YOU ARE ENOUGH FOR YOUR OWN PATH.
Your path is not the same as anyone else's.
We are all made up of an infinite number of complications and combinations: talents, stress, personality traits, pressure points, skills, health conditions, anxieties, interests.
And they all impact the way we live and the things we choose to do.
Spending lots of time online can make you feel like you're doing it wrong (whatever 'it' is), like the only way to be successful or content is to subscribe to doing things in the same way as someone else.
I've struggled through some of these feelings myself, been guilty of comparing my little baby business with others that are much more established.
Recently I'm trying to get into the habit of considering my business in the right context and in a way that's more appropriate to my life.
Whether it's the green monster of jealousy interrupting my head space, or that nasty little fiend imposter syndrome, I'm striving to remember that I am simply:
"doing what I can, not what I think other people are"
A Case Study.
A good example of this is my current stance on craft fairs. I've tried them, really I have. I've done some truly rubbish little ones (seems to be a sort of cruel gauntlet you have to run when you're starting out as a maker), and some less rubbish, fairly impressive ones.
But NONE of them have made me feel like they were a truly worthwhile investment - both in time and money.
Even the best, most modern craft market, with a beautiful venue or well curated sellers cannot help you if you're an awful face-to-face seller.
There are plenty of aspects of the craft fair that I adore (including shopping at them, of course): I love planning and designing a beautiful stall set-up, working on a beautiful display, and I love seeing lots of people out supporting indie businesses.
But to be brutally honest, I am really uncomfortable selling in-person like that. I'm a naturally shy person, and occasionally struggle with social anxiety. Let me tell you, nothing spikes that anxious feeling like selling at a craft market. If talking confidently to strangers wasn't enough, consider adding the pressure of needing a financially successful day (because it's your business and career out there) AND the self doubt of people visibly judging your creative work (I know they don't really, but, yo - anxiety).
Add into the mix the assessment that I always spend more than I make (factoring in stall fees, travel costs, stall design, on-the-day-shopping (guilty)), I've decided that, for this year at least - I won't be showing at any craft fairs.
When I made that decision I felt all kinds of guilty. Despite having the hard evidence to prove otherwise, I imagined turning down all those potential sales, losing all of that marketing potential.
Then, when I thought harder, I remembered all of the time, money and energy I plough into events normally - for little return. I'm so excited to channel that energy into other, more productive things for my business!
You are enough for your own path.
Remember that your success doesn't have to look the same as anyone else's, and you certainly don't have to take the same path to get there.
If something isn't right for you, don't do it!
Creative business is often intuitive, but when it's not, you need to reflect on your values, your ethos, before jumping into something that may not ultimately be for you.
Have you made any decisions against the grain lately for the benefit of yourself and/or business?