For them rainy days
You know those days when things seem to suck, grey clouds hang over your head and you feel that your creative business is a failure ...
those days I love and need my business diary.
Why I keep a business diary
Two weeks ago was tough business wise. I didn't feel like it was going anywhere, things are going slow etc. ... it's the times when I need a reality check.
No one wants to stay in this mindset. I don't. I want to feel passionate and happy about what I do. That's when I look at my business diary.
How it works
I have a notebook (with blank pages, the only ones that get my stationary geek heart beating faster) and I keep a diary with dates of every single positive move forward in my business. Every small thing, even if its just one sentence. Usually I keep it very short.
... it's my little celebration and record of becoming braver ... even if it's just a tweet
Sometimes it is my current stats of social media followers, another time it's a list of things I did for my business, sometimes it's a small or big accomplishment like recently when I tweeted one of my favourite young graphic designers and he actually replied. As he is on the best way of making an incredible career as designer I was very surprised and happy (Jan Bajtlik is an amazing polish poster designer - go check him out here).
On another note, I am not this kind of person who just tweets famous people to say hi, you inspire me, I love your work and wrote my assignment about you (I wrote about the power of the poster, political activism in design and how designers should take responsibility for what they put out into our world). It took quite a push of new gained confidence to write him a tweet. So its my little celebration and record of becoming braver ... even if it's just a tweet.
These are things that I can re-read when things feel like they're going down. It shows my progress, it shows me that I am indeed growing that I am working hard.
For them awesome days
My business diary is also a place to be very honest with myself like a recent entry, as you can possibly guess from two weeks ago: "I haven't made any money this month and it scares me ... it really does. I'm scared of a zero month ..."
An honest record of my development
Let's be honest, having your own creative business can be scary. I love to look back at this entry now - in the sunny time of business - and see that I made it through this period - that even though I felt this way, I took steps to keep on going and it worked out. I build my confidence in my business and I build strategies of what works and what doesn't.
Now I can see that people actually value what I do. Last week two clients contacted me and inquired if I'm free for another business opportunity without me having to promote myself. For no apparent reason I also received a lot of love from family and people who love what I do. My sister in-law promoted my work and shared how much she loves it (which meant a lot to me) and another wonderful illustrator just dropped me a message to say thank you for what I do.
What is success anyway
These are the things I want to remember, however small they seem compared to big sales figures. I believe they will come if I keep on getting better - a better person, a better entrepreneur and a better designer and artist.
If you try a business diary in this sense or if you have other ways to track your small successes please share them in the comments below (it's a bit of a pain to sign up to comment, but it's worth it ;D).
Thank you for all your love and support,
Until next time - share if you care