…building a business: losing steam?

Dear Creatives,

I want to hear from all of you out there that were really excited and motivated to start your own business – whether it was painting furniture or another creative endeavor. You may have given it your time, money and attention. Maybe you talked about it and wrangled your family into the effort and plugged away. Maybe you became a vendor, maybe you sold in a shop, maybe you opened your own shop. Then, something happened…..you ran out of steam.

A creative business is so very different than a typical business because it requires real spirit. Your spirit. And to keep up a positive outlook it requires really “feeling” it and not just being productive. I think it is much more complicated. It can be difficult for other’s to get on board and so it requires a lot of cheerleading for ourselves. Then once we get some traction we have to refuel and keep ourselves going. The problem is often that creative people are not necessarily motivated by money or success. We want more. Yes, art requires audience, but it also requires inspiration. So, my question to you out there is,

Have you lost your motivation?

I am empathetic to your state. I get it and I hear you. I give you permission to slow and come to a stop. It’s okay and it’s not failure. Instead, let me say to you – Congrats! You did it. You did it for a while and you tried something new. You put yourself out there and were seen as more than just a mom or office person or daughter or friend. And you still are! Now you know that you have the capacity to tap into this part of you at any time. You don’t need to prove anything by opening another shop, but you can tap into the feelings that made you want to do this. This part of you is always there and you discovered it! Big congrats.

I do not say this to discourage anyone, but rather to tell you that I am here to listen and support you. I think creative people live with exposed nerve-endings in a world that is not always aware of us or our needs. We try to perform in the same way as those more Aggressives around us and it’s okay to know that we are not the same. We offer something much different- sensitivity, observation, a magnifying glass on what is not always noticed in a fast-paced world.

If you have tried to expose your creativity in a public manor, you swam upstream. It is not easy. It is not easy for the shop owner of there, it is not easy for the bloggers and writers, it is not easy for me.

If you are plugging away and doing well, I am so proud and excited for you! If you gave it a go and feel done and depleated, then it’s okay to refocus your energies. If you were interested and it never quite got off the ground, then I’m so thrilled you explored the idea! And the good news? It never means you have to stop loving to paint or create! WOW! You can always do this! For yourself and your own home or just appreciate it in other’s homes. What a gift for yourself.

You are important no matter what you accomplish and I think so often we are told that the definition of success is money and press. You are worthy because you live, Dear friends. Love you.

I see you.



  1. Eloise A says:

    This is me! I sell from home and a shop but I often get creative “blocks” where I hate everything I do and I stop for a few weeks. But I’m lucky my “mojo” usually comes back. I say don’t ever give up! Take a break and chill out and stop pressurising yourself.
    The love and passion for what you do will come back 🙂

  2. Melissa Donegan says:

    Thank you so much for these lovely words. I’ve only been painting furniture for about a year (your my main inspiration) however I often feel like a bit of a fraud. Things are taking off with sales working from home but lack of confidence tends to hold me back. Really want to keep plugging away.

    Xx “Rusty Blue Refashioned Furniture”. (My border collies are my business name sakes)

  3. I love the way you write Christen. You have a way with words (compliment)! Not to add to your very busy life, but if you ever had the inclination to write a book on your life, work, combination thereof, I’d buy your book. If for nothing else, your inspiration. You’re creative talent is an inspiration to me and yet you keep it real. That’s not to say all your days are peachy, but no one has peachy days every day (even if they don’t admit it), hence your way of keeping it real. You are fortunate to have a supportive husband, I’m sure you’re equally supportive for him. Sometimes our down days are healthy, they allow us to sit back, re-group and see things clearer. If we are always running around in full mode, how can we reflect, grow, & take a deep breath for the next round of full mode craziness/creative fun. In my opinion anyhow.
    Best wishes.

    • christen says:

      Thank you so very much, Janet, for you sweet and thoughtful words. They mean so much. I am working on a book and praying for a publisher 🙂 XO

  4. Cláudia Ferreira says:

    Oh Christen thanks a lot for this post! I’ve started a blog a few weeks ago, becouse I feel the need to shared my love to decoration, vintage finds, paint furniture.
    Love the way you write and shared things to everybody! You don’t know me but you care and give us your work! Thanks a lot again!
    Just in case you have time to take a look may blog is: http://missquiquinhas.blogspot.pt/
    And my facebook Miss Quiquinhas!
    All the best!!!! 🙂 your Portugal admire

    • yes, but i do know you!!! i see you on instagram and appreciate all your love. thank you so very much. xo

  5. Lori Merrill says:

    Hello Christen, I love your blog as you are always such an inspiration with your articles, your furniture, and your magnetic personality. I share your pictures with my husband and tell him the blue egg Christen painted that, Thanks for all you do! Lori @vintagethruthyme on IG

  6. Hello Christen, Love your video’s you have such a happy outlook on life. One day my husband and I decided to take a leap and started a Bed & Breakfast in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York. And we have found lots of challenges but have made so many new friends. Life is good when you take a chance. Sometimes you just have to take a chance. Change is good!
    Thanks for the inspiration, Kathy

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