the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.
inventiveness, imagination, imaginativeness, innovation, innovativeness, originality, artistry, expressiveness, inspiration, vision, creative power, creative talent, creative gift, creative skill, resourcefulness, ingenuity, enterprise
As I write this I hear the church bells ringing close by. It’s Sunday morning and even though I was hoping to sleep in today, my body and mind were wide awake a while ago and I guess I can always catch a nap later. Thinking about what to write in this blog post I found myself thinking back on the last year and just how unaware I was of how it would unfold when it started. Jason and I weren’t even thinking of starting a business back then and yet here I find myself writing our 8th blog since launching at the end of July. Since our launch we’ve released 8 blogs, 7 podcasts, 1 vlog, 2 music production projects, tightened up our business model (always a work in progress), worked on a costing model, laughed a lot, prayed a lot, made sample music for projects that didn’t happen or are yet to happen and encouraged each other and ourselves to keep plugging away at the dream.
I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned this year as a creative entrepreneur has been to STAY HOPEFUL. Hope sounds like such a sweet and gentle thing, but this year it’s been a gritty and determined kind of street fight as discouragement and tough times have been lurking around every corner. The CHOICE to stay hopeful has been one that we’ve needed to make every day and sometimes more than once a day. Just as those church bells ring every Sunday, inviting people to come and worship, the invitation to choose hope has been there. It would have been far easier to choose discouragement. And of course, this did happen. Just ask anyone close to me who has been around me this year, they will tell you of the tears, internal fights and sometimes downright despair I faced. That’s not the problem though. The secret lies in how quickly you can get back to hope. I imagine hope being an anchor, so even in rough seas it is always there. Always an invitation. Perhaps one of the greatest epiphanies is the fact that hope is a CHOICE. It doesn’t need to be circumstantial and in fact it is far weightier when you choose hope when the circumstances suggest otherwise. We have also found that something encouraging someone else when can seriously boost your own hope levels.
This year I literally marked myself with HOPE. An anchor to remind me.
The other things that I have seen so much value in is CELEBRATION. As entrepreneurs, we often tend to be so focused on the next step and where our businesses need to grow and then as creatives we are so critical of ourselves and our work. A combination of these things? Wow, you’ll have a ‘we haven’t done anything worthwhile/nothing is ever good enough’ pity party on your hands. Therefore, the discipline (or art perhaps?) of celebration is so key! I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved this year. Do I think we’ve arrived? No ways. Is there a lot of work that we still need to do? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t need to detract from the victories of what we have achieved this year; both on a personal level and as a business. Dream. Plan. Do. Celebrate. Repeat. This is something wonderful I learned at a conference in France last year. Celebrate as you go. It’s also so important to celebrate other people and their journeys. Especially when they get ‘further’ than you are. As C.S Lewis said, comparison is the thief of joy. Remember that we often don’t have a window or insight in to other people’s journeys and so probably don’t know their struggles and what I’m learning is that we mostly face the same struggles, whether there is money in the bank or not.
Celebrate. Here’s a tutorial from ‘The Office’ in case you need it.
Here’s a little reflection exercise for us (and we will be doing this as The Stellar Effect and posting what we come up with):
- List all the things/people/experiences you’re grateful for this year. This could be as a business or in your personal capacity (or both of course)
- If you listed any people above, let them know how they’ve helped you stay hopeful this year and say thank you.
- Write 3 ways that you have remained hopeful this year. This is something that can help you get back to that place of hope when things get tough.
- Make a list of 5 ‘hope filled’ things that you’d like to see in your business or personal life. Read these out to yourself every day (they don’t necessarily have to be true right now)
- Think about all you have achieved this year in your business or personal life. Try to think outside of just financial gain. Perhaps you’ve learned a valuable personal lesson or took risk or met some wonderful people.
- Take time out to be grateful for this.
- Celebrate these things. You could pop some champagne, treat yourself to something lovely or even just take the afternoon off and go somewhere nice (like the beach).
Thank you to all of you, our readers and supporters who have followed us this year. We look forward to sharing so much more with you in the future. We’re so grateful for you. Look out for our last podcast of 2017 next week and one more vlog coming your way before the end of the year!
As always, we’d love to hear from you. Please comment below and feel free to share your stories of staying hopeful or how you plan to celebrate this year.