Creative businesses can be brilliant outlets for talented professionals, but they can also take a toll – the kind of toll we are not always ready to confront or confess. I began my own entrepreneurial career as a successful makeup artist for weddings and events. I eventually moved into a storefront and expanded into wedding planning as well. Unfortunately, business success does not always equal personal wellbeing. I became overworked and my health deteriorated.
I knew things had to change.
Emily Sullivan Events was born of this time in my life and career, as was a laser focus on keeping my company small, overhead low and stress level down.
Do you see yourself in my story? More creatives do than you might expect. We pour our hearts and souls into our work, sometimes at a grave personal cost.
What kinds of changes would make a difference in your career and personal wellbeing?
Focus on the Basics
Taking stock of your personal and professional life is an important first step. What are your priorities? When you accept too many social invitations, even when they relate to business, what are you giving up? Time with your family? Opportunity to tend to self care?
Limit appointments and events to the ones that will help you achieve your goals without overwhelming your schedule. Give your family obligations, children’s events and time with your spouse as much weight, or more, as your business obligations.
Choose Your Team Carefully
Look for a team that complements your strengths. I searched for someone who could take some of the load off my plate and handle all of the physical activities. You might need someone who has the time to field phone calls, act as a leader on event days, or manage other employees day to day. Get the help you need to prevent you from overdoing things and putting your own wellness in jeopardy.
Keep Your Health In Check
You hear it from everyone – your doctor, friends and loved ones: you need to establish a routine that includes exercise, sleep and healthy meals. By the time the ramifications of ignoring these instructions start to manifest, it can be too late to repair the damage. The arthritis flare up that forced me to reconsider my business was my wake up call. It was the evidence that convinced me that the stress of the job was affecting my health. Don’t wait for your body to send such a dramatic SOS. Start incorporating healthy habits today.
Establishing your limits and making your boundaries known are the best things you can do. Accept that your to-do list will never be done, but you can still be successful even so. Don’t allow the world around you to influence your values or your self-image.
Life is simply too short to allow your business to rob you and your family of your best. Make the changes that will give you all a better quality of life before it’s too late. You simply won’t regret it.