How to Make Something Out of Nothing

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I recently realized the nothingness that can exist as a creative entrepreneur. If it’s a slow month with fewer shoots or meetings, we could potentially set ourselves up with some rad extra recess. But then, of course, we wouldn’t be able to pass the class, aka: pay the bills.

So, it’s not always the best choice to take time off when nothingness creeps in. However, scheduled time off and a few random days here and there (might as well make the most of being your own boss!), are crucial to making something out of nothing.

For the first little bit of any particular work hiatus, I usually experience a slightly uncomfortable feeling: panic.

“Everybody else is working on their business right now! Things are happening out there! Movers and shakers are moving and shaking without me!” So, I take a deep breath, go to yoga. And finally chill out and begin to enjoy the freedom from the intense creative brainpower I expect of myself.

(Because, let’s be honest, being a creative entrepreneur can make your brain hurt. And, if we don’t take the time off, there’s no way in hell we’ll be able to create something out of nothing when we need to.)

So, we get out in the world. We skip rocks. We get tan, really tan. We eat bowls of cherries and see who can spit the seeds the farthest. We collect layers of sea salty goodness on our skin. We indulge in the pure glory of nothingness, that really is everything. Everything = the birthplace of each ounce of inspiration and creativity. Everything = enjoying our life, our marriage, our friendships, our adventures. Everything = textures, colors, laughter, dirt in our fingernails, sand between our toes.

When I step back into the office and punch the timecard in my brain, I feel pumped. Refreshed and ready. We look at the empty calendar and strategically fill it up, but not to the brim. There are hours set aside for managing what we’ve already created: responding to client emails, okaying timelines, editing, etc.

But once all the maintenance type tasks are complete, what are you supposed to do? How do you create money, jobs, relationships, success, satisfaction, a thriving business and happiness…out of nothing?

1. Allow yourself plenty of “nothing” time to get creative juices flowing.
2. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The world is your oyster. (Two cliche sentences we firmly believe in.)
3. Reach out. Make the most of social media. Introduce yourself to new people.
4. Simply create. Practice. Do what you love. Share it with others.
5. See what you can do for others. Forget about yourself, your needs and your business.
6. Use the buddy system. Have another entrepreneur hold you accountable to your ideas and business plans.
7. Create a business plan!
8. Collaborate with others in your industry or an industry you’d like to be part of.
9. Search hashtags based on ideas, people groups and work you’d like to be involved in. Start a conversation with people using those hashtags.
10. Volunteer your time and creativity, but only where you want to. Offering something free to anyone and everyone will hurt you in the long run.
11. Read. There are SO MANY life-changing business books. Start with THIS ONE.
12. Check in with people you’ve worked with before. Show genuine interest in their lives and endeavors.
13. Review what you’re doing and figure out how you can do it better.

It’s pretty empowering knowing we’re creating our own work to pay the bills and live a life we love. I still panic every now and then when Nothingness rolls into town. But it’s that nothingness that gives us the opportunity to create something we’re proud of.

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