Giving Yourself Space to Explore with Monica Lee

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The Nitty Gritty:

  • Why a feeling of restlessness is the sign that it’s time to explore the possibilities for your business.
  • How to scale back or alter technologies and strategies to fit into your own goals and business. Just because everyone else is doing them, doesn’t make them right for you.  
  • Why you should embrace continuous exploration to be sure you and your business are headed in the direction you want to.

As artist, illustrator, mentor and podcaster Monica Lee shared on this week’s Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast episode, even entrepreneurs can “quit their jobs.” Really! Well, at least push the pause button to give yourself time and space to explore new directions and possibilities for how to make money in a way that is meaningful to you.

I sort of ‘quit my job.’ I kind of just had to stop and regroup and really ask myself: What do I want to be doing? What does my life look like earning money?

– Monica Lee

When you get restless, it’s time to explore

You really have to believe in your hustle. And be authentic about it.

– Monica Lee

When Monica found herself extremely restless about what she was doing and hustling for, she knew it was time to rethink her art and her creative career. Although it was a really, really hard decision, there was really no other option, Monica explains. So, she put a full stop on things that were generating income for her allow her the “elbow room” to make decisions on what she really wanted to be doing.

Evolving into your own

When Monica found herself in a creative transition, she challenged herself in a new way and jumped in full force to learn online marketing. She immersed herself in the goal to expand her business expertise. Monica learned how people developed their e-newsletter list. She started a video interview series that ultimately evolved into her podcast Smart Creative Women. She began mentoring other artists; with experience in licensing, illustrating, freelancing and in the children’s industry, she had a lot to offer. And, like every good online marketing person, she developed an e-course.

As the pendulum swung to the business side, Monica had to ask some hard questions. Was she a teacher? Was she an artist? How is her creativity going to show up or if she’s all in as a business person, should she just go be an art director for another company?

When I started asking myself those harder questions, that’s when I had to put a full stop. It was hard to execute things as I was peeling back the onion layers on myself and where I want to go.

– Monica Lee

Continuous exploration

What if this growth isn’t good? It’s that risk of not having everything turn out ok, but it’s doing it anyway.

– Monica Lee

Although there are people who can determine the balance between their entrepreneurial side and their creative or core offering by doing them both simultaneously, Monica found that if she was going to give herself the time and emotional space to truly figure out her direction, she had to set the business things aside. To get back in touch with her creative self, she traveled a lot and rediscovered what inspired her. Once her creativity was nurtured and she got back to creating work that was exciting to her, she added back the business side, but with more intention. Monica set her financial goals, and then worked backward from that to determine how she was going to make the money she wanted to.

As you will learn in the full episode of the Profit. Power. Pursuit. podcast, Monica continues to challenge herself in new ways and asks hard questions of herself to ensure that she’s on the right path—for her business and for herself.

We go live every Tuesday with tangible takeaways for your small business from some of today’s most inspiring business owners. Be sure to tune in every week and subscribe on iTunes to Profit. Power. Pursuit.