So, the million dollar question: How do you stay motivated when 2020 is being, well, 2020? Truthfully, I don’t have all the answers. I’m not immune to all the havoc this year has wreaked on the world. And, yes, there are some days when I wish I close down my laptop and watch Selling Sunset for the foreseeable future. However, I think part of staying motivated is knowing you’re not alone; that you have a community of self-starters who feel you, but are cheering you on along the way. To help, I’m sharing ways that my community and I stay motivated when the going gets tough. I know times are hard, but remember: You got this.
Find Your Center
Try as you might, but you’re not a superhero. (Yes, even Beyoncé has her off days.) When you are your own boss, it can often feel like your productivity is tied to your self-worth. So, you keep on hustling, pushing through the noise until your emotional tank is empty — and your motivation is MIA. (Don’t worry, I’m totally guilty of this, too.) But, I challenge all of us (yes, even myself) to back away from the computer and do something every single day for ourselves.
Of course, this looks different for everyone. Interior designer Joy Williams uses her faith to stay grounded and hopeful. I, on the other hand, honor my healthy body by hopping onto my stationary bike and spinning for 30 minutes. (I also take time every Monday to write down three things I’m grateful for, a tip I picked up from Cupcakes and Cashmere.) Will staying grounded and centered solve all the world’s problems? No, but it can put you in the right headspace to work.
Break It Down
Conquering that already-overwhelming to-do list can feel like Mission: Impossible when you’re scrolling past heartbreaking headline after heartbreaking headline. Instead of setting the bar super-high, only to wind up disappointed, take your to-do list one step at a time–literally. “Make a to-do list with all the tiny tasks,” says my friend and fellow freelance writer Annie Loynd Burton. “Check off those tasks and work your way up to the big ones.” Chances are, that to-do list won’t be as overwhelming when broken down into smaller parts. Plus, checking things off your list will allow you to celebrate your smallest accomplishments. (“I sent a follow-up email to my client?! Go me!”)
Whenever I’m overwhelmed — to the point where I feel paralyzed by an endless to-do list — I take a few moments to reflect. What is the one project that is stressing me out the most? How can I make that project more manageable? How will I feel once this task is done? Asking myself those small questions can help me refocus and push through — it’s amazing how much one project can change your perspective.
ICYMI: Taking some time off won’t jeopardize your hustler status. I love what I do so much that I’m happy to wake up early and go to bed late. (Yes, I did burn the midnight oil last night, thank you very much for asking.) However, I’m starting to understand the value in taking a day off — especially during these tough, turbulent times.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I spent a socially distanced day in Napa. Next weekend, we’re traveling to Yosemite while adhering to CDC safety protocol. Whether you want to treat yourself to a well-deserved vacation or need some time to emotionally process everything that’s going on in the world, cut yourself some slack and take a break. (Everyone’s in the same boat, so your clients will understand.) That way, you can unwind, recharge, and hit the ground running.
Remember Your Value
With everything going on in 2020, it can feel like your business is small potatoes compared to what the rest of the world is up against. I’ve often wondered if anyone cares about lifestyle content when there is so much darkness out there. I expressed this sentiment a few months ago to one of my best friends, a labor and delivery nurse in New York City. “I hear you, but people like me need an escape right now,” she reminded me. “People need positive content.”
It doesn’t matter what you do: Your business matters to people, so how can you use your platform to bring some good into the world? Can you take on clients pro-bono? Donate a portion of your bottom line to charity? Share impactful stories? Whenever I feel unmotivated, I think back to what my friend said and remember that someone out there might find some joy in my work.
Hustler of the Week: Chardee’ Scott
Congratulations on Pinch Design Co.! What inspired you to launch your own business?
In high school, the graphic design field was fairly new. After college, I found that this particular industry had become over saturated. My internship didn’t yield the fruits promised. Also, I ran into the age-old problem of companies not wanting to hire a recent graduate because they were looking for experienced candidates. I freelanced for about five years, doing design projects for friends and family. In 2016, I decided that if I couldn’t get my foot in the door, I would build my own house. Thus, Pinch Design Co. was born.
What’s your favorite thing about being your own boss? Least favorite?
Being the owner of a business that helps others establish their own business has been the most rewarding. From one boss to another, we are all just trying to make our mark in this world and share our talents and gifts with potential clients. Least favorite? Currently, I am a one-woman-show. It can be overwhelming to be the designer, secretary, CEO, CFO, etc. It’s a never-ending balancing act. Without my trusty planner, I would be lost.
What is the best lesson you’ve learned since becoming your own boss?
I am most grateful to have learned the importance of consulting an expert. I have been a designer for years; however, being a business-owner was new to me at one point. I should have consulted a business and financial professional to learn more about the “back-end” of the business world before starting Pinch. I have made some mistakes during the start of my entrepreneurial journey and, when I work with clients now, I advise them to speak with someone knowledgeable about business and their particular field.
Give Chardee’ some love by following Pinch Design Co. on Instagram and keeping her in mind for your next big project!
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