"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
- MARY OLIVER -
I began building Silly Heart in 2018, knowing (from experience) that there was an easier way to run a small business than to work all hours, sell low, and risk burn out.
I believe that our one precious life is just that. Why build a business for yourself that eats all of your time, that you feel guilty for not working on, and that doesn't pay your bills? Working constantly - no matter what you're doing - is not sustainable.
By working with natural cycles - menstrual, lunar, seasonal - I approach my business with purpose and no longer burn energy swimming against the tide. I create when at my most creative, network when at my most confident, reflect and plan when my energy turns inwards.
This small step of listening to and respecting my body has been revolutionary.
Trusting when it says I can't create today, that trying to do so will end in frustration and poor content.
Shedding the guilt, coming back to it after a break means I'm rested and popping with ideas.
Something that would have taken the whole day takes an hour and I'm on to the next thing, buzzing with success.
It Works For Me, and It Works For My Clients
I've mentored incredible women as they've teased dreams from their heads and into reality on a schedule that feels good.
Exhausted mothers, rediscovering all of the magic that they're capable of and finally carving out time for themselves.
Creatives realising they don't have to work around the clock to support themselves full time.
"Jen went way above and beyond our planned mentoring goals and also helped me to address some health and hormone issues that I was going through. In addition to her wonderful mentoring, her suggestions of menstrual tracking and nutritional therapy have made a huge difference to how I work on a day-to-day basis."
I'm Not Busy
I've been running my own creative businesses for six years, and been a mother of twins for half that time (though some days it feels a lot longer)! I can safely say that I get the juggle, that I know tired (lord, do I know tired), and I understand the power of working in a sustainable and purposeful way that serves you. A way that truly fits around every day life, not just stuffed into the fringe hours.
I thought it was good to be busy. "Busy" meant I was contributing, I didn't have to feel guilty, I was moving forwards, that I wasn't "just a mum". I thought, when I hit that wall, I could outsmart my body with caffeine and sugar and the right playlist. Just push through. Good god.
The truth of it is I was drained. My health, mental and physical, was flailing. My girls weren't sleeping. I wasn't sleeping. I was running my stationery brand, Inky and the Beast, on autopilot. Creating bespoke commissions, running letterpress workshops, designing and selling my own line of products online, at markets, in shops and all without taking a moment to step back and figure out where I was going.
One by one, I gave up different parts of Inky until it turned out the bit I was left with - running print workshops, something I still so enjoyed - didn't bring in enough money alone.
It was time for a whole new way of working. Less busy, more productive. Less 9-5 (or 7-11!), more cyclical working. Less haste, more joy. And one thing I knew for sure was I wanted to help other women work that way too.
So what about you? Ready to stop so you can truly start?