Does having a baby spell the death of creativity?
Aah, having a baby- the ultimate expression of creativity. Apparently this humble endeavour can also sap all your creative spirit as well. Or maybe that’s just me. Am I now an entrepreneur without vision or ideas?
This could be a problem.
I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. It isn’t that I am not longer able to express any degree of creativity. It’s just that what limited supply is left after sleepless nights, is used up by things like entertaining a one year old who loves change and variety (clearly we only have ourselves to blame for that one), planning dairy free menus to appeal to a culinary tyrant, and fitting a finely tuned baby schedule into long days travelling half way across continents. Creative I can do; but apparently I can now only process one priority, and the business isn’t it.
Strangely, this change of motivation doesn’t actually bother me. I have bigger fish to fry (i.e. the terrifying prospect of being responsible for small person with no sense of self-preservation who is becoming increasingly mobile). But long term, what will the impact on our business be? As any entrepreneur knows, your future income is only as good as the ideas you have today. Or is it?
One thing that stands out as I look back on how we used to work is how BUSY I was all the time. Busy having great ideas and trying to action most of them. Busy trying to keep up with what everyone else seemed to be doing. Busy juggling too many conflicting tasks and not completing any of them. My output added to Chris’ workload, cost us Virtual Assistant hours, and didn’t always pay off. (I suspect this isn’t looking entirely unfamiliar to some of you?!)
Now I’m a different kind of busy, a kind which is largely dictated by someone else. I don’t have the luxury of relentlessly pursuing the next big idea, hoping it will deliver magical results, and when it doesn’t, moving on to the next thing. It’s started to occur that maybe it’s not the ideas which are the holy grail of successful business but the discipline to take actions which aren’t always inspiring, but which WILL take you closer to practical objectives.
Do I miss the thrill of excitement as a new plan starts to take shape?
Of course. It’s kind of addictive. But without being driven by creative vision, new opportunities have come along which I may have dismissed in the past because they didn’t seem to offer enough scope for autonomous creativity. I now find myself considering partnership deals or affiliate promotions, prepared to acknowledge what they will allow us to do, rather than being put off by what they won’t.
Will my creativity come back?
Who knows? I hope so, but I am also content as I am. We are finally consolidating what we’ve got. It’s about 5 years overdue, but the result is that despite me working about a quarter (or less!) of the hours I used to, our income has remained constant. We’ve visited 4 countries as a family already this year and spent nearly 3 months away from home. Without having to slavishly meet the demands of the next big idea we have been able to focus on the tasks which will actually bring in money.
Whatever happens in the future, I think this is a change of pace we might be wise to stick with. Even if it does means my energies continue to be channelled into glitter, glue and fabricating new verses for largely forgotten nursery rhymes.
What’s zapping your creativity?
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