Spark and Inspire Question #4: The Hardest Part about Year 2 of your Business is...

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Question #4

The hardest part at year 2 of your business is….

"The more resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested
art/project/enterprise is to you -and the more gratification you will feel when you finally
do it."
-

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art


The newness of the business and the excitement of all that could be in your
new little bundle of joy really wraps a little cocoon around you and protects
you from the rough spots and the tons of work that goes on in year 1. You
really live on adrenalin and hope and ooey gooey dreams…

Year 2 really grabs you and makes you pay attention to what is and IS NOT
working in your business. IN year 2 you really are paying attention as to
whether or not your work is going to produce financial results. Year 2 is
when you got to get honest about how long you can sustain an all out type
of work schedule ESPECIALLY if you are still waiting on break even results.
Year 2 truly can offer a ‘come to Jesus’ moment: is this a business or is this
a hobby?

Alease McClenningham:

The hardest part at year 2 of your business is…. for me it has been staying
focused. I like to do a lot of things. But I know that the only way to
continue to grow my business I have to stay focused on what’s working and
only add a few ideas at a time.

Leanne Wargowsky:

I'll let you know when I get there. ;-) Yes, if you see my bio, you know that I
am a newbie in this creative business life. While I participated in the Kelly
Rae Roberts' ecourse called Flying Lessons in 2010, it has taken me a little
bit longer to wake up and "smell the coffee". As I slowly approach year
two, I imagine the hardest part will be finding balance to create vs. running
the business part of things. Even now I find myself struggling with moments
when I'd love to just sit and paint and create, but know that there is some
business to tend to. The creating has to take a back seat. And, keeping it all
straight on the business end. Yes, I'm fairly certain that will be my
challenge. Time will tell . . .

Nolwenn Petitbois:

I currently am in this year 2 of business, or so. The hardest part right now is
to find new ways to market what I have to offer and to have my customers
to come back and buy something else.

My testimonials and feedbacks are good, but there seems to be something
missing that I still need to figure out. I know I will eventually (figure this
out) but sometimes, looking at my shop stats and not getting depressed
because of what I see is hard.

I have faith in my artwork, and in the fact that it can touch people. Not
everyone for sure, as my style is whimsical and my Nixies are far from
looking realistic. But I know there are some women (and men too) that feel
empowered by my messages. I just have to find them, or let them find their
way to me.

Again, it’s about commitment to my business and trust.

Kelly Warren:

Year two for me was in 2007, so this was before the U.S. economy tanked.
My girls were going on two years old and I was traveling to about eight
juried arts festivals a year. I can’t say that the hardest part of year two was
growing my business. My business itself was actually doing very well. My
shows were very successful. Given that, I think that hardest part of that
year for me was actually the growth. I was not at the point that I could (or
even was willing, frankly) to “give up the day job” for my creative business.
I’m very much a people person, and the interaction I have with those I
work with in my day job keeps me young. I work with college students all
day!

The greater challenge for me at that point was the juggle: working full-
time, being a wife and a mother to two year old twins, AND creating
artwork for and running a creative business. To this day, the juggle is still
my greatest challenge. I think many creatives at year two might be getting
to the point of asking themselves the “Will I be able to quit my day job and
devote my time fully to my creative business soon?” question. But I wasn’t
at that point. I wasn’t asking that question because I knew that I wasn’t
ready for that, mentally or financially.

For me, the most important part of year two, year one, year eight, year
twenty, year whatever, is simply knowing yourself and what you truly want
out of what you are doing. Am I getting to the point at which I’d feel more
comfortable walking away from the day job and devoting my “work-time"
fully to my creative business? Maybe now, at year seven...maybe. Yet, I’m a
very realistic person and know that the changes that would have to take
place to make that happen aren’t quite ready to change yet. There are
dreams, and I have them, but I also keep a healthy grip on reality. To me, I
believe that healthy grip is the most important thing to have when building
and growing a creative business.

Sonya McCllough:

The hardest part at year 2 of your business is finally knowing where you
would like your business to be in say ... five years. But, knowing it will take
time (maybe, even five years) of travel time to reach our true destination.

Jean Simrose:

The hardest part in following my dream is not having sufficient funds to
carry out all of my business goals. I envisioned taking more classes, learning
more techniques and collaborating with more people. I planned on going to
art retreats and connecting with like-minded people who inspire me.
Instead I found myself working hard just to participate in fairs and keep my
Etsy shop stocked so I could sell my jewelry.

The Mind. Body. Soul Art Journaling e-course has helped me to further
defines my dreams. I have learned a lot about what I truly want from my
creative business and how to get it. The e-course facilitated this Project. I
hope it will lead to more connections in my creative business world.

Kelly Thiel:

Momentum. Keeping the momentum. Life happens. People get sick, and
pregnancies occur. It is so hard to stay focused on your business when life
keeps throwing distractions at you. And since you are your own boss, it’s
easy to let things slide a bit. Not always a problem (since sometimes you
really do need a break every now and then), but once that period is over,
sometimes I find it hard to get going again. I am in amazement at people
who never seem to lose momentum. I admire them for their continuous
efforts!

At this time in my life when I have two young children at home, I realize
that I am going to have to be flexible in my work schedule. There are days
when I know I won’t be able to put much toward my business. On those
days, I try to do ONE THING that will put me one step closer to my goals. It
may be something as small as tweeting and Facebooking about an exhibit
I’m in, or writing a quick blog post. It may be one business phone call, or
even packing a box to ship to a gallery. Just one thing. And then for the rest
of the chaotic day, I will know that I haven’t lost ALL momentum!

I’ve also taken to getting up an hour earlier several times a week. It’s not
much, but it can make a difference to my mental state. I know I’ve gotten
at least a little done for my business before the rest of the household gets
up!

Jan Avellana:

…wearing all of the hats. I had great difficulty juggling it all; motherhood,
wife, artist, bookkeeper, blogger, social media and marketing guru…at this
point in the life of Hazelnut Cottage (my hand stamped jewelry line), I was
barely getting any sleep at all and working much of the time. This was
especially hard since my babies were little; just 2 and 4 at the time.




YOUR TURN:

The hardest part at year 2 of your business is….

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