How to Take Care of Yourself in Your Creative Business (no matter how busy you are)

Running your own business can feel like a rough and tumble world. Almost every one of us creative business owners experiences highs and lows, boom times and gloom times. I chat to clients and fellow business owners all the time about getting found and growing bigger, but it’s not often that the conversation turns to self-care and one of my goals is to change that!

There’ll be moments where we’re happy dancing around the room, celebrating a sale or a successful client booking. And there’ll be duvet days, when all we want to do is curl up in bed, stick the kids in front of the TV, consume a heck of a lot of tea & toast and forget the day (and guess what, they count too and that’s fine). Side note: my sister will be chuckling at this as she was always called in to make tea + toast for me and mates after a night out 😉

As owner, operator and often all-things-in-between for our own creative businesses, we are constantly learning how to juggle tasks and squeeze a bajillion things in. So why isn’t self-care featuring higher on our to-do lists?

What’s this got to do with SEO? I hear you ask. Hear me out – you will not work on your visibility to get more sales if you burn out and don’t take care of yourself. Trust me on this one.

Let me tell you a little story….in 2017 I burned out. I had the highest turnover ever in my business but I wasn’t profitable and I was terrified. I had a run of misfortune (moved to another city and it didn’t work out, had some big opportunities that didn’t make me the £ I was expecting and I was hit on the motorway by a lorry writing off my car and giving me PTSD – fun times). I was buried in blame and pity which did nothing for my mental health and physical health. I couldn’t do anything but retreat, went quieter for a few months and came back again with a renewed sense of energy. I cut out a whole bunch of stuff that didn’t serve me (people, projects, services) and focused on what made me feel better. That year was also the year that I became an aunt, it was the year I closed on my divorce so it was a big year all round and I came out so much stronger for it.

So in short, it’s fair to say I have learned a lot about self care.

I have written a number of posts here on this blog about self care in business as well as making it a key focus in my Gin and Magic YouTube series, so I’ve done a little round up sharing tips for self-care built into your daily schedule to help you feel better and the chances are, your business will be better too.

So, what can you do to take care of yourself in your creative business?

There’s no time if you don’t make time

Rather than counting the hours and jumping into ‘there’s not enough time in the day mode’ (heck, we’ve all been there more than we’d like to admit!), this exercise is all about carving out time where you thought there was none.

In fact, even when you’re so crazy busy running round, seems like a few minutes too much, there are ways to make time to relax in your business. Want to get in on the magic? Check out my 10 tips to relax at work.

Embrace your inner cheerleader

As a creative business owner, the self-care party has to start with you. But when you’re pitching and being met with low-ball offers or worse, the tumbleweed blows through, it’s all too easy to beat yourself up. SEO can set a whole lot of that right, but please, be kind to yourself too. There isn’t anyone in the world who’ll be tougher on you than you! I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite pastimes that I had to let go of was holding myself to a higher version of myself that simply didn’t exist.

Now I’m not going to go all guru on you (although if you’re planning a retreat, sign me up), but you need to become your own cheerleader. Celebrate your talents. Cheer on your successes. Pick yourself up and pat yourself down if things don’t quite go to plan – because that’s okay too. Be fearless – you’ve got it in you! Keep your focus and keep putting yourself out there.

Buddy up

You know how when you started school, kids would keep you company and look out for you as you settled in? We might have doubled in height since those days, but the support we need stays the same. The fabulously grown-up version for creative business owners often comes in the form of an accountability partner (I’d be lost without mine, and I have two in the form of a mentoring group as well as voice notes on WhatsApp to a friend!).

Whatever shape your support system takes, don’t try to go it alone. Family and friends can be a great start, but there are times when you just need someone who gets it. That’s where fellow business gurus come in. Reach out and have chats with people in DMs, it’s often where the magic happens. Meet the people who will power you on! Building connections can even grow your business. Want in?

It’s totally okay to learn from your mistakes and not to have it all figured out. In fact, this is hands-down one of the best things you can do for your business. Keep going, keep time for yourself. You’ve got this!

Is there anything you would add?

Maddy x