5 Mental Health Tips for Handmade Business OwnersOct 18, 2022
I'm going to preface this blog post by saying that I'm not a mental health professional, and if you feel like you need mental health help, then please go and seek professional advice.
When you start your own business, it isn't just a financial journey, it is also a journey of self discovery.
Sometimes we really lose ourselves when we're going about our daily handmade business lives and routines, and so this blog post is all about my top 5 mental health tips for handmade business owners.
If you are feeling burnt out or like you can't keep up because you just don't have time to run your business, then it's not going to get any better if you don't make time to rest.
You NEED to make time for rest and recuperation. Ask me how I know!
I used to think that I always had to push, push, push, push and push, but the bottom line is that the more you push, the more it's not going to work.
I've seen many successful businesses fail because their owners have not scheduled in any rest, they get burnt out and become unwell and they can't carry on. It's as simple as that.
If you are planning out your week or writing out your to do list, please make sure to schedule in some time to rest.
2. Identify when you do your best work
Knowing WHEN you do your best work is key. It could be a specific time of day, day of the week, or week of the month.
I recently read a book called 'In The Flow' by Alisa Vitti and it talks a lot about how some weeks of your menstrual cycle you can be more geared towards certain tasks in your business, and other weeks you're more suited to other tasks. I really started to implement this in my business, and it has been life changing.
I used to wonder why some weeks I'm fine doing certain tasks, and other weeks I want to be more rested and behind the scenes, and as it turns out, your cycle plays a big part in that!
Other ways to look at it are like this:
Every morning I get up around 5:30am, the latest being 06:30am, and this is when I do my best work. Before everyone else in the world gets up and starts their day, I get my best work done. I DO NOT do my best work after 3pm. I'm burnt out by that point, I'm tired and I'm done for the day so I don't schedule myself any work to do, and I usually finish my working day by 2pm.
It's a really good idea to identify when your most creative times are and also look at your day to day, week to week, month to month and see what times of the day, week or month you're more suited to a certain task.
Trying to push yourself to do things that you are not mentally equipped to do in that moment is a recipe for disaster.
For the next month, track when you are best suited to doing certain tasks in your business, and you will see a pattern.
3. Create when you feel called to
Don't force your creativity. it won't be your best work and this will impact the money that you will make. It's ok for your creativity to come in ebbs and flows and just embrace it when it comes, and accept it when it doesn't. Don't force it.
Try looking at places that inspire you to get creative. I know that if my workspace is cluttered or my desk untidy, then it will impact the work that I do and I won't feel creative.
If I'm ever struggling, I tidy my area and I just sit and doodle or brainstorm. I never force it to come.
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4. Unlink your self worth from your net worth
People feel good when they are doing well in their business and the sales and money is coming in. Then, something will happen out of their control. Summer will come, and sales will start to decrease because people are out enjoying the sunshine, or taking holidays and aren't online looking for things to buy. Then, all of a sudden they start to feel like it's something that they've done wrong, or that they're no longer good at what they do and they aren't worthy of orders and sales, when in actual fact sales ALWAYS naturally ebb and flow. It has nothing to do with them on a personal level.
Don't go down that road of only being happy when you're making money in your business. Your mood for the day should not pivot on the amount of sales you have received. You may even be doing this subconsciously and you're not acutely aware that your business success has an impact on your mood or happiness.
You may be thinking 'Steph, it's hard NOT to feel disheartened when sales are slow!', but instead I want you to look at the facts. Look at the reasons why and the stats and the data and the evidence. If you go into your Etsy stats and you notice that you had a dip around this time last year too, then you know it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the buying patterns of the people that you serve.
5. Stop pushing
Think of yourself and your business like a flower or a rose. You CANNOT force the flower to bloom. You cannot dig up your rose bud to see if it is growing every day, because it will not grow that way and you will kill it because you have forced it.
This is you in your business when you're saying 'why have I not got a 6 figure business yet?!'.
Something that I have seen and experienced my self as a business coach and as a multiple business owner, is that you will only attract what you can handle at that time in your journey.
You do not want to be an overnight success because you have to prepare, grow and develop. Imagine if I had a magic wand and I said to you that I was going to treble your orders for the day. Would you be able to cope with that amount of orders and get them shipped out tomorrow or the next day? The answer would most likely be no.
The biggest piece of advice that I could give you is to stop pushing. Make your plans and goals, set intentions for your business and make a rough plan, but also pop in some room for expansion and hold yourself some space where you can change and pivot and do all of the things that businesses do. It's ok if your path alters, you might not be growing as fast as you wanted to, but the bottom line is it could be that this is all the space you have to hold right now.
Instead of looking at your numbers and thinking 'why aren't I growing, what can I do?!', it might just be really fun to instead ask yourself the question 'what would myself as a *insert goal here* business owner do?'. Ask yourself that question instead of pushing yourself in the here and now.
Push yourself to zoom out a little bit further and ask yourself 'what would 6 figure *your name* do?' Would she be worrying about how many people are coming from Facebook to my Etsy shop? Would she be worrying about how my last Instagram story didn't get as many views or click throughs? The answer is probably no, and instead she'd be looking at the long term business solution.
If you're getting frustrated and find yourself putting pressure on yourself and making yourself mentally unwell or burnt out, then look into the distance a little bit more and look at the long game rather than the short game.
If you'd prefer me to visually teach you this blog post, then you can watch it HERE.
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