8 ways to pull yourself out of a business slump

By November 2, 2016September 19th, 2018Business Planning & Strategy, General Business


Is it actually 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration? Owning and running a creative business can be hard work. Sometimes, it can feel like 100% perspiration without the joyous 1% inspiration you started out with. Somewhere along the line, it can start to feel like a drag.

So how do you get yourself out of this slump? Here are a few tips to get the inspiration back.

Don’t sweat the small stuff (I know, terrible pun)

But really, don’t. What can feel like a really big deal at any given time, if left alone can resolve itself. Ask yourself if you really need to get involved with the minutiae? We’re often quick to step in and take things off people who we feel aren’t doing things just how we like them done. Take a deep breath, ask if they need help, if not, walk away. Yes, they won’t do it the way you would do it, but it will get done. I’m talking to you, micro managers!

Feel the burn

We all know you have to push that bit harder to get great results. Amongst the madness, remember to stop for a minute and focus on the end goal and how good it will be. In my design company, we used to have a six month clause on our projects. That’s the “don’t look at the finished project” for six months clause. It’s a revelation to discover that you actually like the work you created when you’ve created distance from the day to day issues. Try it.

Find the joy

Even when projects are going badly and pushing you to the brink, find the joy. It could be as small as enjoying the people you’re working with or the take away selection that’s getting you through the crazy late nights (around the world in 7 nights). If all else fails, there’s always the dartboard solution

Just because

When you’re deep into the day to day it can be hard to tap into your creative spirit. Try to find inspiration by doing something for yourself. You could create an Instagram account that’s just for posting your journey to and from work. It will force you to look for something new every day. Do it only for yourself and not to attract likes. Keep it simple and it doesn’t need to become a burden, but a new way of connecting with your way of looking at things. Instead of looking at the same blogs and websites you always do, go to the newsagent and pick three magazines you’ve never read before. You never know where or when inspiration will strike.

Good vibes

Change things around. Same old pics still on the walls? Favourite playlists doing a giant loop? Start again. Take down the images you’ve been looking at for the last year(s). Put up new pics to refresh and motivate you. They don’t have to be about your area of discipline. Anything that connects with you. Go ahead put the cute kittens on the wall. Playlist ideas? My good friend Gary over at Tactile Music is a playlist master. Find him on Spotify.

Eat, drink, be merry

Remember that really great client you worked with? Give them a call, take them for breakfast, lunch or drinks. Find out what they’re doing and how it’s all working out for them. Say thanks and see where it goes. Good clients reaffirm that your work is valued giving you a confidence boost and they also remind you that good jobs do happen! As a bonus, it’s good business development too.

Break free

When you’re the boss, you’re often the last person in the room to take a break. You probably don’t remember when you last took a holiday. Though we may dream we are sitting watching the sunset with a mojito in hand on a tropical island, we know it’s not always a real possibility. So, as the saying goes ‘a change is as good as a rest’. So try a new activity and get outside your comfort zone. Try climbing. There’s no way you can think of anything else when you’re hanging off a wall by your fingertips!

And finally…

Get some perspective

Hire a business coach. You saw that coming right? For a lot of our clients we are their sounding board. We do help you step outside the day to day and reflect for a moment. Use our skills to give you a boost and feel better about the journey ahead. You’ll only get positive vibes from us!

Want to find out what business coaching is like? We’re happy to give you a taster session. If you’re feeling stuck in a creative rut, why not drop in and see if we can tackle this creative cul-de-sac together?. We’d love to help.