Petalplum

do what you love / love what you do - but what about when..... {creative business conversations}

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We've all seen those lovely posters and heard the sayings:

Do what you Love
Love what you Do

about being a small business owner, a creative maker, a someone who has fled the rat-race for living the 'good life' making do and doing what they love everyday, for making their talent and skills and passions their business and livelihood. 

You know those sayings?

but what about when..............

A few weeks ago both Sam and I were in a little slump about our making and the whole self-business and keeping on going and doing and 'loving what we do'. We were both sick, the kids were sick, the weather was horrible, the house-building was dragging (which means still no set dedicated studio for working in, still very make-shift). A whole lot of stuff was happening all at once, we had lots of deadlines and external things as well, and upcoming events, and self-imposed deadlines and that sort of thing. 

Basically one of those months of full on crazy time. When you start to wonder why you work for yourself, why you can't call in sick and have someone cover your shift, why you've set yourself up to always always be having to work long days and often weekends and wondering if it's really all worth it and is it really what you want. 
When the love goes a little cold. Or something like that.

Of course, we both love what we do and feel more than grateful every single day that we are actually able to step away from a regular job with a boss and all that. That we can do what we want, how we want. That we can be here when the kids get home from school. That we can make and chase and redefine our own dreams. We love all that. But sometimes all that doesn't make it easier. 

So - I got thinking a little. About what to do when the love goes a little cold. Do we give up? Do we keep on plodding through it, hating it, or resenting it? We talked about it a little.. and I thought a little. And here's a few tips and ideas I came up with, or realised that we were already doing, to get us through the 'wish I could call in sick' feeling. 

1. Remind yourself really what you love and why you're doing this. Write it down, talk it out, say it loud. 
2. Look at all the cool stuff you can feel grateful for - the setting your own hours, the skipping afternoon shift to head to the beach or skatepark, the being home for your kids, the working together. 
3. Think about what you'd actually be doing instead, in a 'real' job. The fact that you probably wouldn't be able to call in sick due a number of other things....and how horrible that would be. 
4. Step away from it all - for an afternoon, a day, a couple of days. If possible I think taking time off is really important. What's the use of all the hard work if you don't reward yourself when you most need it?
5. Push through. Get over it. Toughen up. Grow up. 
6. Sing and laugh and talk with someone fun - have someone beside you in the studio to lighten the load, even if just for the shortest of whiles. We always find our family particularly are good at helping out when we really really need it. 
7. Or - sometimes...after a whole lot of thinking and talking and writing and more thinking....ask yourself, are you really still doing what you love. Do you really still love what you're doing? Sometimes we stay on a track because it's working, or there's no other options, because stepping off is harder or you need that next order before you can stop. Sometimes maybe you really do need to change or alter what or how you're doing things. This is ok - it's good to take time in your business and redefine if you still love you do. 'Cause if you don't love it, then what's the use?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and tips on what you do when you're in a rut - either in your own creative business or a self-set project. 
How do you get through the slump? 
Do you push on or give up?
Do you look deeper for the love, or notice that the love isn't actually there anymore?