It happens to the best of us. One minute, you’re hurtling at 60 miles an hour with an endless stream of great ideas for your business, riding a creative high and feeling like there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. Then, out of nowhere, it happens. Somehow, the high trickles down, and you wind up feeling stuck and uninspired with your small business.
I liken this blocked feeling to those dreaded “uh oh, what do I wear today?” mornings. Despite all of the options available in your closet, sometimes it truly does feel like you have nothing to wear. It’s a similar scenario for entrepreneurs stuck in a creative rut. You may feel like you’re the only person in this boat and frustrated that nothing is coming together the way it once did. What do you do next? How can you get dressed and get inspired again when it feels impossible?
During these moments, I think of this sentiment expressed by Oprah Winfrey:
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
It seems like the secret to digging out of the rut is to embrace the moment. Instead of fighting the feeling, face it head on. While these moments are not ideal for any entrepreneur, there is clarity hidden inside of each one. Disguised as a creative block, underneath there could very well be a hidden approach to solving a problem!
The next time you’re in a creative rut, take Oprah’s sound advice, along with these tips from 10 female entrepreneurs that touch on all aspects of business – from getting started to learning how to embrace failure.
1. “There will never be a perfect time to start.” — Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Co-CEOs, TheSkimm
2. “The only way to be taken seriously is if you take yourself seriously.” — Whitney Wolfe, Founder and CEO, Bumble
3. “Don’t listen to people who tell you it’s a bad idea. Listen to your heart. If everyone shared your passion, someone would have already done it!” — Alli Webb, Co-Founder, Drybar
4. “I think it's really important before you start a company to really take a step back and make sure you fully believe in what you're doing because it comes with those challenges and you need something to hold on to throughout them. I think creating and building something that you care about and really believe in and really believe is helping other people makes that possible.” — Meika Hollender, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Sustain
5. “I've never felt like I was in the cookie business. I've always been in a feel-good feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.” — Debbi Fields, Founder, Mrs. Fields Bakeries
6. “The downside to starting a company is having it fail, but in the process of potential failure, there’s the fun of doing what you love every single day, which to me means there’s absolutely no downside.” — Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder and CEO, Rent the Runway
7. “I don’t think of ‘no’ as a dead end, I think, ‘Okay, I have to fix this.’” — Payal Kadakia, Founder, ClassPass
8. “With every obstacle that has happened to me in my life, my brain immediately says, ‘Where is the hidden blessing?’ In starting a business and growing a business, every day is learning how to manage obstacles.” – Sara Blakely, Founder, SPANX
9. “I believe that staying true to who you are is incredibly important as a woman in any industry. In your career, it is critical to embrace your strengths and your weaknesses and learn how to leverage them to the best of your ability as opposed to trying to conform to what you think someone in your field should act or look like.” — Leura Fine, Founder and CEO, Laurel & Wolf
10. “Things never work out the way you think they will. Hope for the best, expect the worst, and never forget who you are in the mix of it all.” — Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO, Uncharted Play