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From perks to pitfalls: 5 real perks of running a creative business (and how to combat the pitfalls)


Woman sitting outdoors, at a large table with her laptop and a cup of coffee, behind her is a very pleasant lake and trees
There are times when being your own boss can feel very special

I shared recently on LinkedIn how I was not full of the joys of being a business owner on Monday morning. You may be able to relate.


Best business practise and the application of good habits still did not mean I wanted to get on with my TDL.


I really had to ‘lean into it’, as they say, by giving myself permission to do just one thing. I wrote a single post for LinkedIn. I decided it could be about anything. Then I rewarded myself by arranging lunch later in the month with a fun friend.


That made me feel a lot better about things and I was happier about cracking on with the rest of the TDL. With a reward for each completed activity.


As creative business owners, we know the struggles. Juggling tasks, battling self-doubt, and navigating financial uncertainty can make the perks seem distant. But before you throw in the towel, remember - there's a reason you chose this path! Sometimes it’s worth reminding yourself of the very real perks of running a creative business, and I’ve also included some practical tips to overcome the inevitable challenges.



Let’s take a look at just some of those perks and pitfalls of running a creative business...


The perks:


1. You get to design your own office / sanctuary!


Designing your workspace is a fabulous privilege. Studies reveal that an enriched environment boosts productivity by 15%, but when you have the freedom to curate your surroundings, productivity soars to an astounding 32%! And you know that your workspace is not just a place; it's an extension of your creativity.



2. You get to work on a flexible schedule


You can ditch the traditional 9-5 as you get to set your hours. You have the freedom to work during your most productive hours (whatever they might be) and create a more harmonious work-life balance.


Now you know this requires quite a lot of discipline and you need to be a good boss to yourself, but the possibilities are there to design your day your way!



3. Your business, your creativity


Have you thought about treating your creative business as your canvas? You have the liberty to bring your visions to life without the constraints of those stultifying corporate structures. Get curious about what you can do with this freedom to innovate, experiment, and create your unique mark in your sector.



4. Your special client relationships


This one is especially dear to my heart; shaping your business to your clients because of your deep understanding of their wants, needs and preferences and developing a meaningful connection as YOU make a difference to them.



5. You're your own boss (but don't forget self-care!)


Enjoy the independence and control of being your own boss, doing things your way. But remember, wearing multiple hats can lead to burnout so do prioritise looking after yourself, set boundaries, and delegate when possible – and keep reminding yourself to do this! Be a great boss 😁

 


I could go on and on – what other perks come to mind for you?



And the pitfalls and solutions:


A smiling woman, crouching down to look into a pothole (from the perspective of being in the hole)
There's always a way out of a hole...

1. Financial fluctuations


Feeling the financial squeeze? Don’t stick your head in the sand – keep on top of your numbers, set realistic goals, and explore funding options. Cash flow management is critical to staying in the game!



2. Overwhelm and isolation


Feeling swamped and alone? Build a support network of people who really get what it’s like to be a business owner – unfortunately even well-meaning family members and friends won’t cut it. Connect with and meet up with other entrepreneurs and creative business owners; they will know how you’re feeling. Remember, you don’t have to be in this alone!



3. Motivation slumps


Hit a creative block? Struggling to get going because there is so much to do, and it is never ending? You might be familiar with ‘eating that frog’ (getting the least appealing tasks done first), but sometimes you just need to do the most fun thing on your TDL first.


And make sure you reward yourself for your effort – none of this ‘just getting the job done is a reward’ nonsense! What kind of boss are you?!


Changing your working environment can be stimulating, such as visiting a local café for a couple of hours.


And sometimes stepping away and doing something else instead can be the best motivator. However, if this is happening frequently you might want to consider getting some business coaching!

 


As you can see It’s important when running a creative business to hold onto the perks while you’re navigating the pitfalls of financial uncertainty, wearing multiple hats of CEO, marketer, salesperson, admin manager, accountant, etc. while avoiding becoming isolated because you’re always working, persistently feeling overwhelmed and on the edge of burning out, etc. etc.

 

I am committed to supporting your creative business endeavours, so if you’re feeling more pitfall than perk about your business at the moment, let’s have a chat. Given the feedback I’ve had from others, it’s highly likely you’ll leave the call feeling better.

 

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