Find your joy is an unusual topic for me here, usually I’m touting the best strategies, proven tactics, helpful tools to grow your design practice. Have I lost my mind? Am I indulging in a temporary zen moment? No, this is for real.
In fact, moving forward, I’m going to be infusing my posts with a lot more mindset, and in this case heartset, because it’s how the world works. I know designers who have employed every strategy imaginable in their business and it’s still not working. It’s not their market, it’s not their talent, it’s a lack of joy.
It’s all too easy to torture yourself with the endless search for that magic bullet of a strategy to shift your business when what you really need is to find your joy. It’s not as easy as it sounds. And this applies whether you’re starting out or a seasoned designer with years of success.
Fear Kills Joy
A lack of joy shows the presence of fear and fear is a success tanker if ever there was one. Years ago, I can remember vividly when I hit a slow patch in my business and I was starting to feel really anxious. I knew I had to shift my energy. I decided to put fear on a back burner, it would always be there if I wanted to pull it out again, (though that would be silly, don’t you think?)
I took inspired action. First I removed inactive client files to make room for new clients. (Yes, this works digitally too.) Then I created a couple of imagined (not imaginary) ideal clients and gave them file folders in anticipation of them showing up. In less than 2 weeks, my phone was ringing, and those clients showed up. I didn’t change my marketing, I didn’t scramble with some new search for strategy. I took a deep breath of faith and found my joy.
The Benefits of Being a Beginner
Now, you and I both know that when you jumped into design whether it was a few years ago, decades ago, or yesterday, you jumped in overflowing with excitement, passion and my urging to find your joy would be entirely unnecessary. And for whatever reason, today you find yourself in a place where things aren’t flowing the way you’d like them to.
You can say it’s the economy; it’s not. You can say it’s your market; it’s not. You can say it’s HGTV; it’s not. You can blame the competition; it’s not that either. It’s that you’ve allowed strategy, tactics and tools to bury your passion and to hide your joy. Find your joy and you’ll find everything you want.
One quick exercise I urge you to do. Think about someone in your life that is just sheer fun to be around because they are always positive. Now, I don’t mean in that annoying Pollyanna kind of way. (My mom used to wake us up in the morning really early with singing “good morning Mary Sunshine” and all I wanted to do was hurl a slipper at her!) I’m talking about that person that no matter what is going on for them (and you and I both know it isn’t always bliss) they take it in stride and handle it with a knowing that all will work out.
What I’m talking about is someone who has mastered a drama free life not because drama doesn’t happen but because they focus on their joy and leave the drama to others. And there’s lots of us who do drama well, I’m not exempt and I’m not proud of that. It’s a lifelong journey, you aren’t alone.
Find your joy and you’ll find everything you want. Oh, and joy comes from inside you, it isn’t an outside job. And if you want to hang out with design joy finders, come join us on Facebook. Click JOIN at the link and I can’t wait to welcome you!