Running a small arts business—and I’m sure any small business—is a bundle of emotions and feelings: excitement, hope, stress, exhaustion, worry, curiosity, positivity, wonder, and so many more.
It’s when things are gearing up or a small business is super active that things can bounce between both joyous and at times, incredibly busy. But then there are other periods that lulls happen. It’s just the nature of life and business…especially during a pandemic.
As a lifelong anxious perfectionist, I have for sure had some struggles with these lulls. After all, my tiny business is still pretty newish (a little over a year and a half here, woot!), so there’s still much room to grow, morph, and test things out. I certainly haven’t quit my part time day job yet, but oh, does it look like a pretty dreamy plan on the horizon one day! 😊
That said, the lulls took some getting used to. When I was more heavily involved in the writing world, lulls meant working on other stories, other words…in an arts business, lulls run the gamut from mass cleaning of my tsunami-hit in-apartment-studio, tidying up finances (and sometimes playing mad catch up on finances), planning next big projects, or finally getting to all those “random things left on the new website to do.” Heck, sometimes it’s a pile of ornaments that need backs painted on them—that’s this afternoon—designing the next batch of cards (hopefully this week?), or even just getting some lettering practice in!
Something I’ve had to work on a LOT as the anxious perfectionist is recognizing that these lulls are not a bad thing. In fact, they usually happen after things have been extremely and insanely busy, so it’s almost as if the universe knows I need a few days of calm.
Of course, I shift from high-project-busy-mode to mellow like a new stick shift driver popping a car out of gear on the highway, so the change of speed often jars me, hard, for a day or three…but I’m getting better at realizing these are great opportunities to enjoy the moment. Take the calm, get some head space, breathe, enjoy some down time, and figure out what comes next. One bite of the elephant at a time, they say, and presently, it seems there’s a little window to savor the taste of the idle parts of the journey…right before holiday season hits! 😊
Now, I don’t think any small business will ever tell you “idle” actually means idle—sure, I’ve had some chill time, but there are always fifty other things to do, plus if you’re not five steps ahead, you’re really ten steps back when it comes to business. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some breathing room, get a little practice in (hello, watercolor weekend decompression), enjoy the fabulous people in your life, and then…get right back to it!
Releasing the Galaxy Collection felt like I’d kicked my ass for over a month, but now that it’s out there, I’m excited to work on the next release. I’m also enjoying finding new ways to share the collection online, and plotting the 2.0 edition of some of the items that came out last week—like my little galaxy Instax shaped magnets? They will soon have a special hand lettered edition, with a motivational quote below the image—perfect as a gift for teens and children this upcoming holiday season!
What about you? Are you constantly on the go, or are you able to take some time to be in the moment when things shift gears and settle a little? I’d love to know!
And in the meantime, thank you for being part of my journey!