©2018 by Josh Holton

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How to Entrepreneur When You're a Sensitive Creative

October 26, 2018


Yes, I'm making Entrepreneur a verb. I can do that because I have a bachelors degree in English and language is fluid and if 'creative' is now a noun and not an adjective, then we're just going to allow it, okay?


Now that you're here, all twelve of you reading this, let me confess something. My job, which I created and chose and love, requires me to be both creative and entrepreneurial, and a lot of times, these descriptors feel totally mutually exclusive. Which, in turn, makes me feel like I'm doing a really crappy job. At my job.


This work is so seasonal. When weddings are hot and heavy, I'm so focused on creating beauty, meeting needs, and problem solving. It's crazy and messy and wonderful, and my whole focus is on making it through the weekend. And then the off season creeps in, and all the victories of the busy season fade, and everything is quiet. Way too quiet.


Fear starts playing peek-a-boo, until it's just a constant voice, and it's telling me that I'll never book the weddings I want, no couples will want to work with me again,  I won't be able to contribute to my family, every inquiry will ghost, and I should just pack it in and shut it down. 


Fear is really convincing. It has a lot of good points. And when there are no other voices interrupting the fear-voice, what am I to do but listen? And then I just feel really not cut out for this work. 


The same parts of me that make me able to discern who couples are and what they want to express with their wedding flowers makes me so susceptible to... what-- insecurity? lies? real, rational fear? whenever there isn't a flow of work, inquiries, tags on instagram, or public praise, I start to panic and doubt. I have come to love my sensitivity through a LOT of work and therapy and absolutely this job. But what about when that sensitivity makes entrepreneurship really complicated? Since so many creatives also run their own business, I know I can't be alone in this. 


I wish I was a small business badass, and I am in my own ways, but man. Some days I just want to be totally focused, immune to insecurity, eyes on the prize, even if that means being cold-hearted.  And since I can't categorically change everything about myself, there are a few things I'm learning to do when I can feel this sense of inadequacy taking over. 


1. I stop checking my email. 


When I'm looking for external affirmation that I'm good at my job and I should't throw in the towel, it's easy for me to check my email every five minutes to see if there are any inquiries, bookings, etc. Sometimes I just need to shut it down so I can remember that who I am doesn't equal the number of emails in my inbox. 


2. I go outside. 


In women especially, vitamin D acts more like a hormone than a vitamin. Hormones run our emotions! And most people are Vit D deficient. Get you some vitamin D, especially in these waning daylight days. My daughter always wants to play outside, and when I'm feeling the most internal and anxious, I do not want