Skip to content

Resilience as a Small Business Owner

July Roundup on Life as an Artist with all it’s changes

We’re over halfway through the year which feels completely unreal to me and I’m finding that I need to manage the changes happening and show resilience as a small business owner. Time seems to be going faster and faster, every time I blink it seems that another month has passed. This month has been full of changes, changeability and a fair few challenges. The weather here is living up to the reputation of a British summer, chopping and changing from one minute to the next which can be problematic when you’re trading at outdoor events. We can go from torrential downpours of rain to glorious sunshine in 5 minutes, then back again 5 minutes later. Add in some wind and I’m sure you can imagine the problems.

Alchemi Art Stall at Durham Market

The need to find solutions

As a result, we’ve spent quite a bit of time working out solutions to mitigate bad weather on the stall when trading outside. I’ve also suffered more equipment problems of the broken computer variety. After two years without an issue, the stand that my big iMac stood on decided to collapse for no apparent reason, pitching my iMac forward onto the glass top of my desk. It was not a pretty sight! The beautiful gorgeous big screen that’s an integral part of the iMac looks like someone has taken a hammer to it in an attempt to figure out how many pieces you can break it into. This was upsetting for me, not just in monetary terms but emotionally. I don’t know about you, but I get very emotionally attached to my electronics, so that smash was absolutely devastating.

Resilience as a Small Business Owner

All this led to conversations with loved ones and friends about the situation. They would all sympathise with me over having another computer go bang but then go on to mention how resilient I am and how I would figure out a solution in no time. They all viewed me as a really resilient person. The thing is, I don’t view myself as resilient.

I work hard and put a lot of effort into finding solutions because it’s something I have to do if I want to continue creating my art and growing my business. If I want to continue creating I need to find solutions with the limited resources that I have. There is really no other choice. I’m not sure if that’s resilience or not but it’s something that people sometimes perceive as such.

At the moment we’re living in incredibly trying, changeable and unstable times. Most of us are needing to adapt and find solutions with limited resources because we don’t have the luxury of the once-available resources. If July had a theme for the month, then it was the need to find solutions. Taking what I had, working out what I needed and then finding a solution. There’s that old quote which goes along the lines of ‘the only constant in life is change’ and that seems especially true right now. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for this need to constantly adapt and find solutions to lead to feeling completely overwhelmed. Feeling unable to cope because it’s all just too much.

Salem the Art Studio Cat Supervising work

Salem the Art Studio Cat Supervising work

What’s my Solution?

I’d like to share the only solution that I’ve found works for me. Focus on just one thing. The most pressing thing and work on that, ignoring everything else. Focus on it, find the solutions and then tick it off the list. Then you can move on to the next thing. Your list of things to deal with might be long but focus on the one you’re dealing with right now. Keep going until the number of things requiring attention reduces enough that that feeling of suffocating overwhelm starts to ease. Then I sit down and start looking at the bigger picture again. At that point, I make a plan that maps out what needs to be dealt with by when. My new updated list so to speak.

So if it’s not the allotted time to deal with something (barring an emergency obviously) I ignore it by putting it out of my mind until it’s the appropriate time. For example next week I will be ordering new prints and greeting cards, so I’m not thinking about that now because it’s a job for future Mara next week. I don’t have to worry about it this week and that frees my mind up to deal with the problems that need to be solved this week.

I don’t know the problems that you are facing right now, but would imagine they’re similar to others. Hopefully, you’re coping well, finding solutions and learning to thrive in this new changeable post-apocalyptic plague world we’re living in. It’s important to know you’re not alone and I hope my little tip about how I cope with it all helps. You can cope and show resilience as a small business owner and artist. July is now over and we’re moving into August which is going to be another busy month for me. The thing is I’ve survived July’s problems and challenges so I can look forward to August.

Take care of yourself

Mara x

You need time to think and plan, preferably with a cuppa