There are a few words and phrases I would use to describe my approach to, and vision for, my business and creative life.
Wholehearted. Purpose-driven. Lifestyle business. Big-hearted.
As you can probably already tell from how much I talk about it, big-hearted is the one I always tend to come back to. Recently I shared with you What It Looks & Feels Like To Run A Big-Hearted Coaching Business, and today I want to dive a little deeper and share with you my own personal manifesto for my business and creative life.
My hope is that some of these will resonate with you and encourage you to run your business in a big-hearted way too, but more than anything my hope is that it can hold some space for you to explore what a manifesto for your own business could look like too.
1. I will run my business from a place of integrity
I will build and run a business that I can truly be proud of, that is rooted in trust and connection. I will market my business and services in a way that treats others with respect, in a way that builds people up instead of bringing them down, and I will show up for my clients with a whole heart and be fully present in the awesome work that we do together.
2. I will make my business work for me, not the other way around
I will build my business around my life, so that it supports me to live the life I want to, instead of leaving me feeling drained and disconnected from what matters most. I will be brave enough to say no to the shiny pennies that will take me away from the life and work that matters most to me, and I will trust that I can build a business on my own terms without compromising my own needs and lifestyle.
3. I will take care of myself, because I am the vessel through which my work comes to life
My clients and my business deserve the very best version of me, so I will prioritise taking care of myself and having space to rest, recharge, and reflect throughout each week so I can continue to show up and give my work everything I've got along the way. I will see rest and self-care as something that supports my business, instead of something that takes me away from it.
4. I will cultivate my identity outside of my work
I am more than my business, my work, and the money I make. I am not defined by just my career - I'm a friend, a wife, a writer, a daughter, a sister, and a living, breathing human being too. As much as I commit to growing in my business, I also want to pour energy into my life too and the other things that matter as much as, if not more than, my business does.
5. I will not make this journey any harder than it has to be
Building and running a business can be damn hard. It can take a whole lot of hard work, long hours, and courage to keep on climbing those mountains in front of us. So I'm not going to make this journey any harder on myself - I'm going to give myself what I need to thrive, instead of believing the lie that it has to feel hard every step of the way.
6. I will not compare myself to others, because the only journey I'm on is my own
Comparison never leads to anything good, it just distracts me from my own path and from what matters most to me. I will trust that I'm exactly where I'm meant to be, that I'm running my own race and nobody else's, and I will lean into my desire to support and cheer on others instead of allowing my ego to encourage me to sink into comparison and despair.
7. I will set and honour boundaries in my work and my life
Boundaries are golden - they allow me to do the work that matters most to me, to have the energy I need to pour into the relationships that are most important to me (including the one I have with myself) and they keep me from feeling overstretched and burned out along the way. I will set and honour clear and compassionate boundaries in my life - from my clients, to my inbox, to social media, to my social life and more - and hopefully in the process encourage others to do the same for themselves too.
8. I will cultivate and build a business that is impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable
I want my business to do meaningful and impactful work in the world, to be fulfilling and joyful to run, and to be sustainable both financially and energetically too. Every action I take in my business must serve all three of these pillars, and they will be my guiding anchor in the decisions I make along the way.
9. I will lean into how I work best
I'll listen to my own natural ebb and flow of energy, lean into when I need to rest and when I'm ready to hustle out a big project, and give myself the space and structure I need to show up and do the work I want to do in the world. I will forget all of the productivity hacks and noise out there and trust that I have permission to show up how I work best in my business.
10. I will nurture my life as much as I nurture my business
My business is part of my life, not something that I want to take me away from it. I know that I will have seasons that may be more work focused, and seasons more focused on life too, but I want to nurture each with the same amount of passion, courage, and intention throughout the year.
11. I will commit to being the bravest version of myself in my business and my life
I will not allow fear to dictate and direct my life and my decisions. I'll be brave enough to do the hard and scary things it takes to make my dreams and goals a reality, and push myself to be the very best version of myself in my creative work and life. I'll continue to choose a mindset of abundance, not scarcity, in my business and trust that I am capable of everything I want to make happen along the way.
12. I will trust that the answers I'm looking for are already within me
I will not look to others to do my work or my life for me, and I will trust that the expert in my creative work and life will always be me. I will listen to myself, look inwards for the answers I need, and use the noise and ideas and advice of others as a jumping off point to get clearer on my own instead of letting them guide and direct my life and work.
13. I will give myself permission to be a beginner, to make mistakes, and to be a flawed and messy human
It's okay if I'm not perfect at something straight away (or ever), it's okay if I make mistakes, if I'm not always 100% on top of my game each day, if sometimes I just need to take a step back and be a messy human for a little while. I will be okay with the flawed and messy reality of being human, and keep on moving forward anyway.
14. I will give my creativity the white space it needs to thrive
My creativity needs space, time, adventure, exploration, and freedom to really bloom and come to life. So I will choose to give myself space and time each week for my creativity to thrive and come to the surface - I won't stifle it, or overwhelm, or drain it along the way. And whenever I may feel a little off centre or exhausted from doing the work, I'll take a step back and give myself the space I need to refill my tank so I can get back to creating again soon.
15. I will be patient and steadfast in the pursuit of my biggest hopes and dreams
I will be in this for the long haul, I will focus on sowing seeds and moving boldly in the direction of the creative work and life that truly matters to me, and I won't allow impatience, or ego, or any disappointments that may come my way to hold me back from staying the course and showing up fully in this journey. I'll be devoted to the work that matters most to me, and I will keep my eye on the bigger picture every step of the way.
16. I will remember that I can do hard things
Even on the days when it feels too hard or overwhelming, when the road ahead of me is paved with obstacles and challenges to overcome, and when I start to fear that I'm just not capable of making it happen, I will remember that I can do hard things. That I've already climbed so many mountains to get to where I am now, and that I am oh so capable of climbing whatever mountains are ahead of me too. It might not always be easy, pretty, and straightforward, but I will trust and believe that I can do hard things, and that it's okay to ask for help along the way when I need it too.
Whenever I lose sight of my core purpose, values, and intentions, whenever I need to remember why I'm here and why I'm doing this and who I want to be in this journey along the way, I know I'll be coming back to this list to anchor me again to what matters most. I hope it can be a jumping off point for you too to explore and define your own manifesto as a creative business owner, and hopefully explore what being a big-hearted business owner could look like for you too.
I'll be rooting for you always!
Every Sunday I send thoughtful insights to my community through Weekly Letters. If you're not already on the list, you can sign up below to receive the next letter straight to your inbox.