You have made the decision to give your art a shot, and to go into business. You have been making the work and marketing it like crazy. You think you are doing everything right, but you don't have a lot to show for your efforts. Sometimes you wonder if you made the right decision, and if all this hard work will be worth it some day.
One thing is true: There is no way to know unless you give it a try!
It takes grit to keep showing up and putting in the work. So what do you do when you want to throw in the towel on the whole thing? Here are 3 things to consider:
1. Ask yourself, what is the alternative?
If you aren't doing this, what will you be doing? Can you imagine what your life will be like if you give up on making a shot at your art business? Is it possible for you to imagine living in a world without your art? Will you be regretful if you don't give yourself a chance? Those of us who have taken desk jobs and such know what that's like. Maybe it is easier in some ways to work for someone else, but will it provide you with the same sense of pride and the freedoms and rewards that come with being your own boss. But before you quit on your business idea...
2. Check-in with yourself. Are you feeling burned out? Tired? Stressed?
So many times when I have found myself feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do next, I have discovered that I really just needed to rest. So often, If I just stop what I am doing and go take a nap, or go to bed, I feel so much better when I wake up. I am renewed and refreshed and more capable of dealing with anything that comes my way.
Another great technique is to step away from the work and go do something you love to do, like going for a walk in nature, turning on some music and dancing, or meeting a friend for tea.
3. Remind yourself that success doesn't happen overnight.
It is super important to maintain the perspective that success takes time. Even for those folks who seem to have become an overnight sensation, the reality is that they had put in the work for many years before they had their "big break". Just as it takes a plant time to sprout from a seed, grow leaves, bear fruit and provide sustenance, anything worth achieving takes time. Your art business will grow and evolve naturally as long as you keep showing up, and noticing the new doors that are opening for you, and walking through and up the next rung of the ladder.
Of course, with anything in life, sometimes giving up can make sense for any number of reasons, and it is ALWAYS an option. And while being your own boss has its benefits, it comes with a great deal of challenge. If you are not up to the challenge, that's ok. It doesn't make you a failure, because whenever we do or try anything, we have the opportunity to learn and grow. The most important thing is that you love yourself and you love your life, and only you can know what's best for you.
But before you quit, consider the 3 things above.