The Honest Truth

I've really wanted to chat about this over the past few weeks but haven't really known whether or not it might be a bit TMI or even too negative but I was inspired to bite the bullet after seeing a post from Joanne Hawker on Instagram...

Joanne Hawker support small business #shopsmall
Credit to Joanne Hawker

I'm currently terrified and try to hide this with a positive, sparkly attitude every single day but the truth is the creative world may as well be a graveyard at this time of year for 2017 and that scares me. It scares me because I walked away from a fairly well paid wage earlier this year and whilst I did that for my health and wellbeing, I can't help but feel like others will think I made a huge mistake because I bring home no where near what I used to. It scares me because Christmas is coming and whilst I don't overspend, I still liked not having to worry about whether I could afford to be buying presents for people (I think everyone would like that to be honest wouldn't they?). Not that others will get upset about presents that is absolutely not the case, I just really enjoy giving presents out to my family and friends.

As for the social media world, I feel that we're all being tested right now. It's incredibly difficult to get seen and I see people chuntering about this all the time whether they have a business that relies on social media or not. The internet is a brilliant thing and without it I wouldn't be able to be doing what I do at all, but right now I'm not sure what to do in terms of social media. I've been spending more and more time on it over the past few weeks and I haven't noticed any difference in views or sales, just frustration within my own head and the feeling that I must be doing something wrong or simply, no one likes my work. Social media and Twitter in particular can start off my anxiety and it wasn't until I took a step back that I noticed just how much it was affecting how I feel inside. I would scroll for a good hour or two in bed at night, aimlessly refreshing the page trying to find something that I might have missed. Then there's the Twitter drama that feels constant and whilst I never get myself involved, even if I unfollow people causing drama or promoting it, their feeds get retweeted by mutual friends and the whole thing is quite hard to get away from. What is one to do when you rely so heavily on social media to get your business out there? Especially when promotion alone is frowned upon; you need to be engaging with people not just posting your own work and retweeting yourself.

I made some changes this month and I feel so much happier already. I have stopped going on social media before bed and I have gone back to reading books, right now I'm reading Alice in Wonderland and I adore getting lost in such a different world. I've been making more of an effort to engage and interact with real people too, not just folk online which can be easier said than done when you're a massive introvert with social anxiety. Then there is recognising when to step away and try something else for the day. It's only recently I've plucked up the courage to walk my dogs by myself again and how truly relaxing and refreshing for the mind that can be. The reason I hate going alone is because Vespa can be quite reactive towards other dogs - I keep them both on lead but even still, the dirty looks and occasional comments I get from other dog walkers saying I shouldn't bring a noisy dog to the park made me not want to go alone. But getting out and about helps me to just escape for a while because when things are this quiet, it's so easy to sit and grind yourself into a rut wondering what it is you're doing wrong.

The small business world is taking such a beating at the moment and from what I've gathered no one really knows why or what's happening. It's supposed to be the busiest time of year for us yet it's very much dead and we're lucky to make any sales at all. In a way it makes me feel better that it's not just me but at the same time I'm incredibly anxious and worried which is something I wouldn't have dreamed of sharing so publicly online, but if it helps one more small business owner to feel less alone in this current struggle then I'm not overly bothered about opening up.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,

No comments

Popular Posts