The Happy Creative Episode 1, Bringing Joy Back Into Our Businesses This January.
IN THIS EPISODE I TALK ABOUT:
- Introducing The Happy Creative podcast
- I share my story and creative business journey. How I went from stressed out breast cancer patient to moving abroad and being inspired to set up my dream creative business.
- Why checking-in with your big picture can bring clarity and help you put joy centre stage.
- Planning a joyful working week and the importance of including self-care time.
- Why keeping it simple can make us happier in our work and help us beat the overwhelm.
- Having a plan for letting go to release negative things from your business.
- Why we should celebrate our super powers as creatives
LINKS + RESOURCES I TALK ABOUT:
Finding Your North Star workbook (and lifetime access to my other resources)
Read Episode 1
Hi there. welcome, welcome, welcome to The Happy Creative podcast. This is the place for you if you want to grow a joyful creative business that you’re totally in love with. It’s also a place to inspire you if you have a big dream but just don’t know where to start. Believe me, I’ve been there!
So I’m Ruth and I’m going to start by introducing myself.
I’m a writer and long-time creative business owner I’m currently based in York, UK (a city full of chocolate and trains and history). I’ve worked in the creative world for over twenty years.
My mission on this planet is to help creatives just like you create rewarding, content-rich and profitable online businesses. My mantra for this year is “I’m prepared for the very best-case scenario” and I want to help you be prepared for all the awesome things that are going to come your way this year and beyond.
OK, so one thing I know after almost ten years of running a creative business is this. It’s a big, beautiful journey but it can be hard. And those hard parts run deep inside (add in) of us. As a business owner we have to rely on our creativity, on showing up every day even when we don’t want to, and of facing the fear of putting ourselves out there, of feeling vulnerable in order to connect. It’s a big deal. I know it’s a really big deal!
So my theme for this first season of the podcast is to bring positivity for when you might be feeling down, to remind you of the joy and happiness that exists when you’re having a crap day. To let you know that you’re not alone and that I’m on your team, supporting you all the way.
My own journey with joy (and what the lack of it meant) started way back in two thousand and ten after I’d become a mum. I set up a creative content agency here in York and grew it to seven full-time people turning over multiple-six figures.
If you looked at it on paper I had it all. I was working with amazing clients and I had plenty of pinch myself moments. But deep down inside me there was no joy in working with these big businesses in fact it felt a bit vacuous. I worked ALL the hours because I thought success meant busy. Then in two thousand and fourteen I got I got diagnosed with aggressive BREAST cancer and I knew I had to change my life big time!
So, right after my treatment ended we decided to spend some time abroad. We moved to Barcelona, bought a campervan and explored Europe. My girls went to school in Catalonia. It was the best decision we ever made! The Mediterranean climate, beach lifestyle and diving into something new was the break we needed. I healed and my creativity came flooding back in some really exciting ways. I started working with my own incredible coach Jen Carrington and decided to pivot my business to work with people to help them create content-rich, awesome businesses.
Maybe you’re wondering what this all means for you? Whatever stage of your creative business you’re at, I suggest we take a step back and make JOY our focus this January. Let’s dive in…
# 1 Your big picture: How is your business serving you?
Your business should feel-good. What I tell my clients is that the business has to serve and represent who you are as a human. When you start to align the business purpose with your values, your dreams, your point of view and your passions, then joy happens naturally.
So, if you are looking to make the leap this looks like making a business plan based on the place where all your super-powers and talents converge with your passions and can add value to others (there’s a workbook called Finding Your North Star over on my website ruthhoskins.com/freebies if you need help with this).
Maybe you already have a business and are slipping into that classic territory: being too busy working for your business rather than on your business. Is overwhelm taking the joy out? What actions can you take to get to a place of joy again? Maybe this looks like taking on a VA to free you up to explore a new revenue stream? Or maybe you need to revisit your pricing to put your prices up so you can work less and earn more?
Over in the show notes I’ve listed a few questions that you can use to check back in with what will bring you the most joy in your current or future business.
# 2 Plan a joyful working week
This sounds simple but if we start at a place of joy just imagine what can happen.
For me, my coaching business is centred around my love of meaningful chat, of connection and of content. These things all bring joy into my life so I’m happy to be able to do purposeful work that is centred on these passions. But I also love creating content, like this podcast and writing so it’s important for me to carve out the space and time for that into my working week. I also try and keep a day a week free to work on some of my other creative projects or to have a long walk and catch up on podcasts.
Write down what your ideal working week would look like because then you can reverse engineer a plan to make it all happen. Maybe it’s about working around your family, or about freeing up some time to work on a new service or revenue stream. Maybe you want to give back in some way? Mapping this out is the first step in making it happen.
It’s important to add in time for self-care too, however that looks like to you. One thing I know is that busy does not always mean profitable. Taking an hour out of your working day can be magical and make you way more productive in the hours you are working.
- Keep it simple
Every creative business owner I know gets overwhelmed, especially at these early stages. As well as doing what you do there are heaps of new things to learn. You need to be the CEO, you need to sell your service or product and you need to market yourself. It’s a mountain, it’s unknown territory, it feels scary at times.
What would our business be like if we shut off some of the noise (I’m talking too much scrolling through Instagram and letting comparisons creep in) and just focused on showing up, on connections with our community and creating content to solve their problems?
Don’t try and do too much. Craft and focus on your story, the problem you solve for people and the impact that has on their lives. These are the only things that really matter along with chipping away at your business. Simple, consistent steps are where strong foundations come from.
How this works for me is to just have three things a day on my list. I try not to look at social media during my working hours, and also have a 3pm boundary. By keeping it simple I always achieve my list and I finish the day feeling joyful and excited to show up again tomorrow.
# 4. Learning to let go
I’m so glad the Frozen days are behind my girls now but Elsa was right about one thing. Letting go is a big step towards a more joyful business and working out what you need to let go of is very rewarding.
Negativity can hit us in lots of ways – the thoughts we are conditioned to think about ourselves, the habits that don’t serve us, the negative people who can be a drain on our creativity and energy. This is a good time to work out what negative things in your life you can release or say goodbye to this year.
It can be as simple as unfollowing people on social media who have negative energy? Or it could be that you need a long-term plan to let go of a client who isn’t a good fit for you.
or maybe you long-term goals to migrate to a more positive mindset (this is a lifetimes work but identifying these things is the first step in achieving them).
# 5 Celebrate your super-powers
As a creative business owner I know you already have a gift to share with the world. You have a talent and you have a set of super-powers but as women we don’t always feel good about bugging ourselves up. In fact it’s the opposite. We all-too-often compare ourselves with others and forget about all the things we bring to the table. Does that sound familiar?
So let’s celebrate together my awesome friend! I’ll go first…..I’m super intuitive and feel my way through life, I make other people feel positive, I have tons of experience in building online, content-rich businesses. My friends tell me I’m fun and fearless and full of adventure. When I say this out loud I remember that I am my own kind of awesome and that feels great.
What do you bring to the table? What do you shine at, what is your special flavour awesomeness? Share it with me on Instagram and tag me (ruthie_hoskins) or write it in a blog post. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating ourselves this January.
Thanks so much for listening.
I’d be very grateful if you can subscribe + rate and review if you have enjoyed it, it really helps people find a new podcast like this online.
I’d really love to hear from you so head over to ruthhoskins.com where you can sign up to my email community where I share more personal updates that I don’t share anywhere else and you get access to all my resources. I’m also on Instagram as @ruthie_hoskins. Or if you want to email me with something you want me to cover, or you have a question just drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I can’t wait to connect with you and remember, I’m always on your team. Thanks for tuning in, talk to you soon!