The peaks and troughs of creative entrepreneurship

The peaks and troughs of creative entrepreneurship

I can only talk from my experience.

I cannot tell you how to overcome or navigate the peaks and troughs of your own business. Nor can I give you examples founded in phycology as I am not a phycologist. What I can do for you though is give you my insights from our journey in hope they help.

The journey of a creative entrepreneur is akin to nothing else I have ever experienced: exhilarating, soaring to euphoric heights, whilst seemingly moments later debilitating, plunging into the depths of despair. In the nearly five years since the inception of We Are Makers, Kate and I have weathered these storms, not with a secret formula, but through resilience, adaptability, and a grounded approach to overcoming challenges.

We don't have a magical solution or an inspirational montage to transform reality into a blissful dream. I do have 1 task, 1 frame, and 1 question that keeps us, and hopefully after reading this, you, in a positive mindset.

1. The Task - Finding Wins in the Detail

We keep an eye on everything: how many people are talking to us online, engagement, how much we're selling, website visits, and all the jobs we manage to cross off our never-ending to-do list each week. I once heard this great piece of advice — can't for the life of me remember where from, so let's just say I came up with it for now. It goes something like this: if you track enough, you're guaranteed to find something to celebrate. Whenever we hit a rough patch, like when our sales take a dive or our engagement or reach drop, we keep looking until we find a silver lining in something else, for example, have we got through more of behind-the-scenes tasks than we normally do. The point is keep looking until you find something to celebrate. Its there.

But what happens when you've counted and measured everything and things still aren't looking up? It's easy to feel a bit down about it all, but actually, this is where the magic happens. For us, it's our cue to shake things up. Realising what's not working is a win because it tells us it's time to try something new, to be creative, and list last week's strategy on the does 'not work' board.

2. The Frame - The Significance of the Average Line

The emotional rollercoaster of peaks and troughs is an inevitable aspect of creative entrepreneurship. But, it's not the peaks and troughs that matter. Its the average line that truly reflects our progress. Our objective isn't to eliminate the lows, that's impossible, but to amplify the highs and minimise the lows. This ensures our overall trajectory is upward. An ascending average line signifies growth, no matter how gradual. The key is to ensure consistent progress, in maths this is called the exponential midline. And that is where your concentration must be.

3. The Question - The Power of Daily Wins

Last week was a tough one for us, full of bumps in the road and what felt like missed chances. It's in these tough times that we really start to see how important it is to find and celebrate wins. Kate, being the accidental stoic of us both, asked a simple question that made me stop and think: "What was your win today?" It's amazing how looking for even the tiniest win can totally change your outlook and make a rough day seem a bit brighter. When you share these little wins with someone else, be it your partner or a workmate, it's like turning up the volume on them, and it can really turn your whole day around.

For anyone who's riding the rollercoaster of running their own show, having someone to ask the question "What was your win today?" can be really powerful. I'm lucky I've got Kate, If you're going it alone, try to find someone who gets it, someone you can swap these little victories with. Trust me, it could be the change your day needs.

Conclusion

The road of being a creative entrepreneur has its fair share of bumps, if you're feeling those bumps, you are not alone. But, it's also packed with chances to grow, learn, and get that feel-good buzz from what we do.

Our secret sauce is to keep your eyes on the little wins, keep track of how far you've come, and have each other's backs through all the highs and lows. We've got to tackle this adventure looking out for the wins. Remember: here, every step forward is a win.

And with that, What was your win today?


I am delighted to say this article is sponsored by the good folks at Real Milk Paint Co.