I'm going to let you into a secret now. It's something I thought long and hard about sharing on the internet because, well, it demonstrates I am flawed. None of us are perfect, in fact we are all fabulously imperfect but it can still be difficult sometimes to stand up and admit that in a public arena.
The problem is that I feel compelled to share my creative story with you and that means sharing the whole story - not just the select, shiny bits but also the challenges, doubts, struggles and fears. We all have them.
When I started my own business I had no idea what I was doing. Really I didn't. And here is the thing, I still don't. I had an idea and a sense that somehow that idea was the real thing I was supposed to be doing, that somehow that idea could develop into something that would serve both my own needs and the needs of others. I didn't know exactly what the logistics would be or have a step by step delivery plan. I had an idea, lots of passion and luckily, a fantastic support network of family, friends and blog readers. So off I went putting things into place, creating, brainstorming and implementing until finally I was ready to launch. Launch day came and went and the initial response was overwhelming - woah, I was doing this and even more astounding was the fact people were buying into what I was offering. I was right to go along with my idea.
Then the day came when the initial hype died down, sales began to slow and my optimism and enthusiasm gave way to fear and self-doubt. I found other ways to keep myself busy all the while beginning to feel like a bit of a failure - maybe my critics had been right all along and I was chasing an unobtainable fantasy? I began to panic under the pressure (all of which was applied by me by the way) and so after vowing I would never have a 9-5 job again, I began to send out my CV. Application after application was sent and... nothing. Now at the risk of sounding arrogant, I was puzzled. I had a pretty impressive employment record and I had never not been offered a job I interviewed for, and yet here I was not even getting to the interview stage. Why? Maybe because we are in the grip of recession and I now longer live in London (jobs in South Yorkshire are a lot harder to come by) or maybe because when asked what I was currently doing I would reply almost apologetically that "I was working freelance but really missed working in an office". (I'm sighing at myself as I write this).
So why am I telling you all of this?
Well, my point is that none of us can ever know 100 percent how things will turn out. We can spend months, years even, planning and plotting but in the end there are no guarantees. And you know what? That's just fine. My message to you, dear reader, is to have faith. Believe in yourself and your creativity even when it seems like no-one else does, because if you don't then probably no-one else ever will.
With all new businesses there will be initial hype and then things will die down, don't despair or panic as I did. Instead use your creative gift to try something new - whether it is a new marketing technique, a new product launch or something altogether different. If you are doing what makes you feel alive then you are on the right track. You may not know what you are doing but that's ok.
We are a work in progress. Always.
*I'm very happy to report that once I started to apply myself to my business with 100% passion again, things improved.