What to do when it feels like your business has lost momentum...
I've been looking forward to this first letter soooo much and got to listen while walking the dogs in the woods - an added bonus! I don't have a large audience and I was never one of the 'popular girls', but in terms of Substack, I think that's actually helped me. I've felt the freedom to write from my heart (corny but true) instead of writing only to promote my artwork and illustrations, or for SEO or selling. I thought my business was dead in the water a few months ago after a big commission fell through and I needed to take a day job to pay the bills, but now I feel like that gave me freedom to rethink what I really wanted and to write what I like.
I just loved so much of this, thank you Jen and Sara - here's my favourite snippet; 'We cannot say, "I'm only going to show up if, after I showed up, someone confirms to me that it was worth it for me to show up". We have to be our own confirmation'. I love this particularly because, after almost giving it all up, I decided instead to rebuilt my website and my Substack to be something that I love - and when I look at what I've created and read my content, I'm inspired to keep going even if no one sees or reads my work except for me.
Loved this, thank you for sharing so much in just one episode! I’m still so early in creating my dream business but I just wanted to share that your both coming back to this podcast actually made me start a Substack as I hadn’t realised that the platform caters to so many of my desires creatively. It strikes me as such a butterfly effect of how we can’t know how taking brave steps can impact and inspire other people.
a really good listen and affirms so much - it`s the keeping on going when no-one else is looking that is the real empowerment - having the confidence in our own product that eventually shines through to the the customer.. It can be so hard ( most of the time ) and I for one have never had huge followings mostly because I am inconsistent and find it hard to communicate.. or expose myself rather.. That authenticity I keep hearing from you Sara - I`m listening!! just taking a while to get there.. showing up and being vulnerable.. not easy but I can see the value in it.. Thanks to you both Jen and Sara!
I had this episode in my ears as I walked up to the top of a tor with a beautiful view which is a great analogy for how I felt listening to this. I kept stopping to make notes and it made me realise how low my creative self esteem had fallen. The best is still to come - always guilty of looking back and this has blown it away and not just in a few inspiring broad brush sayings but digging deeper with reasoned argument and relatable examples.
Only one thing I must take issue with. As someone who has just turned 60 I don’t want to be thought of as a sage! Being called a girl still suits me and inside I still feel like one!
Absolutely loved this conversation! So many nuggets of gold. You are both so generous in sharing your wisdom and experience. Will definitely be listening again and hitting pause for note taking to remind myself of all the sage advice you offered this letter writer. Love listening to you both and so grateful you are back! I always hoped you’d be back so never left my subscriptions! 🙏✨💞
Wow. There was so much that I took away from this episode, I'm definitely going to go back for a re-listen. But the thing I'm taking most away from it is that I feel my own self-belief bolstered by your response and empowered to find my own way back to the heart of my own work. I've been in my business for over a decade and while my passion for the subject is still there big time (helping people heal their relationship to body image and photos) but a combo of burnout and now being a parent has me feeling like I've lost momentum too. I'm noticing that I feel like I've been trying to create from the 'outside in' and all the things I feel like I 'should' do and in this moment after just finishing this episode I feel reminded to create and connect with my work and my audience from the inside out.
Can’t wait to dive in! Updates from you gals are my new fav notification. ♥️
I loved this. Thanks ladies. This topic came at the perfect time. What a mindset shift you facilitated!!
This podcast came at just the right time for me. As an illustrator, I've never quite been part of the "popular crowd" in my field. Despite my success, I've always felt a twinge of desire to be well-liked by everyone. Unfortunately, I've encountered peers who refuse to acknowledge me or who blatantly copy my work. Listening to this episode was a reminder to stick to my own path and focus on my small but devoted audience. I've been struggling with self-doubt lately, particularly due to slower sales in a tough economy. But the podcast's message has given me the courage to keep going and trust that my hard work will pay off in the end.
Love this episode. I would imagine that a lot of people find themselves in a similar position at the moment.
I’ve been through a similar thing recently in my own business of becoming totally burnt out and losing confidence. I’ve been building back up and learning to slow things down, release myself from expectations (a constant battle) and connect with my creativity again.
For me, a part time job has helped to release me from the financial pressure and I am coming round to seeing this as a massive privilege rather than as a sign of failure!
There was so much good advice in this episode, thank you 🖤
Just a brilliant episode. I'm definitely leaning into my "wise woman" era now having turned 50. I was never a cool girl (not even at the peak of my 80s teen self at a Stone Roses concert). But I feel more at ease being myself online now, than I have ever felt in the past
Yay, I am so happy that the dream team is back! I always looked forward to your podcast and gleaned so much helpful advice. It was a wonderful surprise when you popped back up in my feed. I could really emphasise with the letter writer and took to heart lots of your words of wisdom. Is there still time to send you a letter?
This was a good reminder for me this morning that my goal for this year was all about trying to go deeper with my community and not wider with my “following.” I’m not really sure how to go about that,
I am going to take your advice and commit to Substack for a long period of time - rather than giving up after my very first post didn’t really do anything! I’m not really sure how it fits into my business as such, in terms of what I sell currently, but I feel like I’ve got two seaparate communities on Instagram at the moment, one that buys tickets to my workshops or kits, and the other of fellow artists. I like the idea of giving that second audiences a space to thrive and I think following my curiosity on this one will pay off in the long run even if I don’t have a plan. There’s also probably way more crossover than I think between the two but I haven’t quite got over that mindblock yet!