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Welcome back, Rebooters! We’re so happy to be back for our second season and we hope you are too. Welcome to 2021!

Welcome to 2021 and season 2 of the Creative Reboot podcast

This episode covers “The Year That Must Not Be Named”, celebrations, and moving from startups to being established, growing businesses.

We’re all about the ‘versaries – we’ve been friends for five years this month, and Carla’s seventh singleversary was yesterday (yep, Valentine’s Day!).

Looking back at the last 12 months

We don’t want to dwell on the pandemic, but we can’t look back at the last 12 months without mentioning it – it’s been the main thing that’s happened in all that time!

Overnight successes have ten years of hard work behind them – they are years in the making. Overnight successes do not exist!

Recognising how important experience is, and how businesses are always better and more successful for some experience – whether it’s in business or the same industry or customer service or whatever.

Resilience, knowledge, and reigniting our determination – things the pandemic has given us that we never expected. Celebrating our persistence and our bloody-mindedness, and how coming close to losing our businesses to COVID have made us really, truly value what we do every day and exactly how much keeping our businesses going is essential to us.

Struggles with how the pandemic made us feel – having all we’d worked for swept away from under us, without being able to take any responsibility and not being able to do anything about it – but then finding a layer of grit we didn’t know we had.

Taking away the fluff – and removing a lot of the busywork which felt like business, but wasn’t actually driving the business forward or creating income.

Working out what we actually want from our businesses, and how to grow them so they work for our life, rather than spending our lives working for our businesses, and our changing mindsets too.

Going back a bit further

We both settled on 2012 as a good date to look back to (the year Sarah set up her business, and Carla moved to a job a mile away instead of a four-hour commute away, so was able to actually run her business again), and see what’s changed – and it was an experience! We love to occasionally look back because it can really show you how far you’ve come – and that’s something we generally forget to acknowledge in everyday life.

There are giggles as we remember our first experiences with HMRC, and with blogs in the early 2000s, which really were a different world…

Things that have changed include cooking before work (then, not now!) and then more impactful things we didn’t expect – getting married (Sarah), choosing joyful single life (Carla), buying homes and getting cats (both of us), the loss of a parent (Carla), moving continents (Sarah).

Letting things happen vs planning and calculating, listening to our intuition, creative confidence and how much it’s grown for both of us.

Knowing you can deal with most things in a work situation, and that whatever’s thrown at you, you will create good work, even if it’s not your most creative – this is huge and something that builds over time.

Saying no! Saying no to the things which aren’t right for you, to leave space for the things which are, but this is a concept which might make you want to smack someone in the face if you’re not there yet – if so, we’re sorry!

Welcome to 2021

Don’t feel guilty if you’re a pandemic success story, or if things have gone right instead of horribly wrong for you in 2020, or if your business bounced straight back when things started to reopen after COVID, or if you have hit money goals.

We spend some time reminding each other that despite self-doubt, we are really bloody good at what we do, and if we weren’t we wouldn’t continue to get clients, so we should remember that. And so should you 🙂

Words we’d like to delete from our vocabulary (yep, “pivot” and “unprecedented” are right at the top of the list)! Sarah prefers “crapstorm”, “craptastic” or “hellacious” when referring to The Year That Must Not Be Named, and Carla goes for “interesting times”.

Techniques we’ve used when our inner voices are being twats, and remembering to celebrate, reflect and mark the good stuff.

The post-day planner

A trick of Carla’s which we both now use, this is a day-per-page planner which lives on our desk, and doesn’t get used for planning ahead, but instead for writing down what you have done in the day as you go along.

It’s so simple and so small, but it’s a gamechanger for feeling a sense of achievement and working out where your time has gone when it feels like one of those days where nothing has gone right and the time has flown past.

Looking back through previous years’ ones are also interesting, so you can compare what you were doing, remember things you’d forgotten, and we’d also highly recommend a five-year diary to do the same job on a smaller, quicker level.

Praise and lovely words folder

A folder in the cloud, where you save all the lovely things that people say about you or to you, as they happen. This can be work-related or personal, and it can feel very strange to collect good stuff about yourself instead of bad stuff. But it is THE ABSOLUTE BEST mood boost when you go back over it.

Comparison – to yourself rather than others

Our lovely guest Kate recommended this (in an upcoming episode), and Sarah realised she has been doing this for a while – going back and looking at work you created years ago, or even a few months ago, and seeing how much you’ve grown. We also touched on this in Verity’s episode.

It’s ok to think your old work is awful (it isn’t!), it’s a sign of you moving on and growing and getting better. And look at even the small things, or the things you don’t do so often – see how they have improved.

Also, SYSTEMS – especially in business, look at how your systems have changed and improved and evolved over time. We bet your client onboarding is nothing like what it was when you first started out!

And comparing to yourself is useful, whereas comparing yourself to others doesn’t achieve anything except making you feel crap. It really, really is the thief of joy.

Run an appraisal – for yourself!

Not the kind of appraisal where you have to tell someone else what work you’ve done in order to keep your job – when realistically if you hadn’t done the work you wouldn’t still have the job… and when you buy a toaster, you find it triple-wrapped the next day with a warning note on it…

The appraisal we mean is not like this – don’t evidence what you know you have to do. Look back at the things you have achieved, and the things you’ve learned, and how you’ve grown and changed over the past year.

Use it as a softer reflection process, and then also look at what didn’t work for you – when did burnout creep up on you? Was there anything you’d like to change about your client process, or even about your business as a whole?

This year, Sarah’s prioritising time off, and Carla’s prioritising time for personal work – as a result of our reflections at the end of the year.

Use your jealousy as a barometer

If you feel a twinge of jealousy or envy, use it – what is it telling you you want or need? What is it trying to tell you you’re missing? And then go and examine that, and find out whether it’s a should, or a want, or a need – or giving you a nudge in the right direction.

It can be uncomfortable, but it can be a really helpful way of tuning in to what your subconscious is thinking.

Just before we go

We’re now in season 2 and this year will look like three seasons of ten episodes each, with a really lovely mix of us talking around topics, and interviews with other fab creatives, and some guest experts too!

Links we love

Our Facebook group – come and join us and chat!

Sarah’s goal planner