The man who wore all the hats

I've been learning some hard lessons the last few months.

It turns out just because you can wear all the hats and get all the work done on your own does not mean that you should.
An outward appearance of calm and composure in the face of enormous workload has been something I've always been good at.
But the underlying reality is that stress and pressure attaches itself to you and changes who you are and how you feel. Eventually it starts to show up in your health, how you treat your family, your social life, and physical pain.

I'm very good at putting on a brave face but I have noticed the shine of ambition being replaced by an everyday struggle.  The balance of Time, Stress and Money.
And what should be my top priority, my family, are suffering.
While I see my kids so much working from home I've found myself skipping out on a lot of events and activities to try and keep up in the studio. And that's not cool at all.

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  • Mandy on

    Hey Josh, don’t be hard on yourself! You deserve respect and happiness for the success you have made of your business, be proud ? Your work is awesome. Have you considered outsourcing some of the mundane/boring/non-creative bits of your business? I am a virtual assistant for a photographer, I handle all her email correspondence and billing and I run her Facebook account when she’s on holiday or wants a break. She loves being free to just do what she loves – the creative stuff! If you want to have a chat about this sort of option, flick me an email. I live in Timaru, I have met you a couple of times. Cheers Mandy

  • Kim Howells on

    Good on you recognising and acknowledging where things are at. I can sympathise; I am in a similar boat. Do what you need to do for YOU. Including time for just you among work and family commitments. Hang in there.

  • Dr Naomi Boxall on

    I have one of your (own) pieces on my wall in London. Frankly, I can’t imagine being creative AND simultaneously looking after the business as well as taking care of the family and your relationships…so please take the time you need. I remember the best lesson I learnt at uni was that you NEED to recreate yourself in order to be able to create other things.

    As for requests, perhaps there’s a period each year where these could be accommodated. Maybe during 4 weeks of school holidays or something. One request could be attended to per day and people would compete to put a request in (money going to charity?). And if the whole family pula together to make it happen, but it’s only once per year, perhaps that could work? This way people would also have the opportunity of commissioning (effectively) and should feel bloody special for having been able to. Good luck with the rebalancing. X

  • Jil Cowan on

    From one Cowan to another, I suggest re-group, filter out what is not necessary and look at what is working and what is not. Stress does not help the creative flow so do what you have to to get that family/work life balance.I agree a mentor may help with ideas that you haven’t even thought of yet! You can always build things up at a later stage.

  • Linda Smith on

    Being a business owner and artist in my field, I can relate. Balance of home, business and leisure is the key. I would suggest taking on someone who can help you with the smaller jobs (you may be able to kill two birds with one stone by involving your family into this). Definitely take some time out, being stressed does not work when you are trying to be creative and come up with new ideas. Certainly do not rule out the ‘one off jobs’, they may end up being some very good sellers. Best of luck, you are very talented and I am looking forward to the future where I own a piece of your work that perhaps we can design together.

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