The time has come for The Growth Studio to take on a new identity. An identity that matches what this business has become, and what it will be in the future. Instead of suddenly unveiling a new brand and new offerings, I want to bring you inside the evolution, in both how my business has grown, and how I've grown as a result.
When I discovered Marie Forleo’s B-School, I was still trying to make myself fit into a career track that wasn’t meant for me. I was a therapist, working in community mental health, two years out of grad school, with a long career path ahead of me.
I was in rough shape. I was having multiple anxiety attacks every week, and almost daily migraines. I felt stuck. I had invested a ton of time and money in becoming a therapist, and the thought of leaving the field made me sick to my stomach. However, I couldn’t ignore the signs and symptoms I was experiencing. I had to get out.
Almost as if by divine intervention, at the time I had finally come to terms with leaving to start my own creative business, I learned about B-School. I took a leap of faith, and enrolled, and my life hasn’t been the same since.
Overwhelm is a familiar feeling to all entrepreneurs. Especially at the beginning, when it's just you and your business, the mountain of entrepreneurship can feel like Mt. Everest.
From the myriad of new skills to learn, to the systems and programs to figure out, to the emotional challenges of creating something from nothing, we entrepreneurs have a lot on our plates. And when we can't do it all at once, we tend to get down on ourselves.
In the northern hemisphere, it’s winter. Where I live, in Michigan, the temperatures have been hanging out around 10 degrees Fahrenheit for the past few weeks. It’s cold. The days are short and the nights are long.
I actually love the winter because it’s a time of dormancy, rest, and turning inward. As an introvert, I can really relate to nature during this time of year. I feel my most creative and embodied in the wintertime.
I also love change and transition, and usually, starting a new year with fresh intentions and resolutions is one of my favorite things to do.
But this year has been different.
When we choose to follow our callings, our life path starts to twist, turn, and weave in an unpredictable way. The illusion of a straight trajectory to success is lost, and the reality of a non-linear path emerges.
The indirect route is uncomfortable, scary, and at times, discouraging. So discouraging, in fact, that many people avoid venturing toward their callings in the first place.
As someone who has navigated her own non-linear path, Jen Berlingo tells us why we need to pursue our callings despite being afraid... Despite going against family norms... Despite the risk of failure.
I’ve had several part-time jobs over the course of my entrepreneurial journey, and throughout, I’ve grappled with the same dilemma: do I focus all of my time on building my business, or maintain a part-time job (or two) to supplement my income? And if I work a part-time job, does that mean I’m giving up on my business?
In art and in life, failure is inevitable. Sometimes, when we're creatively stuck, it can seem like we've failed. When we have to let something go, it can seem like we've failed. When we have to change directions, it can seem like we've failed.
I interviewed artist Ryan Crawley about his experience with failure, and how he decided to shift his art-making process to promote creative movement. This is his story:
Starting a business is a lot like backpacking through the wilderness. And just like backpacking, you need to bring tools for survival. Here are my 6 survival tools for your first year of business:
Guest Post by Leara Glinzak
Between trying to balance my life with work, having a dog, going to the gym, and being an all around happy, healthy, successful, accomplished, independent person, I felt like the only thing I was good at was working. Not accomplishing - just working.
This was certainly not where I decided my life was going to stay forever - this was not it. I didn't know what "it" was and even to this day I am still not sure. All I know now is that the art guided me to where I am today and my life is much better now than where I was before I started my painting.
When I'm struggling, or I feel like I'm not where I want to be in my life, the last thing I want to do is tell people about it. It seems easier to just wait it out; when things are back to normal, it's easier to talk about the struggle with a little perspective. Broadcasting struggle as it's happening feels scary, and vulnerable, and exposed.
Before I published a blog post about my financial struggles during my first year in business, I was scared out of my mind. "I can't share this," I thought, "people will think I'm a failure." Finances are the area that I feel the most shame, so the thought of sharing my money struggles felt so counterintuitive.
by Jessica Sabo
When I quit my job in mental health, I did so because I wanted to feel more sane. Though I really enjoyed working with my clients, some of whom experienced psychotic episodes or delusions of one sort or another, I became tired of never being able to do enough self-care to recharge at the end of the day.
My decision to quit my job had been accompanied by some other powerful inner changes: namely, creating relational boundaries, allowing more adventure through travel, and deciding that I wanted to move closer to family. Though these changes all felt empowering and right, they were all still just that—changes. My decisions to align more with myself in my life had launched me into a period of major transition and change.
When life gets confusing, and you don't know why you're doing what you're doing, or you can't seem to figure out what to do next, the best thing to do is listen to yourself to find the answer. But what happens when the confusion and inner (and outer) chaos drown out your inner voice?
When attempting to inspire and motivate people to follow their dreams, it can be easy to paint a utopian picture. I see it all the time - entrepreneurs and motivational figures sharing their $80,000 weeks, posting pictures of themselves working from their beachside villa, or in some cases, lying about their life in order to convince others that they’ve “made it.”
I’m no exception. As I’ve made my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve had some big wins, but I’ve also had some big losses. And while I don’t outright lie about my life, I’ve chosen to keep parts hidden because, honestly, I’m scared. “How can I inspire others if I’m struggling? I need to show people that the choice to follow their dreams is worth it.” That’s the belief that I carry around, and I’m sure many other entrepreneurs do as well.
But that changes for me today.
In the pursuit of your dreams via the self-help world, you’re bound to come across the Law of Attraction, made mainstream by The Secret.
The premise of most manifestation work is to put yourself in the mindset of the life you want, by way of your thoughts, in order to make it true. When people can do this, it works. There are countless stories out there if you need proof.
But what happens when your mind is, for whatever reason, predisposed to think about the worst case scenario of any given situation?
Choosing to chase your dreams is hard work. I’ll be the first to admit it. It’s not hard in the sense that I have to drag myself out of my bed every morning; when I wake up to create my dream life, I practically jump out of bed.
No, the hard work I’m talking about is deeper.
I didn't know how I got so lucky as to have landed this “dream job” within a year of graduating from grad school.
Perhaps because of my perceived luck, my rose-colored glasses were a little more rosy than others’ might have been. When things started to happen that should have alerted me to the job’s wrong fit, I justified them. Hard.
I know starting something new can be really intimidating, especially if you’ve never expressed yourself in this way before. Just remember, starting is the scariest part.
Change is the only constant in life. Whether physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or relational, it’s the one thing we can all guarantee is going to happen, so why are we all so bent on avoiding it?
Usually, when I make art, it’s out of necessity. There’s something that needs to be said, and art is the only form of communication that will make it known.
Art-making is a skill I’ve been developing my whole life, and it’s become another language for me. It’s more than a simple hobby… And it’s more than an avenue to hone my technical skill. My soul speaks through creative expression. My truest and clearest voice comes through in my art.
“I don’t have enough time to do self care.”
The following ten self care practices can be completed in five minutes or less, so both you and I can stop using lack of time as an excuse to neglect ourselves.