Today my blog features Jennifer Syme of The Cramped Creative. Read as she tells her own story in her own words:
My business is called The Cramped Creative, the idea came to me about 2 years ago, but I am only starting it this year because I have lived the cramped creative life and want to help other women (re)discover their inner creative, in whatever form that takes for them.
The aim of the business is to help women with their creative side, that they have been stifling for whatever reason. I truly believe that holding back this area of ourselves adds to ill health and diminishes wellbeing. I also feel that when women feel bad tempered, frustrated, stressed, depressed and just generally feeling that they have ‘lost’ themselves somewhere along the line, it is because they are not being true to themselves.
Most of us are creative in some form, whether it is drawing (which most people think they need to be able to do to be considered ‘creative’), design, music, gardening, cooking, writing, knitting, sewing….the list is endless. If it is your way of self expression, and you close it down, then that is a major part of yourself you are trying to suppress. I want to help women find that part of themselves, and feel happier and enjoy better health in the process.
I love working for myself because I like to be free to choose what I do and when. I don’t like being an employee, and I was always the person asking ‘But why?’ when management said we had to do something. I didn’t like being told when I could go to lunch, or what to wear. I like being able to decide my own day, wear what I choose, and sit outside on a sunny day, with an ice cream, working on my iPad. I love the fact I get to walk my dog and have time to do the self care – fitness, mindfulness etc, that is important to me.
The surprise for me is that I like it so much, I was brought up to think that self employed people always failed, and/or had to work 24/7, but I am learning that this is not the case. The other surprise is how many people I have met on the way, who think like me and have similar life stories to me, who I may never have actually met in the real world, but who through Skype, phone and social media, I can share the journey with. Also, how strongly I feel that this is the way I need to be, that I can’t go back to employee status.
The shocks have been the amount of time and effort to get things happening. The lack of income and security. The inner critic that puts fear in to my head and makes me hesitate, the procrastination bug. The real life critics who poopoo my ideas. The fact that I am now thinking much bigger than I did at the start and am surprising myself at my ambition, when I thought I had none. I feel like I have had my eyes opened to new possibilities, and while this is good, it is also a shock to my system, to be so far away from the person I was 10 years, but in a good way.
I have grown in so many ways. I am more aware of online opportunities, I mix with people from all over the world without even thinking about it. I have learned so much about business, creativity, psychology and technology. I have learned to trust my instincts again, that it is ok to let other people take some of the workload, that I don’t need to do everything myself, that I am allowed to invest in myself, get advice, learn from people ahead of me. I have become more confident and where i was once that ‘cramped creative’ I now feel able to claim my writing time, share my work, play my guitar, have good quality tools for my passions e.g where before I would say I wasn’t ‘worth’ a decent guitar, now I don’t think I deserve anything less.
The thing I am most looking forward to is seeing this new business take shape and grow.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @CrampedCreative
And find her on Pinterest: Pinterest.com/CrampedCreative
Jennifer is a member of my Coaching Club 100. Join Club 100 during August and save 50%. Become one of this fabulous group of women for a very affordable £100 a month. Prices rise to £150 per month on 1st September 2014 so now’s the time to join.