When I think about the strokes of creative genius I’ve had over the years, the climax of my creativity peaked somewhere between the chapters of chaos and the intentionally carved-out moments of margin in my story.
As the projects rolled in and the client list expanded, the weight of responsibility to create and excel became more and more real. The fear of failing turned into a fear of underperforming, and if I allowed that storyline to play out, well, you can just imagine the stress and heartache that was sure to follow.
Nurturing our creativity begins with having the right mindset, and for me, it’s the unequivocal belief that God, the author of my life and artist and donor of my gifts, purposed me for a moment such as this with gifts uniquely assigned to me. I once heard it said – what He calls us to he blesses and grows.
I was once that mama that held on tightly to the “me” that existed before that chaos and beauty of marriage and motherhood. The hard truth I’ve learned in the years since these “title transitions” is that deep in the mess of our lives our banner messages are born — and from there, the new you (filled with creative ideas I might add!) can continue to evolve.
So where do we go from here mamapreneurs? How do creativity and being the CEO of your business coexist? Here are some things I’ve learned:
I’m talking about your social feed, the shows and magazines you’re reading, and the people you’re allowing to speak into your life. It’s awfully ironic that my best work began when I created more margin and began worrying less about what my competition was doing. A true challenge in our uber-connected world.
About a year ago, I was in a burnt-out and used-up place where leading my business no longer felt fun. I was, for all intents and purposes, a solopreneur with one super part-time contractor and drowning in the daily maintenance of client work.
With the help of a rockstar business coach, I was able to identify the parts of my business that I wanted to continue doing and the areas that I was ready and needing to delegate. This leap was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating, but it led to more time working ON my business instead of IN it. And something magical happened — my company experienced 28% growth by the end of the year. Today, our team is six leaders strong. No wonder I was feeling so stressed and overworked.
I’ve met so many entrepreneurs (myself included) who have used being a “creative spirit” as an excuse to knowingly letting parts of the business (the less sexy parts) fall by the wayside: admin, finances, short- and long-term milestones, etc.
Taking ownership, finding the support you need, and putting on the hat of CEO creates accountability and total freedom and understanding to know what is possible for you and your business. Better yet — here is where your entrepreneurial “creative spirit” gets full domain to reach for the seemingly unlikely.
So much of business success is mindset. I often remind myself that I have been entrusted with a business that is accountable to the many people who have taken a leap of faith in us and is providing a deeper solution than even I understand. Be grace-filled — this is a process of maturation that takes time and confidence.
Often times, our most impactful messages come from the ugliest and messiest parts of our lives. Let your inspiration stem from the perfectly strung words you hear a stranger say, moments of exasperation or pure fulfillment with your family, leaping head first into moments of transition and embracing the seemingly “normal” moments in life.
These days, my creativity has taken the form of infusing projects with strategy, tone, execution and vision. I no longer try to white-knuckle hold onto the minutiae of my business.
I continuously evaluate what I can do to lead my team through empowerment and grace while also providing the training, support, and trust they need. I stay plugged in and give direction and focus on doing at least one thing each week to make our brand shine. I also give myself permission to step back and be fully present as a mom, wife and woman. I watch for patterns of success in client work and am more apt to say NO when potential business doesn’t suit us. I settle into myself as the years go by and I overcome one heartache after the other.
Know that your creativity and how that shows up may change throughout the years as you’re stretched and refreshed, but the things that really stick with you over time and the things you discover that feel right are a part of the new and ever-evolving YOU.
MotherHustle panelist Kathy Dixon is the founder and creative director of Oh Yes Communications. It won’t take you long to discover her love for her wild toddler, Air Force hubby, and her heart for Jesus. When she’s not buzzing around town, she’s usually at the gym lifting heavy things — although these days, it looks more like (not so) patiently waiting for her second son to arrive (due mid-September!).
Kathy says: “This entrepreneur journey has been something special. I have yet to hear someone’s story that hasn’t inspired me in someway. It’s the reason why I dodge small talk. I know first hand what the power of encouragement and sharing your story can do and it’s why I always push my clients to be bold with theirs.” Find her and Oh Yes on Instagram.
Access our free Members-Only Portal + get exclusive stories delivered weekly