As owners of a small business in a creative industry, Emma and I have felt the need to adapt, quit or evolve over and over again. It's not always easy to make these changes, but it's so important. When you look at any artist, designer or brand that you admire, chances are you will notice quite a bit of evolution throughout their career. On the flip side, refusing to adapt, quit or evolve can seriously hurt a designer or brand—or even ones personal growth. Forward motion is the goal. Let's talk about a few ways to nurture forward motion.
Times change. Industries change. Blogging is one of the most severe examples I've experienced. When I started my blog I didn't have any professional ambitions for it whatsoever. It was just for fun. A few years in, opportunities arose and things slowly changed over time. This blog used to be a small personal blog, no staff, no planning, just my hobby. This blog could not be what it is today (our full time jobs) if I had not been willing to allow it to adapt to changing interests and grow into something different. Change is hard and sometimes scary. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. We've adapted to so many changes over the years, most noticeably our own changing interests. We have found ways to to make this blog really really fun to write every day. I think our readers would know if we didn't enjoy what we do and right now we are enjoying it more than ever. It's important to always find ways to adapt your creative work so that you can truly love what you do.
Growing up it was often emphasized to finish what you start. Follow through. Quitters never win. And I do agree that this is a super important life lesson. But now that we are older I think it takes a certain amount of wisdom to know when it's the right time to quit. Quitting is never easy, but sometimes it's an important next step. We're all humans with only so much time and so many resources. It's up to you to make sure that you are making the most of what you have. In the past I have realized that I was wasting a lot of time and energy on projects. Even though I really enjoyed some of these projects I try to make most of my decisions based on the big picture of what is healthy for my business, my creative side and my family. Sometimes I have to quit things. It can feel disappointing. Others might even say they are disappointed in your decision. It's hard, but it's worth it. Have you ever had this experience? Is there something in your life that is taking too much time or energy without much return? Make sure that your pursuits are still fulfilling a need or a passion in your life.
From time to time I come to a point with my creative work where I suddenly feel dissatisfied. For example, I realize that my photos could be way better or that my designs need freshening up. This is a normal, healthy way to feel. We all naturally evolve as we grow up, have new experiences and our values change based on where we are at in life (or who we are with). When you feel like you need these changes try to spend time really thinking about what those changes should be. Don't just throw out everything. Choose what needs an update, a makeover or a small change and what doesn't. Evolving is more than just starting over (and over and over). Evolving is making the small changes needed to improve the big picture. Healthy evolution is all about seeing the good in what you have or where you are and finding ways to improve on it.
Those are just a few of my personal experiences. None of these changes are easy, but being active and open to evaluating things and moving forward will add so much positive energy to your work. I promise! xo. Elsie