Tara here. I’ve been in hunker-down mode for a bit now. I’ve been spending my winter days typing away on my laptop by my little fireplace, listening to island music (summer dreaming perhaps), and elbow-deep crafting Braid content for our new ecourse that’s coming out this spring. Of course, I’m always word-weaving together personal-meets-professional brand platforms for our creative clients, too – but winter always seems like a time that we turn our eyes on our own brand, our own business, and what we want to do next.
I have to admit, I love scheming and dreaming about what Braid will do next. We always joke that Kathleen’s the one who comes up with the next adventure or wild idea, and then I’m the one who says “okay, let’s make it happen, I’ll get started.” If you are thinking “wow, that’d be nice if there were two of me running this show of mine… then someone else could be the dreamer… and I could just be the doer,” believe me, we both do our fair share of both, the heavy lifting, decision-making, but also the visioning, too. So can you.
Winter is perfect for hunkering down and working on you.
1. Your Client Work May Be Slowing Down
Ah, yep the first quarter slump. You may be an exception because of the nature or seasonality of what you do, but most creatives who work for themselves find that January to March can be a bit flat. But if you have a little extra time on your hands, or a little extra to spend (if you’ve been especially good and squirreling away your nuts, that is) then this is a great time to invest with either your time and your money, in yourself.
2. But Your Wishlist Is Always Going To Be Growing
We all have this list of things we want to do for our business and our personal brand. Yours may be in your head, in your journal, on several dogeared post-its, or in a perfectly organized spreadsheet. It’s never going to get shorter, it’s always going to grow as you do, but wouldn’t it feel great to check at least one off your list in just a month or two from now? Most of these invest-in-yourself line items seem big below, but see how I sorta tweaked them all to be doable in just a couple months? The trick is just picking one, and then doing it. Some items on your list might be:
- update your website / or simply your homepage
- get new photography / yes, of yourself! it’s worth it!
- start to blog, or a podcast / or simply use Instagram better
- commit to a weekly email or newsletter
- turn your content into an ebook / or simply write an mini-eguide
- plan a workshop / or start reaching out to collaborators who want to create one, too
- write “your talk” so you can say “yes” to speaking requests without cringing
- change your cute-then-but-now-irrelevant-to-what-you-do biz name to your own name / or at least get your own name in the logo
3. Daydreaming Keeps the Doldrums Away
There’s a reason I’m listening to a mix I titled “Beachy” as the soundtrack to my working day. This time of year don’t we all start feeling a little blah, and look ahead to what “could be?” Why not use some of that wanderlust, wistful thinking, or just plain antsy-ness to turn some could-be projects of your own into a real product or program of your own? I’m not going to lie, it takes discipline to make your dreams happen, so pick a small one, or split your big one into small deadlines.
I do have a confession, the reason I’m dusting off my writing-to-you skills today, instead of writing-for-myself, is because frankly, I’m procrastinating finishing the final lesson in our new ecourse. That’s why we hired our own content coach to give us deadlines on our own stuff. You may have another technique (rewarding yourself? making appointments for yourself? heck, even timing yourself on your phone!) to get the job done.
But even if you have a love-hate relationship with creating for yourself (ahem, like perhaps I do) you still have funneled any sort of boredom or anxiety you may be having this time of year into at a different kind of anxiety with a really great payoff at the end – the “ahhh-this-sucks” of the creative process, followed by the euphoria of completing something new!
4. Springtime Just Feels Like Launchtime
There’s so much out there now about launching, just doing it, not waiting til it’s perfect. So I don’t need to belabor the point. There’s probably even some trend research around launching in the spring. I just think it sounds great to put something new out into the world, watch it take hold – and then take off to go to the beach. That’s our plan at least. Someone cue the soundtrack.
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P.S. Working on you and investing in yourself might look a lot like hiring us. We can help you with your brand and business vision so that you look and feel and finally say what you’ve been trying to find the words for by taking you through our Braid Method. You can read more about that here and see what you will get (plus some pretty nice client testimonials) here.
And if you’re not quite ready to work with us one-on-one, there is always our Braid Method ECourse for Creative Entrepreneurs.
The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.