How To Keep Your Joy! (And Not Let Your Business Become A Job)

Alexis Fedor

When you think about running your business as an artist, do you ever worry that it will overtake your time in the same way a survival job can? Do you hesitate to take action because you imagine it will take away your joy while trying to create your work? Do you wonder how you will be able to manage it without dreading the work it could force you into?

There is one major difference between a business and a job that, once you understand, can help you avoid falling into a joyless rut once and for all.

A business is a series of projects designed to yield an exchange of value-for-value. It offers a product or service to those who want or need it for an exchange of value in the form of money. Each project needs to be broken down into bite size pieces in order to be carried out and executed successfully.

A job, on the other hand, is a bite-sized portion of a business project that requires consistent, repetitive action to be taken over a period of time.  If the job is done as needed, the project can be carried out successfully. Each job within a business is designed to help execute a small part of the bigger whole.

The reason your business could ever start to feel like a job is when you run into a problem that you may not know the answer to. This can cause a feeling of chaos, as well as not being sure what action to take. So the most common approach is to start taking the same action you had been taking, hoping it will lead you to better results.

However, taking the same action in hopes of seeing different results is the beginning of the end of your joy! Because this type of action leads to keeping yourself and your business in the exact same place- the exact definition of a job.

It is this pivotal moment that your business has an opportunity to grow, which is exactly what it is meant to do, and it’s a matter of stepping back enough to assess what it really needs and how to bring that to it so it can expand.

This is exactly why we as artists are cut out to run the most successful businesses with our work. Like any creative project, you often have to walk away to consider why what you’re doing is not working, search for answers, and come back to it when you’re ready to try something new. There is always an answer that will work well for you, and you often find it through a variety of resources. This is part of the artistic act of creation. This is also the exact approach the most successful business owners take in order to allow their businesses to thrive.

The moment you look at what is not working is the exact moment you enable the space for growth to continue.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What is one area you know you are uncertain about where to go with the business side of your art? There is no answer too large or too small for this, as often the smallest concerns lead to the biggest revelations. So please, share yours in the comments below, so we can help each other go from feeling stuck to being empowered to grow!