believe it myself. I’ve honestly learned so many things about this industry, about myself, and most importantly, about running a business. But with all this came lots of trial and error. Some of the things I tried this year were not the most time effective, cost effective, or just overall productive. Each project taught me something that I could improve upon. Each client interaction helped shape how I want future client interactions to go. And when I look back at the goals I set for my business this time last year, some of them are almost silly. While a new year is a common time to reevaluate where your business currently stands and the direction you want it to head, I started my evaluation a little early this year so that I felt prepared and ready for the new year and new clients that I was taking on. I love having a full year under my belt and can now set realistic standards and goals for myself moving forward.
Focus on Client Work
While I took this time away from aspects of my online presence, that definitely does not mean I took a break from client work. In fact, this has been the busiest fall/winter yet! I’ve been working with DREAM clients and it’s been very needed to basically put my blinders up and really dive deep into new projects. I follow a lot of other designers and fellow creatives on social media, so not opening up the apps has really kept my mind free of other design work. I saw a snarky quote that I loved the other day that made fun of a popular saying that read “imitation is the sincerest form of laziness”, which is great in and of itself, but also SO true. I’m all for supporting others in our field, but we can all fall victim to the ease of “taking inspiration” from someone else’s work, even though we don’t mean to, especially when we are viewing it daily. Clear mind = your best work.
Redesign the Blog
Because I can never give myself any downtime, on the days that I’m waiting for feedback from clients, I’ve taken some time to redesign my blog. My studio site got a makeover in the summer and I’m ready for the blog to have a new look as well. As I grow in my business, things continue to adapt and change and I never want to become stagnant with my designs or with my websites. The new redesign will hopefully be ready soon, but I’m still working out some kinks.
Prioritize time with Family and Friends
So much has happened recently between the holidays, friends getting married, many BIG birthdays, you name it. These past few months have been a HUGE blessing and some priceless memories have been made. I’ve been trying to be conscientious with my time, and really put Mike, family, and friends before my work. Mike is the first to admit that I work too much. Too many nights he goes out while I stay in and work. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but most of the time it’s due to the fact that I just love my job and don’t want to stop. Prioritizing things in my business has also allowed me to prioritize things in my personal life. One of my last blog posts was about making my health a priority. I’m still working on it, some days are better than others, but it’s things like this that take precedence over things like how many followers I’m gaining each day.
While I do plan on getting back into my regular swing of things, posting more on instagram and on this blog, I just want to let those of your that are getting bogged down with the weight of “things that need to get done each day” that it’s totally okay and reasonable to take some time for yourself, take a breather, step away from the chaos and get back to a positive mindset.
Now I’m ready to start my 2018 with focused intention and drive like never before.