I’ve been thinking about this post for a really long time, but I didn’t know how to start or what to say. I did a bit of a spring cleaning a few months ago with a new logo and theme, and now I want to give you an update because this blog will turn 8 next week and I realized that I don’t want to abandon it.
A short life update
The last time I wrote, I was in a very bad place mentally. I was going through a burnout, and after some changes in my personal life, I felt that I couldn’t continue that way.
At the time I was thinking about getting a “normal” job and I found the perfect one thanks to a friend. I’m now working as a database programmer, and while this is very different to what I’m used to, it’s something that gives me a sense of stability that I lacked before.
I always had issues with anxiety and depression and working for myself seemed a good idea at first. Unfortunately, it made things worse because I was under constant pressure and I couldn’t take a break. The fact that I’m a perfectionist and a bit of a workaholic also doesn’t help.
After so many years of working for myself, I lost the passion I had for design. Drawing and making art didn’t make me happy anymore. I couldn’t put pen to paper without thinking about a new collection or ways to market it. Not to mention how tired I was of social media and the constant noise surrounding it.
So I moved to a new apartment, got a new job, traveled by myself to some places that were on my list for a really long time, and started yoga. I felt so much better, but I still couldn’t think about my business.
What’s happening to my business?
As I said, I needed a break and I thought a few weeks would be enough. I just needed to settle into my new normal. Well, it actually took more than a year.
Getting used to a 9 to 5 job was easy, but I didn’t like my new apartment and I spent a lot of time away from it. So I moved again to a nicer place, and then I decided to start a master’s program. I always wanted to do that and didn’t have time or energy for it.
I didn’t know what to do about my business. There were days when I wanted to close everything, and days when I knew that I will eventually get back to it. I didn’t close it because there were still so many people reading my blog or watching my videos on YouTube, but I had to make some changes.
Things that changed
The first thing I did was to retire my WordPress themes. The last theme I made was very successful, but I couldn’t keep up with the latest WordPress updates and I had too many support requests. I will continue to offer support to those that use it, but I will retire the support area next spring.
The shop that was hosted on this website is also closed. I think having your own shop is better that using platforms owned by others, but it’s also a lot of work and I don’t have time for it.
Last year I started monetizing my YouTube channel. I didn’t want to do it before because I heard that you only earn pennies, and anyway, I opened it to promote my business. I was hoping to earn enough to pay my website’s very expensive hosting. I applied for it and then forgot about it for a few months. I have to say that I was shocked when I saw how much I was earning from it. It’s not enough to live from it, but it’s a great source of extra income and the best thing about it is that it’s pretty constant.
New business plans
This year, I took MATS MBA and it helped me figure out what I want to do with my business. I was afraid to let go of website design because I always earned more from it, but what I really enjoy is pattern design and I want to focus on it.
I got an iPad at the beginning of the year and I finally started creating without thinking about business. When lock-down started, I also got many art supplies and I started painting for fun. I really missed this and I’m glad I can do it again.
For now I want to focus on my pattern portfolio and YouTube. I might still upload pattern collections on Creative Market, but that’s not my priority.
I will also change my social media strategy and focus only on Instagram. I never liked Facebook or Twitter, and I won’t post there anymore. Well, maybe I will post every now and then if I feel like it.
Besides this, I also want to start offering pattern design courses. I have two already planned out, I just need to find the time to record them.
What does this mean for my blog?
I can say for sure that I won’t close it, but I don’t know how much I will post. There are many things I want to write about, especially about running a creative business. The only problem is that this is now a side biz and I have other priorities.
I stopped reading design blogs a couple of years ago. When I looked though Feedly this year, I realized that everyone still posts the same regurgitated content. We’re constantly bombarded with success stories that only talk about the good things. There are many people that sell their stories and tell you that if you do the same things you will also be successful, but it doesn’t always happen.
I think this really got to me and I talked to other creative business owners that fell into this trap. I can’t write anymore about how to open a successful business in 5 easy steps when I know how much work it actually takes.
For now, I will only post new YouTube videos, but I’d like to post studio blogs or vlogs in the near future.
If you want to keep in touch, please follow me on Instagram where you can see my new work and short life updates.