Two weekends ago I had the honor of attending the Gather Workshop. If you have not heard of it yet, you should absolutely check it out here. If you are a budding creative or in need of some creative entrepreneurial encouragement, just go ahead & buy a ticket to the next workshop.
I went into the weekend open-minded with no set goal of what I wanted to come out with at the end of the workshop. I wanted to be a blank canvas open with expectation of being filled with encouragement and educational tips. Our meeting location was the gorgeous Foster ATL, which so appropriately meets the vision of Gather to build a culture of balance and freedom among Atlanta’s creative community. We tackled a range of topics from finances, branding, and marketing to staying inspired and avoiding burnout (my FAVORITE part) by inspirational speakers Mattie Tiegreen, Kaitie Bryant, Haley Sheffield, Britt Bass Turner and Shanna Skidmore.
During Shanna’s session, one thing she said that stuck most to me was, “We need to know what we have to have (personally & for our business), versus what we think we should be doing.”
I loved this quote most because as we forge this new territory in the creative world, I think we forget how to take care of ourselves and if we cannot do that well, then we are not going to take care of the people around us well either. Yes, we have fun jobs and yes, it may seem like we have a lot of freedom in our work but in reality I do not think we are setting boundaries for ourselves to experience true freedom. This does not happen because we think that we have to work all day every day to get our name ‘out there’ so we can actually be successful or that we have to say yes to every wedding/consultation/styled shoot/collaboration so someone else does not get it and then we miss out on what could have sky rocketed our business. We can become so discouraged thinking that we are not doing ENOUGH and even more discouraged when we think about all that we SHOULD be doing. Our richness of life does not come from pressuring ourselves to do more and be more.
Being at Foster with 30 other courageous women reminded me of something I think we as creative entrepreneurs struggle to remember: life is to be enjoyed. The way we run our businesses, the high rate of burnout, and how we define ‘what is enough’ for us is different when we remember that this life is to be enjoyed.