Stuck to the desk. Like a solid rock unable to roll. That's how its felt for a while now. How did I get here? What's kept me from realizing this is not the way to do it? I've been an entrepreneur for seven years now. It's been a rollercoaster of unimaginable highs and lows. Some aspects of my personality were born for this. I yearn to be free - able to set my own course. Other aspects don't thrive in this environment. I can tend to worry too much about things I can't control - not a great trait in an solopreneur.
One thing that I've learned is that I can't operate well in isolation. Although I enjoy working solo - I don't perform my best in a vacuum. It's easy to allow myself to get stuck to my desk. Answering emails in lighting fast speed. Tinkering with the html and css on the website. While these plays move the needle they are not why I started doing this.
I created Alial Fital and built this brand to design, create, and be free. More and more it feels like I've allowed the trappings of the brand to lock me down - hold me back. This has manifested itself in less travel and exploration.
Take a weekday inspiration trip to the Seattle Art Museum? Can't do it today. Docket is too full.
Go on a photography shoot? No way. I've got too many emails to get to.
Set aside a day of only design and wandering? What about our sales figures - I've got to increase them this month.
Needless to say I've spend too much time on the less fun parts of my job. I vow to get away from this desk more. Get back to seeing the world, engaging with inspiring art and people, and devoting more time to design.
At the end of the day - I want to design cool things and that is what you want from me too.
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I've recently fallen in love with Skill Share. It bills itself as "Classes taught by expert practitioners". I made my way to the site to take a specific class by Elle Luna called Choose Must. Having designed for multiple successful startups I was intrigued by the premise of the course. 10 exercises to help you find your true passion or "must". I would highly recommend it if the topic at all appeals to you.
I feel like I am currently doing my "must" with Alial Fital - so my intentions for taking the class were slightly different. I am obsessed about improving my creative process and so I've ventured out to learn from as many designers as I can. Elle's class really helped me define and distinguish a creative process that I can use moving forward.
The class of 10 exercises culminates with what she calls "finding your North Star". When you start the process you have no idea where it will end. My final "North Star" featured the words Fashion. Travel. Design. Sport. Inspiring People. written on a 4 x 6 notecard surrounded by relevant imagery. Is stared at it for a few days wondering what I had on my hands.
Elle instructs you to create or experience something related to your "North Star" to set the journey. The thought of starting my own magazine which allowed me to dive into these themes above popped in my head. So I made one and the Stand Apart Magazine was born. I've switched over my under inspired style blog to the magazine format and couldn't be happier.