I don’t know about you guys but I have at times what is known in the biz as a mental block. Stuck in a rut, clogged up brain, big old creative slump. It can strike at any time – when I’m in the middle of creating a collection, and also with plans on where to take the biz. We’re always trying to step up our game, but figuring out where to take the brand and all the blue sky thinking that goes with that is constant and continual (and sometimes exhausting!).
So I thought it would be a good idea to tell you what I do when the ideas have simply just stopped flowing. If you ever feel like you’re in some kind of cave with your business and there is no way out let me tell you that there is hope! You just have to train your imagination into firing up again. Oh and did you know the brain like the rest of the body can be re-energised so don’t think you can’t start over with your business and push it in new and exciting directions. Because you can.
Talk it through
I was sitting in a café one day with Gem talking flowers and why we loved them when I happened to say out loud, “let’s open a flower store”. It wasn’t a planned brainstorming session it was a weekend lunch. I was a bit frustrated with the snail-pace progression the biz was taking in those days. It probably actually wasn’t that bad, but I’m impatient and I want everything to happen like now, so in my world everything always feels so slow!
Anyway, that’s how the flower shop came about. At first it sounded absurd. “A fake flower store – really?” But then the more we thought about it the more the idea gained momentum and the rest as they say is history! We now have our own faux range too, with stores around the world buying into them. I hate to say told you so, but…
Explore new territory and relocate
I don’t mean to another country (although that would be cool!) I mean to another place. Get out of the studio or office for a bit. Go hang out in a coffee shop and work for an hour or two or take your laptop out somewhere nice to grab a bite and base yourself there. Shake up your day and see what it brings.
Look for inspiration everywhere
I try and make sure that once a month I visit a gallery, a cool market, or inspiring spot. It hasn’t been happening much of late because there seems to be nowhere near enough hours in a day, but even buying a foreign mag that I don’t usually subscribe to or a new weekend paper can help! Just add more possible sources of inspiration into your routine. Anything from scouring the internet for ideas or visiting a restaurant with a cool vibe can get the ideas flowing.
Go away for the weekend, sign up for a course (mine?), go see a concert, read books that inspire, it will liberate your mind and give you new perspectives and expand your mind all at the same time. If you’re in London, I’ve shared some of my favourite cool hang-out spots over on Culture Whisper. Let me know if they work for you!
I don’t love working out and for about 2 years I quit the gym when my hip started playing up because it become too painful. That led to weight gain and a sluggishness that I never want to return too. Turns out I didn’t need a hip replacement I just have a lazy ass (no comments please) and so I have to exercise my butt muscles regularly in order for them not to seize up. TMI, but true.
So I took up gentler exercise like swimming, and now I can even get back to running again. So everyday I swim for 45 minutes outside at the crack of dawn and between three and four evenings a week I run for 30 minutes. I don’t love doing it believe me but now my body craves it. Exercise gives me more confidence about myself, which in turn makes my feel happier and get this it boosts your brains chemical levels so you get smarter at the same time! It’s also the best way I’ve found to switch off from work mode for a while, so when I come back to it I feel renewed and my brain is full of solutions and fresh ideas.
Everyone’s business can get caught in a rut its totally normal. It’s recognising the problem and doing something about it that is key. Sometimes it’s hard to have creative ideas and see a clear path forward. Best advice I have? Leave it. Literally step away from your desk for a while. Not only will you recharge your batteries, but with it comes new inspiration and added sense of motivation for weeks to come!