Why Growing a Creative Business is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Now, the furthest I've even run is a half marathon and I'll tell you one thing - never again. That 11th mile was an absolute killer!
Watching the London marathon today and seeing all of those runners battle their way to the end of a gruelling 26.2 mile run not only brought back feelings of dread but also got me thinking about growing a creative business. The process is kind of the same.
Your creative business is a marathon, not a sprint. Here's why
There will be peaks and troughs
Growing your own business is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you're up, the next you're down, it's staying the course that counts.
You need cheerleaders, who give you jelly babies
Literally and metaphorically speaking of course. I'd say it's almost impossible to build a creative business without the support of others. Whether that's friends, family your partner or other makers. Make sure you have a support network around you.
There are lots of great groups on Facebook and you can connect with other makers on Instagram and Twitter if you're looking for more cheerleaders.
You need to pace yourself
This is a biggie because burn out is a real pain in the arse! It's important that you don't go all guns blazing into your business because that's a one way ticket to burnout. The thing that really builds a business is consistency, so plan your time realistically and don't expect yourself to be going at 100 miles an hour all of the time. Small steps add up to a big result over time.
You need to look back at how far you've come
When you're stuck in the day to day of your business it can feel like you're going no where, but if you're keeping track of your creative business monthly, you can look back and see just how much you've achieved over the last few months. A feeling that's guaranteed to give you a boost.
Don't play that comparison game
When you look around it can be easy to think that some people are running faster than you. Just remember that the race you're running is your race. Keep your head down and concentrate on your own goals.
It's great to feel inspired by others but don't let what other people are doing get you down. Equally, if it's your first 'marathon' don't compare yourself to the Mo Farah of your sector and remember that they started somewhere too.
It's really important to reward yourself when you've hit a milestone and give yourself some time off between projects, or should we call them marathons?
My key message here is to pace yourself and enjoy the process of growing your business. You never get to a point where you feel like everything's perfect and you don't want to tweak a thing, so make sure you're enjoying the ride along the way.