Friday, January 6, 2012

busy turning work into play

I have this Other Business. It's actually my first business since I left regular employment and at first I thought that was going to be it forever. Like it was going to be the work that defines me. But as you would have seen in the past few months it will not be the only thing that will take my time and effort, if at all.

However, I also recognize that you cannot (although some will probably say you can) just let go of something you have built from scratch into something significant for sixteen years. There is also the reality that it is what is feeding me and my family right now. And I don't dislike it. It's just that sometimes it reeks too much of work -- the kind that eats up your life and leaves no room for anything else. I went solo to get away from that but then last year taught me that it was not that easy.

So what I tried to do for the whole day yesterday ( and will continue today) is to revisit the plans for the Other Business and to redefine it. I want to integrate it into my now-blooming creative and crafty life instead of allowing it to bully everything else out of the way. In the process it will also help the business acquire a better and stronger identity and purpose, thus be able to also offer better service.

I got a lot of useful help from the book The Right Brain Business Plan -- and I wish I found it two years ago! Its style appealed and resonated with me because of my strong creative side. The questions in the book had me writing non-stop and I filled at least fifty pages of my planning journal in long-hand!

I encountered a few roadblocks though and had to seek the advice of my sister. We talked for a few hours last night to work those out and I got some initial ideas on how to resolve them.

the cover of my planning journal. My Creative Work Matters!
a favorite quote from the book Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips
some images and ideas that I'd love to translate into my work
I've always been a National Geographic fan and I've always been inspired by their work - the photography, the writing, the intentions, passions, ---everything. I would like to be able to embody similar values in my business to make it more aligned with how I want to live my life as a whole.
Integrating the business into my creative life and my financial needs and where I want to go was one of the difficult parts. The kind of work I do for the business can be taxing on so many levels so I need to figure out a way so I will not be overwhelmed. I really don't like the feeling of toiling through days just to get to pay the bills!  (Thank God for Good Clients who are great to work with and who appreciate the work.) 
I wish to continue to reform myself because the workaholic sometimes slips back in. I also need to have more trust that good projects will come as needed and there is no need to compromise on my standards (or my fees!) just because I'm worried I might not make it to next month's bills. I want to be able to push for the values and identity that I want my business to have and those are what will help it grow big than if I just subsisted on compromises.
These are some of the fun stuff from the Right Brain book. I'm doing some of them today and the rest will be for over the weekend. So yes I will be busy!
I got this beautiful quote from Twitter this morning:

"If your work is play, you will never get tired. If you make everything a play time, you don't need to work at all!" (Swami Satchidananda)

Have a great work/play day!

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