Motivating Yourself When You're Creatively Self Employed

Motivating Yourself When You're Creatively Self Employed

When you're self employed you become both boss and employee. This dynamic sets up a whole set of inner relationships and rebellions that need to be handled with care. Particularly if your line of work is a creative one.

By Mary McNeil

Self motivation is a well known challenge for the self employed. And never more so than for creatives. Why so? Well creative types very often choose to become self employed precisely so that they can exercise their creativity and flexibility in their work. Not for them the tedium of a regular nine to five office job!

But when you’re self employed, YOU become the boss. And the employee. And this dynamic sets up a whole set of inner relationships and rebellions that need to be handled with care. Particularly when it comes to managing your motivation so that you can achieve successful outcomes for both your business and for yourself.

Assuming that at least part of the reason you’re in business is because you want to make money, your inner boss will be need to be in a position to make strategic decisions, undertake planning activities and dictate hours of work.

And assuming that you’re creatively self employed because you want flexibility and creativity in your working life and don’t want to be dictated to, your inner employee will need a certain degree of freedom and leeway on the job.

So how is your relationship between your inner boss and your inner employee?

Recently I asked this question of a creative coaching client who was struggling to run her home-based creative business. She surprised herself with her reply! She’d expected to respond that her inner boss was terrorizing her inner employee and that what she needed was more freedom to work flexibly so that she could enjoy her working time more. What emerged, though, as she thought about the question, was that the roles were reversed… her inner employee was rebelling against her inner boss to such an extent that she despaired of ever producing any meaningful output.

To motivate yourself happily and successfully, it’s clearly important to nurture a supportive relationship between these two parts of yourself. And that means engaging them in regular dialogue with each other. Your inner boss needs to appreciate the working style and form of flexibility that your inner employee resonds best to. And your inner employee needs to understand what the boss reasonably requires in order to produce results that both will find satisfactory and rewarding.

Both your inner boss and inner employee will sometimes need to understand the principle of the delayed reward. Your inner boss, for example, is more likely to allow your inner employee to take that luxuriously creative hour for writing in the middle of the afternoon, if there’s an understanding that the employee will work, and work far better, in the early evening as a result. And likewise, your inner employee is more likely to let your inner boss lay down some plans for future ambitious projects if there’s an understanding between the two of them that the plan includes an allowance for creative travels and time out on completion.

So as you think about your conflicting motivations when it comes to work, creativity, self employment, money and flexibility, take a moment to be aware of the different parts of yourself that have a stake in the process. If you can involve each part in a way that allows it to have a say and to negotiate with the other parts, you’re likely to achieve a much higher overall level of motivation in your work. And, of course, the corresponding success that comes along with it.

If you're brimming with creative ideas but struggling to develop them into tangible output, the practical support of a coach can make all the difference. Mary McNeil of Create a Space is an experienced, ICF-certified life coach, natural born planner and declutterer extraordinaire! She works with artists, writers and musicians, coaching and supporting them as they make creative output a practical reality.

Article republished from Copy & Paste Articles