Well, yes. It’s been quite some time since my last post. Lemme tell you about it…
I noticed a pattern about my energy a few years ago. The time period between roughly mid-December to mid-March has a very slow, introspective, keeping-to-myself kind of vibe about it. I notice that I want to think more than I want to do, but it’s taken me a while to trust that it’s OK be that way. Lots of urgent, fearful little gremlins do their best to get me fired up: Do this! Do that! Get busy! You’ll miss out! But my body and my spirit just won’t listen to them and this year I was finally able to make peace with that. Hence, the lengthy silences between blog posts since the end of last year. I’ve been wintering… in hibernation… and it’s felt really good to allow that, to trust my instincts, instead of forcing myself to do what I feel I should.
One year ago today, Chuck and I began blogging here in earnest. It was an exciting new adventure for us, prompted by our desire to provide helpful information to visual artists, while giving them some insight into what makes us tick, our philosophy and unique way of working with creative entrepreneurs. We hoped that, as a natural byproduct, it would serve as a marketing tool, something around which we could build and engage an audience.
I’m really, really proud of what we’ve done so far with the blog. But to be totally candid, it was a lot of work and not the most joyful experience for me. I love writing, but I’m much better when I have a known audience of... one. The one-to-anonymous-many format of a blog triggers a lot of second-guessing for me, which makes the editing process go on and on and on. Yes, this is perfectionism and it’s not something I’m proud of. I know that it holds me back from doing things that would arguably be good for my business—not just regular blogging, but regular social media posting and all sorts of other marketing efforts.
I don’t regret the hard work I put toward our blog last year, because the material is solid. It’s also a good source of extra insight into our flavor, if you will. What it’s not—at least not yet, in any obvious or measurable way—is an effective marketing tool. And yes, I know that is something that takes time….
But there are so many things other than blogging that I want to spend my time on. Most important—and, serendipitously, the most fun—is my work with clients. You know what else is serendipitous? When our clients are happy, they refer folks to us. It’s like a two-fer: I get to do what makes me happiest, and as a result, our business grows. It’s taken me a long time to trust the beauty of that.
I’m curious whether you relate to this? Are there things you keep doing in your business because you feel you should, but it’s always a struggle and the payoff isn’t exactly clear? Conversely, are there things you love doing that actually are helping to build your business, but perhaps they’re so much fun you don’t let them count as marketing? For most if not all our clients, the single most effective thing I see them doing to help their businesses grow and thrive is also the thing they love most: making and sharing their art.
For me, with F13, the art is in the one-on-one conversations I have with my clients. I could happily do it all day long. So I'll focus most of my time and energy there, but I’m also looking for ways to write my blog with that kind of intimate and in-the-moment communication in mind. For one, my new approach will be entirely unscheduled, unplanned and unpredictable. I’m throwing my content calendar out the window. It feels more joyful already! My hope is that by removing the pressure of a regular delivery schedule and any kind of promise about what the content will be, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the writing more. With any luck, the result will feel more fun, inviting and conversational for you, too! Chuck, to the extent that he blogs, will likely take to doing so on his own site. I’ll refer to his posts when I think you’ll appreciate them—which will probably be often, if not always. :) If you’re signed up for our newsletter, you’ll never miss a post. Thanks so much for reading!