The month of July marks two years of being self-employed. During university I started this blog,
which then my readers inspired, SS PRINT SHOP, a stationery brand I both own and design. It’s been
such a humbling experience to develop in this creative community that has given me so many
opportunities I am incredibly grateful for. Some of the most common e-mails I get are advice on blogging,
growing a business, starting a brand etc. Being your own boss is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work,
time and dedication. Staying motivated, creative and inspired is the root of it all. Being a creative I can offer
some simple advice (in my humble opinion) and tools that help me make the most of my days,
all the while having fun doing so.

Create a pretty space that will motivate you to work & stay inspired. I love coming to a place where

I love to work. Surround yourself with things that fire you up and inspire. Wall Art is one of my

favourite things to decorate with in any room of a home, but especially the office. These desk cards by

Lara Casey Shop are so encouraging and serve as a positive sentiment to my space. I love displaying

my own work (SS PRINT SHOP) to remind me of what I have created and

accomplished to encourage me to keep going. Some of my faves for office from my shop are,

Too Blessed to be Stressed” (Amen!), “Do What You Love / Love What You Do” and “Work It.”

I have a huge love for desk accessories as well. Is it odd that a gold pair of scissors makes me feel

giddy inside? Probably. I love these acrylic tape dispensers and staplers, because they are see through, it

helps your desk space look less cluttered. My Jonathan Adler iPhone charging dock is one of my faves as well,

and if you are wondering my iPhone case is from Kate Spade. I love that it is clear so my case

doesn’t cast any shadows or tints on my iPhone pictures!

Organization is key when you’re running your own business. Everything needs a designated spot,

from receipts and contracts, to paper clips and business collateral. I use a lot of lucite and acrylic trays,
boxes etc. so that I know where everything is at all times, and as I mentioned, it looks a lot less cluttered.

I like to have a lot of space, which is why I prefer to work at a big desk, because I like to spread out my

notebooks, magazines, tablet etc. while I am designing or creating content.

I heavily rely on my content calendar for blogging and a seasonal design planner for

SS PRINT SHOP collaborations, products and new designs. My months fill up weeks in advance,
assigning allocated time to both my blog and my shop โ€” management is at the centre of it all.
Working with brands and consistently producing creative content for the blog, while managing
a shop requires a lot of planning and organization. I use this calendar to take with me anywhere I go,
and I also have a large wall calendar so I can visually see all of my projects when I am at my work desk.
I work well with deadlines and planning, that way there is no last minute panic attack, but
rather a plan of attack! Content calendars are the best action plans.

Now that you’ve got your projects lined up โ€” pursue them! If you are just starting a business or a blog,
start anywhere. When you keep at something you will be able to perfect your craft. This only comes
with trial and error. When I look back at some of my old work I cringe at times, but it helped me grow
and it’s important to know that the learning never stops. I’m always attending conferences (or watching
them on-line), reading and lastly practicing. When I first started photography I was clueless, but I just
picked up my SLR and would take walks snapping away, figuring out my favourite time of day or
angles to shoot, adjusting settings, and the same goes for graphic design. I’ve always had a hard time
asking people questions or for help, because I’ve just always been the type of person to learn things on my own.
There’s something so great about having an awesome community to learn from though!

Working non-stop (self-employed peeps feel me?) can be exhausting, and
at times uninspiring. I feel it’s important for creatives to go outside and experience beauty. If you can’t
travel to beautiful places, buy a coffee table book that inspires you to flip through on your downtime,
take a mini road trip, walk around your city etc. Pinterest is another great way to explore and
decompress (you can follow me here!). Lastly, talk to people in your industry,
have awesome chats about how you can help each other in new and creative ways.
Encouraging each other is so important (see: 1 Thesalonnians 5:11).

Lastly, make sure you are well nourished. When I first started working for myself, I would get so
wrapped up in to my projects that I would forget to hydrate, sometimes I would even skip
meals unknowingly. When you work a 9-5 job you typically have a lunch and some breaks,

when you work for yourself you don’t always know when to shut it off (especially when you

love what you do!). Never get so in to your work that you forget about your health. I used to start

my mornings heading straight for my phone or laptop to get started because I would have so many thoughts I
would wake up with and want to put in to action. If you are the same, I suggest keeping a notebook

by your bedside table and write them down. Wake up in the morning, spend time with yourself,

make a healthy breakfast and then head over to your work space.

Taking time in the morning really sets your intention for the day. I love

a cup of tea, some fruit and reading my bible in quiet. Starting the day with His word

feeds my soul. Anything I am able to do, is delivered by God, not by my own superhero strength.

He gave me certain gifts, and it’s important to share and use them wisely. I am so grateful,

by the grace of God, I am able to support myself and help others with a job I love.

Exercise is another element that’s so important! Luckily, my dog gets me off my chair everyday for a

walk, but I try to also squeeze in some yoga or swimming (especially during the summer) when I can.

Do what works for you, I’m not a huge gym person, but I do love my walks.

In between meals I love fresh juices. For summer, this watermelon-mint refresher is perfect…
To make: Blend a cup of ice and water with some mint and watermelon slices & enjoy!

I hope these tips helped any currently self-employed (or those of you making the switch soon) to
stay inspired & rock at what you do! Sending an abundance of love, blessings & success to anyone reading this.



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