Staying Passionate

image via: heather type by: megan gilger

No one said when you set out on your own as a creative and carving your path it is going to be easy. Actually probably most of you were told it was going to be a long hard road, but ultimately rewarding. The thing I missed the memo on was the level of passion and consistency this kind of life takes. Everyday I wake up excited to be a blogger, a designer, a creative but what I have found defines our success as entrepreneurs and idea makers is our passion and ability to continue to challenge ourselves daily.

Many believe working for yourself means you have free time, you make your own schedule (aka go to the gym whenever), and you can live the life you are dreaming in the present moment. This is all true and a huge reward in being your own boss, but the part many don’t share is the long hours you spend creating, planning, working, and not sleeping. In fact I have been known to become somewhat anti-social. I am terrible at being a friend at times and go through ups and downs of my free time. Many of my closest friends know this is nothing personal but simply what has to be done in order for me to get things done so we can pay bills, meet deadlines, and get back to enjoying being young again.

But as I am about to enter another pretty intense month or two of work and my schedule is filling up quickly, I am finding it be a test of my stamina and level of passion for what I do. Yes I love it, but the ability to push through those moments when you would rather be out with your friends on a Friday night than plugging away at a design quote or emails can challenge you in ways you never thought possible (thank goodness for a good bottle of wine). At times it feels like running a marathon and I am pumping myself up to run that hill at mile 20. Once you get in to it you know you are going to make it and it is going to be awesome, but it is getting through those first few steps that can be the hardest. If anything the last few years of being a self-employed creative has taught me extreme discipline and a confidence in myself to to accomplish whatever I want to put my mind to.

Finding a way to keep yourself motivated can be hard so I make sure to set goals, get organized, and find ways to reward myself when I accomplish something I have worked hard for (can we say new coat from Zara?!). It sounds simple, but sometimes these little things can make all the difference in a hectic few weeks with a lot of late nights, meetings, and deadlines. These things help me remain passionate and keep me away from feeling discouraged.

What do you do as a creative to stay passionate about work during the hardest and toughest times whether you work for yourself or not? Are there certain things you need on hand at this time…well other than coffee?

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18 Responses

  1. I can totally relate to this. I am sort of just starting out, and it has been hard to think about how a work/life balance will look for me now that I am a freelance writer. But I think the thing that helps me feel the most grounded is getting back to the core of what it is that I love about what I do: the writing. Just the basic, rawest form of the business. The actual nitty gritty. That time that I take for myself always leave me feeling better, even if it’s just for half an hour. I also realized that I need my husband around to clean the kitchen, and give me kisses when I’m feeling down. The dishes are always piling high when I’m at my busiest.

    Thanks for this post! And again, I am just so in love with your blog!

  2. Great post! Glad to know none of us are alone in this. I don’t work for myself, but when I need to push through at work or in school, I usually need a change of scenery involving a bit of green, green nature. Just taking my work outside for even a mere 30 minutes, helps put things in perspective for me, I love it!

  3. I can relate right now. I just look ed at my husband last night at dinner and said, “Hey…these next couple months are going to crazy. I just need you to know that.” In a way, that keeps things a bit more sane in our lives (when we both know it’s coming vs me keeping it all to myself and trying to do everything on my own).

    For me, coming up with reasons WHY I’m a bit stressed really helps me to identify ways to address them.

  4. This is the first and only post I’ve read on your blog but I can already tell I’ll love it. This post was just what I needed to read today!

  5. I’m looking at the pros and cons of going out on my own, and being my own boss is at the top of the pros list. I agree with you though, the longer hours and the chance I’ll miss out on things is high on the cons side! Tit for tat, I guess.

    1. I will say at the end of the day I am happy I work for myself. There are ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade what I do for a 9-5 even if it was a regular salary. If you think you can do it this is the best time to try. Eating rice and beans for a year or two pays off when you can see results and feel successful on your terms 🙂 I am always pushing people in to working for themselves haha.

  6. So glad you wrote this post… I thought I was the only one! I definitely have my days when I am motivated from dawn to dusk (and sometimes into the late hours of the night). Often times, though, I reassess my priorities and tell myself it’s okay to say ‘no’.
    But thanks for the extra push today!

    1. Yeah saying no is a real art in both the personal life and work life realms. Still working on that, but when you can come to terms with the fact it is okay sometimes it makes life a lot less stressful I have noticed 🙂

  7. This is such a great reminder. I saw this post via Joelle, and I’m so glad I clicked through! As a full time blogger, I feel the exact same way just about every day. I go months without seeing my friends, and then realize that it’s been that long since I last saw them. I spend my Friday nights emailing instead of at Happy Hour with the rest of my 20-something friends. But it’s what has to be done to pay the bills and keep food on the table. Whenever I get to those hard times though, I remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing, and how far I’ve come. It helps me put perspective on everything and encourages me to keep going.
    Thank you for posting this! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone! 🙂

    1. struggle with this all the time. Friend is moving this week and I am feeling pulled in so many directions. It makes it feel like there is just not enough time in a day, BUT on the upside we can travel, see the world, all while behind a computer screen 😉

  8. I have found myself struggling with this the last couple of weeks. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I love your tips, Megan! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. I love that you wrote this today. It’s exactly what I needed to hear! I work full time plus have my own wedding planning/callgraphy company and blog. It gets exhausting, needless to say. And this past weekend I was able to just relax. I had almost no work, and it was amazing. I thought I would hate getting up this morning, but I felt strangely motivated. It made me realize that sometimes, all I really need is just a little break. Even if it’s just meeting my friends for happy hour, or sitting on my couch with a glass of wine. I feel so energized today, and it’s amazing! So, I know what you mean about getting burned out, and that bottle of wine really can do wonders 🙂

    Thanks Megan, for all you do! I don’t know that you realize how much of an inspiration you are to all of us!


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