You can do anything, but not everything
When I originally made this page in my sketchbook about a year ago, it was because I had been kind of trying everything to do with lettering for a while in my “business” (I use quotes because I was definitely NOT making any money, which is a key part of the whole having a business thing). I knew that I needed to chill out and focus if I wanted to make any progress. When I posted this the first time, it was because I was ready to focus on making wedding stationery, and was going to finally pump the brakes on allll the random other stuff.
Interestingly enough, doing that WAS incredibly helpful, but not because I stopped doing any other type of job besides wedding stationery. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve now had a lot of those projects and know the process WAY better, but the funny thing is that putting down my foot and saying that I was only going to work on stationery actually just propelled me to get my sh*t together in general - I finally made a website (here we are!), organized my portfolio, figured out who I wanted to be serving, and started doing it!
And once I’d committed to my decision, I got a lot further than I had when I was nervously trying to do EVERYTHING all the time and leave all my options open. What’s even funnier is that I’ve had a LOT more success with making chalkboards and signs than I would have expected, and I all but thought that I’d never do those again when I first made my decision a year(ish) ago.
Here’s the problem - now that I’ve generated myself a little word of mouth, and have more regular inquiries, this quote needs to come back into my life in a new way. Because yes, I have been able to focus on weddings and working with couples on their stationery and chalkboards and signs, and that’s been awesome, but with that has come a whole workflow that I wasn’t quite prepared to deal with.
If you’re reading this and you’re a client or a potential client, don’t take this to mean that I don’t enjoy working with you. I LOVE working with every new client and I get so excited every time that “form submission” email pops into my inbox, so I just want to find a way to squeeze EVERY POSSIBLE CLIENT in. But let’s be honest, I work full-time and I need to do things like make dinner for myself and go grocery shopping and do my laundry, and sometimes I have commitments on weekends. The amount of time I can spend working has a limit. So sometimes I’m a little too optimistic with just how much time I can reasonably spend on client projects, and I end up scrambling and stressed out, and it’s all because I love working with all my clients so much that I just want to make it work every time.
What I’m coming to realize is that I need to cut back a little, or at least find a way to move some of the work that doesn’t need to be done by ME off of my plate. I was originally going to post this on Instagram with a cute little caption about how we should only do the shit that we’re excited about, and find a way to move the rest off our plates, and how we should cut ourselves slack and not try to do everything. But guess what? I’ve been really struggling with that lately, so I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I need to balance my time better, and I’d challenge you all to do that same! In the wise words of @jennakutcher, busy isn’t a badge of honor, so I am challenging myself to NOT take on any new jobs until June. Finding balance is a challenge, and I want to focus more energy on it!
PS: If you're a balance master and have any tips for me, feel free to let me know in the comments!