A Creative Entrepreneur's Dilemma
I just hung up this big grid of handmade pressed botanicals in my living room.
This wall is big and the first thing your eye is drawn to when you walk in, and I’ve been waiting to hang just the right thing. As soon as I hung them up, I was bummed I didn’t do it sooner. They’re beautiful and weird and everything I wanted. In truth, I wanted to make these for years but didn’t want to “copy” Lauren Liess, a designer who did the same thing above a client’s sofa (she is amazing!). Because my home is intertwined with my job as an interior designer, I can stress myself out over whether or not my home will be a good reflection on my talent. The pendulum swings back and forth from wondering if I should be more original to fearing that something won’t work because I’ve never seen it before. Creative entrepreneurs, do you ever feel this way too? Like it’s tempting to cater our services to receive praise rather than out of passion?
I know in my own insecurity I’ve criticised others’ work in my head, picking apart the things I hope nobody would say of me. That room looks like a million other rooms I’ve seen recently. I bet in 10 years it will be completely redone! And on and on. And you know what? Those very unkind words started running through my own head when I evaluated my work. I’ve lost the passion for a project before, simply out of worry that what I lovingly created will seem redundant in a saturated field. My own criticisms stopped me cold before another person’s ever had the chance to. I’m betting it’s happened to you before too: I can’t start this new adventure - I’m too old for it. I can’t share this gift - people will think I’m self-important. I can’t try this new thing - if I don’t immediately succeed, I will be embarrassed. Whew. Anyone else feel that last one like I do? I can’t tell you how many opportunities I have absolutely fought with God about because I am scared to be bad. But here’s what I am in the midst of learning: The fear of being too weird, too boring, too niche, too irrelevant, too whatever is the enemy’s scheme to cheat God of glory and us of joy.
It turns you jealous and stagnant, causing you to bear no creative fruit. New ideas come out of relinquishing that fear! When that happens, we become less critical of ourselves and others. So I’m curious, is this true of any of you who own their own business? Have you ever felt stuck because you are highly critical of yourself?
Hey there! I’m Briana Strickland. I live and run my design business, Cultivate Interiors, on the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina. Let’s see...my husband Madison and I have two cats and are currently learning the trials that living in a fixer-upper will put you through. I am helplessly drawn to nature, tattered pieces that could tell a story, and bringing beautiful, purposeful life into homes. If you head over to my blog , Instagram, or Pinterest, you can hang out with me while I share client projects, our own home progress, and what inspires me. See you there!