Almost every creative I’ve met in this journey so far is aching for exactly the same thing:
A life of freedom, fulfilment, and joy. And the best part? A life of freedom, fulfilment, and joy looks a little (or a lot) different for every single one of us.
There’s a huge trend in the digital space right now of pursuing that life of freedom, fulfilment, and joy through passive income and one-to-many offerings and products. And it’s awesome; nothing makes me happier and more inspired than seeing other creatives bring to life game changing and meaningful work.
But here’s the thing: I truly, deep-down-in-my-soul, believe that you can still live a life of freedom as a creative even if your main work is service-based. Actually, I don’t just believe it - I know it to be true. I’ve seen it in my own life, and in the life of my clients too.
Take Asia Croson for example. You may remember her from last years season of Make It Happen. She’s one of my clients, and now a close friend, and she’s one of the most joyful, fulfilled, and living-a-life-of-complete-freedom creatives I know. Listen to our episode together and follow her life over on Instagram to see what I mean.
I love running a service based-business. Coaching and mentoring creatives fills my soul with so much joy in a way that I wouldn’t want to give up for the world right now. But it’s still a job, and it’s still work, and the main reason I started this entire journey was to create a life for myself of freedom, fulfilment, and joy. But I've learned that it’s totally possible to do meaningful one-on-one work and still live a happy, joyful life, I just have to be intentional, purposeful, and true to my values every step of the way.
If you’re a service-based creative aching for a little more freedom and joy, or if you’re feeling like passive income is the only way to create the life you want but services are really where you heart is at right now, today I want to share with you some jumping off points to help you hopefully make space for the life and work you really want to cultivate and build.
1. Offer services that feel purposeful and fulfilling
When you spend a big chunk of your work week focusing on client work, the best way to keep the dream job dreamy is to offer services that are purposeful, fulfilling, and aligned with your core genius and how it is you want to show up and be of service in the world.
This one takes time. You have to pay attention to the work you’re doing now, and evolve with your business along the way. There may even be a season of doing not-so-dreamy work while you establish yourself within the work you really want to be doing. The biggest takeaway is this: don’t be afraid to be really honest with yourself about what it is you really want to be offering with your services. Stay true to your values and intentions, and commit to doing the work it takes to help you make it happen along the way.
- What client projects/engagements have felt most fulfilling to me? What work would I happily do every single week in my business? What client work has filled me with the most joy?
- How do I want to show up and be of service with my business right now? What core values, purpose, and message are guiding the work I do, and am I honouring that in my service offerings? If not, how can I transition into aligning my services with my purpose more?
2. Create a routine that feeds your soul
A life of freedom looks different for everyone. For some it means being able to travel whenever their heart desires and embracing a nomadic lifestyle. For others it means being able to be in charge of their own time and schedule. For many of us, it’s just freedom from a life that wouldn’t be able to fulfil us like this one can.
It’s up to us to make space for a routine that gives us the freedom, fulfilment, and joy that we ache for. As service-based business owners, that usually looks like spacing out our client work in a way that suits our energy levels and still gives us space to fill our time with other things that are important to us too.
I do this by spacing out my client work in a structured way throughout the week - I have set days for clients, and on the other days I’m then able to work on other projects and tasks in my business and also take time off to enjoy life too. A big lesson I’m learning is that the most important part of creating a routine that feeds our soul is paying attention to how we’re feeling in our life and our business and adjusting as we go - we’re always changing, evolving, and needing new things from our work and our life along the way.
Three main areas to focus on if you’re struggling with your routine as a service-based business owner are:
- How much time each week do you want to be focusing on client work and how much time each week have you committed to focusing on client work for this season? Put boundaries up to protect your time outside of these commitments, and adjust moving forward if you’d like to make space for less client-focused time in your routine.
- What do you need from both your work days and your downtime to feel fulfilled, energised, and happy in your routine? How can you practically make more space for this?
- Is there space for passive income streams in your business so that you can do less client work if you’re starting to feel burnt out? There is always a fine line between thriving in our workload and struggling in it - passive side income may be exactly what you need to help you feel energised and less overwhelmed by your client workload moving forward.
3. Give yourself space and time for passion projects
When a huge focus of your business is delivering for clients, a struggle some creatives can face is feeling like they have no time for their own business and creative needs along the way. Giving yourself permission to carve out time for you and your own creativity can be an essential part of this journey - we just have to prioritise ourselves as much as we do our clients along the way.
Maybe there’s a new project you want to make space for, or a new style of content you want to experiment with, or maybe a non-business related creative project you want to explore - whatever it is, passion projects can be essential for our happiness along the way.
One of the biggest things I struggled with last year was feeling like I had to stifle my creativity so I could focus more on building and establishing my business. Sooner or later I found myself feeling like all of my time was dedicated to helping other creatives bring their big and beautiful ideas to life (which I adored every single minute of) but that I had forgotten to make space for my own ideas and creativity along the way. What I’m finding now is that the more I give myself space to play, explore, and create outside of my business and client work, the more energised, focused, and inspired I then feel in my business and the work I do with my clients each week.
4. Pay attention to what you want and need from your business and your life (and then ignore the rest)
Here’s the thing: at the end of the day, to live a creative life of freedom, fulfilment, and joy we have to know what it is we want and value in our life and then make space for exactly that every single step of the way.
Your offerings, your routine, your office hours, and your lifestyle are allowed to look and feel however you want them to. The best thing we can do as working creatives is to pay attention to what it is we truly want and need from our work and our life and make space for it along the way. If one-on-one services is where your heart belongs right now but you’re feeling overwhelmed, or stressed, or overworked along the way, I want you to know that it’s so possible for you to cultivate a more joyful, relaxed, and creative life and routine.
Make more space for what you need, set more boundaries around your time, and stay super focused on doing the awesome work with your clients that you came here to do.
More than anything - never stop pursuing that life of freedom, fulfilment, and joy. Give yourself permission to make space for more in your work and your life.
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