How to start a creative business - Part V

Take a time-out

It’s been a little over a week since I got back from a wonderful holiday to Vietnam, Bali and Jakarta. I was only away for two weeks, but these two weeks have refreshed my soul in a way I didn’t expect before the plane took off.

The weeks prior to my holiday I had so many deadlines. My office was filled with yellow post-its with things to do. Just by looking at the post-its my eyes grew tired. So many deadlines, so little time.

ZoeteLiefde creates stationary products. Recently, we have been working on our new website (which will be launched any time now), and we are creating new adventure postcards. To be honest, this side of the business is not making enough money to live by, so I felt pressured to work a lot to compensate that. I started a job for 3 days a week writing and interviewing people, and next to that I work for a newspaper and I write for clients as a freelancer. A lot of work to fit in a week.

The pressure is on

I quickly realized I couldn’t say no, afraid to be in lack. Which meant I only had Sundays off. I was constantly working and writing. Writing is something that I really love to do, but I put so much pressure on myself that I got frustrated quite quickly (sorry friends!). But most of all I annoyed myself.

I put a lot of pressure on me. Nobody else did. It was all me. And it wasn’t helping me. Quite frankly, it was kinda destroying me. On Sunday mornings I would go to Church and afterwards I would come home to sleep or I crossed off a few things that of my weekly to-do list.

I’ve realized it’s quite difficult as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, to stop working. There is always something to do. The work is never done. There is always a deadline, there is always a conversation to have.

A breath of fresh air

On my holiday I let everything go.

I wasn’t able to check my work e-mail, and I tried to stay off Instagram for a bit. I wanted to live in the moment, completely.

It was the best decision ever.

I found new inspiration, new creativity. I had meaningful conversations with great friends, I met new people, I enjoyed the most amazing scenery. It was a breath of fresh air, a ‘selah’ moment. I could breathe again.

I always knew holidays are a great medicine, but I didn’t really understand it until now. There is nothing wrong with working hard or having the ambition to be successful. But it is important to take a time-out every now and again. Some may need more time-outs than others, and that’s okay. In that moment of rest, you will discover so many new things about yourself, you will be filled with new strategies, new ideas. Don’t take your work on a holiday. Don’t answer those e-mails, don’t take those calls. It will only distract you from living in the moment.

I decided that I want to live from rest, from creativity and inspiration. And you know what? After a good time-out, you will ironically be even more productive. You will have fresh ideas. You will be able to be effective, and - as a result - change the world with your business!

F or the next few months I will take you on my journey of starting my own creative business. If you are pursuing a creative business, I would love to hear from you, so we can take this journey together. Feel free to message me via marina@zoeteliefde.com!

- MARINA