“Where is your water? Know your garden.”
Self care doesn't come easy in the small business world. Dusty and I recently took some time to think about the things we love about our business and how we could do more of it. 80 hour work weeks are the norm, but not the goal. If our business is our garden, our water is working closely and collaboratively with a few clients at a time. One at a time ideally - but no more that 3, for sure. Our water is taking time to experiment, play, push boundaries and adventure.
The last 6 months have been busy. At one point we had almost 20 active projects in various stages. That wasn't our water. That almost washed our soil out.
We're working to move towards a more slow and deliberate pace with our design work. At first, it was hard saying "No," or "Not yet," or "We can't make your deadline and do our best work, so sorry." Now I think I'm finally in a good place with it. I woke up to an email this morning about a project that we couldn't complete within the client's deadline and I happily sent a list of brilliant designers who may have more availability. There was so much peace in that.
It's easy to get sucked into the trap where you feel like you need to take on all the work - that work is scarce and hard to find - that you'll never get "there" if you don't hustle 24/7. That's not our water. I want to be a designer for a long time. That will take a lot of water, and sunlight, and time, and laughter, and joy. Growing slow is okay with us.