This week I asked YOU to ask ME questions, and you delivered. 👏 I’ve received a lot of great questions, and I have plenty of answers for you. If you want the full conversation, make sure to subscribe to The Wonder Creative Podcast.
Now, before we dive in, I want to provide the disclaimer that I don’t claim to know everything. However, I would love it if I can provide a perspective that allows someone not to feel alone in their journey. So today, I want to share some things I’ve learned as a business owner in the hopes that it can be helpful and encouraging to other entrepreneurs out there.
So, let’s get started with the first question.
A: What a fantastic question! There are many ways I could approach this answer, but I’ll start by saying it’s so important to remember that we are human beings running our businesses, not machines. So, of course our businesses and brands will change over time. We are constantly evolving and growing, as are our audiences and the world around us.
Just look at Instagram – it has undergone so many changes over the years, from introducing new features to shifting its entire business model. But even before that big change, Instagram was constantly making small adjustments to stay relevant.
So yes, it’s normal for your business and brand to change over time. However, it’s important to make informed decisions when making changes. Don’t just jump into a rebrand because you’re experiencing a lull in business. Take the time to pinpoint what needs to change and WHY. Make sure you’re not confusing your audience by constantly changing things up.
One thing that should rarely change is your why – your values, purpose, mission, and vision. These are the foundational elements of your brand and should remain constant even as other things shift and evolve. As you grow and learn more about your audience and yourself, you may need to adjust your brand strategy or visual identity. That’s where hiring a brand designer or strategist can be so helpful – they can help you see the big picture and make smart, informed decisions.
Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance. Don’t underthink or overthink things, and don’t get too caught up in the details. Focus on what really matters – your why, your audience, and your overall vision for your business.
A: In 2020, I experienced intense burnout. Running a business takes a lot of grit. People often romanticize the idea of being an entrepreneur and glamorize it, but the truth is, it’s tough. I don’t want to discourage anyone with that truth because, while difficult, if entrepreneurship is what you truly want, it can be the most joyous journey.
For me, the biggest reason for burnout was not prioritizing myself and doing things for everyone else, neglecting my own needs. But, when I started to love myself and get on a schedule that prioritized things in their rightful place, things started to shift. I realized that finding joy in the process of my work was essential. It’s easy to get stuck in the monotony of the work, but finding ways to play and enjoy it can make a huge difference. If there’s a way for you to restructure whatever it is that you’re doing so that you can find joy in the process, that’s a big deal and can help you avoid burnout.
Another significant part of that for me is creating with the Lord and inviting him into the process. It is so life-giving. If you need to do practical things, like scaling back on a job, do it. But, more than that, think about your approach to work. Is it coming from a place of joy? If not, how can you access joy? Accessing joy in your process is the way to lasting fruit.
A: I would have to say Canva as the most-used. I use it every single day to create all of my social media assets (NOT brands). Additionally, I also use Showit quite a bit, as it is where we build websites for our clients. Illustrator is where I build brand identities, logos…anything that requires high-level design. Sooooo my top 3…Canva, Illustrator, and Showit!
A: I love this question! When I’m by myself, I feel really creative, but I also get a lot of inspiration and energy when I’m around other creatives. It’s like a spark that ignites a fire in me. Then, I take that energy and bring it back to my own creative space to see what I can come up with. I love having the freedom to just let my imagination run wild when I’m alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being around other creatives regularly because being alone all the time can be isolating. But, when it comes to tapping into my most creative self, I think I shine brightest when I’m alone.
A: A few things to note here…
1. KNOW YOUR WHY. Knowing your why is crucial when building a business. It’s the foundation that everything else rests upon. Whenever times get tough and you feel like giving up, your why is what will ground you and remind you of why you started in the first place. Yes, honing your entrepreneurship skills is important, but having the mental strength to keep going is even more crucial. It’s all about mindset and staying focused on the bigger picture.
2. Consistency is key. Just keep going. It’s normal to face tough times and feel like you don’t know what you’re doing or like you’re an imposter. These things can be shocking, but they are part of the entrepreneurship journey. The important thing is to keep showing up and believing in your dream. Try to surround yourself with a supportive community that encourages you along the way.
3. Knowing when to turn off the noise is a big one for designers or creatives. Sometimes, when you’re scrolling social media and seeing what others are doing, it’s easy to get caught up and start questioning yourself. But you really shouldn’t. They’re not your competition. So, don’t worry about them and just focus on you.
This is particularly important for artists or designers. If you’re constantly seeking inspiration from others but not pursuing your own unique ideas, you’re doing yourself an injustice. The greatest inspiration is within you, in your brain, in your imagination. So, lean into that. You don’t need more inspiration; you just need to pursue the ideas you already have. It’s crucial to understand your own creative self and brain and get to know that part of yourself really well.
4. Remember that your worth is not based on what you do or what you produce. This is really important, especially as a creative entrepreneur because your work can become a big part of who you are. People might look at me and say, “you are Wonder Creative.” But that’s not all of me, and I know that even if everything were to go away, I still have value as a person. Your creative expression is not your innate value or worth.
A: Ultimately, I believe that creativity comes from the sacred and divine, and it flows through us from our Creator. When I am creating, I feel like a conduit of creativity. Sometimes I come into a creative session with a plan and practical knowledge, but my best creations usually come when I approach the process with curiosity and wonder. If you can’t find that place in your creativity, it could potentially lead to burnout.
For me, creativity is most powerful when I am connected to my Creator and understand my true self. My ideas are intuitive, playful, and curious. As a self-taught artist, every creative session looks different for me. I love fantastical art, layers, color, and bold typography. I usually lean into the client’s story and get inspiration from that. It’s a collaborative process where we brainstorm together and throw ideas around.
A: Whew! That’s a big question. But let’s start simple:
Just start the business.
If you’re waiting for the perfect moment to start your business, it’s probably not going to happen. So, just start! It doesn’t have to be a big leap. Start with small steps and do it on the side if that’s what works for you. Write down everything you know about your vision for your business and start having conversations with others. Share your ideas and gather feedback from people you trust. It will bring your vision to life and make it feel real.
Once you have your vision written down, you’ll naturally see some next steps that need to take place. Ask yourself what’s necessary to get going and what feels exciting and doable. Some practical first steps include checking the availability of your business name in your state, purchasing your website domain and social media handles, and looking into what’s required to get legally legit. If you want to invest in branding and web design, start a Pinterest board and collect inspiration.
As you gather information, guard your heart and trust your instincts. Don’t stuff your brain with too much information, and don’t compare yourself to others in your industry. Lean into what makes you different. Be careful who you follow on social media and who you allow to speak into your dream. Guard your heart well and let your business grow organically.
Imposter syndrome may try to creep in, but remember to lean into who you are and the value you bring. Don’t focus on what other people are doing, and don’t feel like you need to know everything from the start. Trust the process and learn as you go. Remember, this is a journey, and you’ll learn and grow along the way.
A: Well, I think a lot of people want to start a business to make money, and obviously, that’s a real part of being a business owner. You should be making money, but I don’t think you should start a business just for the sake of making money. I really believe you should only start a business if you can solve a problem and help people. And then, of course, find a way to make money so that it’s sustainable. But I think a lot of times, people focus so heavily on the financial aspect of business or their own freedom, and all of that is super valid. However, the only way to really sustain your business is to make sure it’s serving others.
If you have a business idea that is an answer to a problem, go for it. If you feel like you have a unique way to solve a problem and no one else is doing it like that, that’s even better.
A: I think it is really important to focus on your messaging. Even if those in your current audience aren’t paying customers yet, showing them that you have a heart to serve can say a lot about your business. It’s a great way to let people know how you do things and get them thinking about how working with you can add value to their business.
Your messaging should be answering these questions to potential clients:
How will working with you change their life or add value to their business?
Why do they need your services?
What will happen once they book with you and start working together?
A: It’s totally normal for business to have its ups and downs. The key is to work with the ebb and flow, not against it. If you find yourself with some extra free time, use it to work on something that will benefit your business in the long run.
But when things get slow and your motivation starts to wane, don’t worry! I find that tapping into my creativity can really help. Whether it’s learning a new skill or starting a new creative project, doing something fresh and different can reignite that spark and make me excited to show up as a better designer, business owner, and artist.
A: I believe the best way is to share your personal experience. Sharing posts is great and super helpful. Please continue to do that! However, I think if you have a personal experience or personal connection to the brand or the business, that goes a really really long way. We are in a day and age where influencer marketing is crazy pants! People want to feel that personal connection whenever they make some sort of buying decision, and your experience can be that connector.
I personally really try to create content that has a lot of value and provokes people to like and share my content if they want to. I don’t think I should really ever have to ask. I think if you are really delivering value you won’t really ever have to ask for people to share. They will just do it.
A: First, let me say, you are not going to wake up every day feeling motivated. It is completely normal and it does not make you a bad business owner or a bad person. You are not going to feel like showing up and kicking butt every single day, and you do not need to hold yourself to that standard.
I like to think about what it will mean for tomorrow if I don’t show up today. I also evaluate why I may be procrastinating or wanting to put things off. Generally, I’m procrastinating, not because I’m lazy, but because I’m afraid I will fail. In that moment, choosing not to let fear of failure win is the trick to pushing onward.
Sometimes, I set up mechanisms to hold me accountable. For example, I will set up my phone and start recording a time lapse while I work. If I have been putting off a project or something in the process feels complex, I tell myself “do it for the time lapse!” I can use it as content, or just simply have it as my accountability for the day.
There are days I just need to get outside and take a walk. Journaling will create a pathway for me to process thoughts that may be blocking productivity. I’m curious to know your ways of motivating yourself! Share with me in the comments some of your own tips and tricks.
That’s it for this Q&A! Comment below if you have a follow-up question to any of these! Happy to help in any way I can. 🙂