If you are a creative entrepreneur who is ready to overcome overwhelm in your creative business, you’re in the right place.
Feeling overwhelmed when it comes to your creative business is totally normal, but it doesn’t have to be the norm.
I get it. I’ve had many seasons in my creative business when overwhelm has been the name of the game. From trying tons of different services and products when I first started out, to having lots of different ideas and trying to choose all of them, to not knowing how to pick the “right” next step – overwhelm has become familiar territory that I’ve learned to navigate over my many years in creative business.
Today, I’m sharing four main tips to reduce the overwhelm in your creative business, take action, and move forward with more confidence, clarity, and peace.
1. Create a Business Strategy to Overcome Overwhelm
One of the main things I wish I’d have done to overcome overwhelm when I started my creative business in 2017 was to get clear on my business strategy. At that point, I thought I wanted to travel around New Mexico to teach kids about food and agriculture through art. (This is a longer story for another time. Short story: I learned I don’t like teaching kids).
In those early years, I was also starting to sell my art as products and beginning to teach online. I am so so grateful for every moment of my journey. But looking back I wish I would’ve paused just a little bit longer at the start to get clear on my business purpose and strategy before diving into every single idea.
So what is business strategy? This term gets thrown around a lot, and it can feel confusing as to what it actually is. The way I like to describe it is it is your business soil. It is the foundation from which all of your products, services, branding, and communication can flourish and grow.
When you have healthy business soil, or strategy, your products and services can grow to connect with your ideal customers with more ease and authenticity.
Take a moment to step back, take a breath, and look at the bigger picture of your creative business. What is your purpose? Who do you serve? How does your business meet your customers needs and desires?
Reflect on these questions and write your answers in your journal or in a notebook to reduce the overwhelm in your creative biz.
2. Create Your Marketing Plan Ahead of Time
Instagram, Facebook, and email marketing can feel like a hamster wheel of content creation.
Hopping onto each of these platforms every day while you’re also trying to create your artwork, products, and services can feel incredibly overwhelming. You might be left staring at your Instagram feed asking, “What the heck do I post?”
To reduce the overwhelm and hamster-wheel effect of marketing, zoom out on your creative business. Use the business strategy you established in tip #1 to inform the content you are sharing, who you are speaking to, and why your customers should work with you to get their needs and desires met.
Then, look at any upcoming launch dates and work backwards to create marketing content that acts as a runway to build trust, educate, and inform your audience of what’s coming leading up to your launch
Once you have this bird’s eye view of your content, schedule your posts to automatically publish in an app like Later, Planoly, or Tailwind.
When you can plan your marketing content a month (or even a week) in advance, you can reduce the overwhelm of “what to post” and relax into the artful and creative parts of your biz that you actually want to be focusing on.
3. Batch Similar Tasks Together
Task-switching can feel productive in the moment, but isn’t all that sustainable in your biz and can quickly lead to overwhelm.
Task-switching is when you are jumping between different tasks throughout the day: you might hop from drawing an illustration for your next product, to taking a client call, to posting on Instagram, to outlining an online course, to checking your e-mail.
That feels overwhelming just to read, right?
Instead of hopping between many different tasks, batch similar tasks together to overcome overwhelm in your creative biz. Look at your current to-do list and designate different umbrella themes like: marketing, creating, e-mailing, or administrative tasks.
Then, designate a time of day, or a day of the week, for each theme.
For example, in my creative business, Mondays are my marketing day. This is when I take a big-picture view of my marketing plan, write content for my blog, and schedule social media posts. Thursdays are my VIP Voxer Coaching Days where I can be fully devoted to my clients. Tuesdays are when I hold Discovery Calls and Coaching Calls.
By batching similar tasks together, you can free up brain space, become more efficient in your biz, and reduce the overwhelm.
4. Say No to Overcome Overwhelm in Your Business
It can be tempting to say yes to everything in business – especially when you’re starting out. Everything may feel like a great opportunity or like it could be your “next big break.”
But saying yes to everything means that you are likely simultaneously saying no to free-time, rest, and peace of mind.
When you’re presented with an opportunity, pause to determine if you truly want to say yes, or if you’re just doing it to people-please because you feel like you “should” say yes.
By choosing intentionally what you say No to, you can say yes to more ease and less overwhelm.
For more tips on how to discern what to say yes to and how to choose your next step, take my Tips to Overcome Overwhelm class in my Navigate the Creative Wilderness series on Skillshare. This link will get you one free month on the platform.
I look forward to chatting further, friend!
You’ve got this.