Thursday, October 4, 2012

Be Good To Yourself & Your Business Will Bloom

Post by Lori Anderson for the Kindness in Business series.



Be Good To Yourself and Your Business Will Bloom

When we're in business for ourselves, we are the be all, end all, of the business. The water cooler gossip, the dude who has to refill the printer paper, the person who picks up (and answers) the mail. When we work from home, we also have other things that distract us -- the latest on TV, music, the neighbor who wants to know if you can watch her kids since you "must have lots of time working at home all day".

And who EVER heard of an eight hour work day when you work for yourself? Or a five-day work week? I've worked on almost every single holiday in one form or the other, now that I think of it.


One thing we entrepreneurs often forget to do is take time out for ourselves. Make it an appointment if you have to! You have to take care of YOU before anything you make or write makes any sense. And there are so many little ways we can sabotage ourselves without even realizing it. Let's tackle those!

1. Do what you love. If you don't love it, don't do it.

Now, I'm not talking about "oh I hate to go to the post office so I'm going to quit doing that" (although most post offices these days WILL pick up, did you know that?). I'm talking about your actual business. I'm a jewelry designer, blogger, and author. If I find myself dreading custom orders -- hey, girl -- time to stop doing custom orders! Fill in that space with something you DO love to do, and chances are, your customers will feel that love emanate from your work and love it, too.


2. Quit comparing yourself to others.

This is my hardest nut to crack. But it's so important to realize we are ALL unique people with unique stories and unique ways of telling those stories. There's nothing wrong with scoping out the competition -- some of my absolute favorite jewelry I own and blogs I read are from what some would call competitors. But I don't like to compete with anything but my last creation. It's a constant struggle, but I try to keep my heart open to accepting what I can do, improving on the things I want to improve upon, and not forcing myself into someone else's mold. Let it all just GO.


3. Allow yourself to make mistakes.

No one, and I mean NO ONE, is perfect. Don't wallow in it. Acknowledge it, take a break for a bit, rejuvenate yourself (my favorite? Hitting the book store!) -- and then move on. Try to find the wabi sabi in the mistake. Some of my most beautiful jewelry creations have come from a big fat boo-boo.


4. Take a breather.

Entrepreneurs never take vacations, it seems. You may not be able to take a week off and lounge on the beach, but you can take a fifteen minute coffee break (away from the office!), a weekend hunting for inspiration while shooting tons of photos, or even spending the weekend in bed with a book (my favorite!). It's important to do something different from your normal job so you can learn more about yourself. Who knows? These breaks from the job may open up entirely new creative outlets for you.


"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." - Buddha



Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking here. She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book Bead Soup. Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!

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23 comments:

LeAnn said...

Beautifully said and as a full time work for myself business person, I can relate to and value each and everyone of these points.

amth13 amth13 said...

I think as women we are especially guilty of selling ourselves short. We are still artists even though we can only afford to work on a table and not in a studio.We are still entrepreneurs even though our businesses are run from home.

Denise Daffara said...

thank you ! well said, timely, loved all of this ... the pics , the comfort, the virtual hug of it.
xoxo

Catherine King said...

Thank you Judy.....I truly needed this today. I believe I have come to the point in my life where this is applicable. After 30 years...it may be time to begin a career change:)

Valeria Gaultney Rome said...

Excellent post!!! In my opinion, this timely advice needs to be posted on sites of entrepreneurs everyday. So true and often forgotten. Especially for those of us who are also mothers, wives, grandmothers and friends of others. Women rarely take the appropriate care of themselves. I might just make a copy of this and put it in my NOTES section for a reminder.

Pine Ridge Treasures said...

Wise words! It is so hard not to compare ourselves with others, and to be nice to ourselves, yet it is so very important. Thanks for the reminder!

Lea Avroch said...

Fabulous post & a wonderful reminder to us all! Couldn't have said it better myself.

Toltec Jewels said...

"Be good to yourself and Your Business will Bloom" -- it's like a secret formula, the path to success and happiness. Love everything you've written: it's nurturing, affirming, powerful. I'll return to this beautiful post many times.

Lori Anderson said...

Thanks so much!

Mary Ellen Parker said...

I am printing this list to hang in my work space
Great post Lori !
Soooooo glad I discovered this blog
m.e. :)

Amy said...

Lori - this post spoke to me in so many ways - as a beader, and as a person who works for myself in my 'real job'!!! Good advice!!

Bead Lola Bead said...

Great post Lori! I've mastered the art of mistakes and taking breathers -- it's that quit comparing yourself to others thingy that's a little bit tougher to shake. =) There are so many incredible designers out there, but you're right ... if you keep your heart open, you can put your own unique spin on a concept or design. Thanks for the lovely reminder.

Kelly said...

Good post Lori, as always. Thanks for introducing some of us to a new blog worth exploring and for putting out the message about the importance of self care. Your tough nut to crack is something many artists struggle with. The catch-22 of liking to look at the creations of other designers you enjoy (sometimes just to look at pretty things) while wishing you thought of it or fearing your stuff isn't as good. Thanks for your words of encouragement.

Brandi said...

Awesome post, my friend! I'm with you on every single point. My hardest thing is feeling okay to step back and rest (though I struggle with comparing myself to others, too).


You're right - in any other job, we would not normally be working such long hours without a break. Having gone through a complete burnout a few years ago, I've learned to be sensitive to what my body's telling me. It's sometimes hard because as entrepreneurs, we've only got ourselves to rely on, so if something needs doing, it's up to us to get it done. But the trick is knowing and acknowledging that we don't have to do it all RIGHT NOW - it's okay to step back and take a day off. It was a revelation knowing that the world did not stop spinning! :)

Lori McDaniel Anderson said...

I'm at that burnout stage right. now. So this was a good one to think about, ponder, and write.

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement said...

This post really, truly, 100% inspired me! Even though it's 12 am and I'm dead to the world (it's a wonder I'm writing in coherent sentences), I want to jump right up and start working on my jewelry. LOL

I love ALL 5 tips, but I think the most relate-able for me would be #2. I'm a very self confident person, but for some reason when it comes to my designing I lack major self esteem o.O I always regard everyone else as being better then I am.

Thank you so much for having Lori on your site and thank you for bringing us this absolutely fabulous guest post :)

cindy said...

Loved this post Lori!

Shelly Buettner said...

Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom Lori and for the reminder that we all seemed to be needing at the moment of taking care of ourselves! Thanks also for introducing me to this new blog! Wonderful post!

Lori McDaniel Anderson said...

thank you so much!

Rebecca Anderson said...

really wise advise Lori. Hard to do but important to do these things nonetheless!

Angela Magnotti Andrews said...

I so needed these reminders! Your authenticity and passion for what you do shines through your words.

Kelli Nelson said...

AWESOME post for ANYONE to read, but especially for women just starting out! I find myself sitting at my "desk" with a mountain of Beads in front of me wanting so badly to create something wonderful, yet no ideas, no muse only frustration for "not getting anything done". When I realize it is five in the afternoon and I have not taken a break or left my office...Mistake number 1
Just reading your post "the light bulb turned on", I am always comparing what I make to that of designers I like and admire, instead of drawing inspiration from them, I think "I cant create like they can so why even try!!!!" BIG mistake number 2..
Thank YOU so much for putting in words what I was unable to see right in front of me. You are a great INSPIRATION to me, not only as a designer but also as a Mom. I love the way you include your son in your adventures and business. KUDOS to YOU.
Thanks for a great post!!!

sandra said...

awesome advice! i always need to be reminded of these important things.

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