~ Learning to do nothing ~

There are plenty of big changes to get used to when you become a business owner. One of the changes I still ‘struggle’ with is learning to do nothing, and that I don’t have to use every minute of my day wisely.

Ever since I began my journey as an entrepreneur I have noticed that I find it very difficult to ‘stop’. It’s near impossible to quieten my mind, which I have adjusted to and have learned some techniques to help with. But to actually sit on the couch and do nothing is still an act that I (or my partner) have to consciously force.

When I do manage to make myself sit on the couch, you’ll usually find me either on Instagram (which is full of design inspiration and beautiful things to broaden my creativity) or reading a book/magazine that is somehow motivating me and increasing my knowledge ~ all benefits to my business.

As I write this post, I’m actually finally sitting on my couch for the day – it’s 7pm and I’ve been up and raring since 5am!! To be honest 7pm is ‘early’ for me to finally stop for the day, however I’m forcing myself as I have a raging headache. So despite being unwell, and there being absolutely nothing wrong with allowing myself to lay here and simply do nothing, I’ve still managed to convince myself otherwise and am instead writing this blog post.

My partner is a huge help with this ‘problem’ and very often ensures that I knock off from work at a reasonable hour and enjoy some time with him on the couch to wind down, which I am very grateful for! I still have a million things flying through my mind (did you send that invoice, crap dont forget to ring that lady back tomorrow, whoopsy you forgot to send that quote off, oooh yes better add all that to the To-Do list) and rarely pay attention to what’s on the ‘box’, but atleast I’m resting in some form.

Another thing that really helps is yoga! For the past few months I’ve replaced my heavy lifting workouts for calming, stress-free yoga sessions and I’ve never looked back! I aim to practice yoga atleast twice a week but usually make it 3 or 4 times, because it’s the only try space where I feel relaxed enough to completely let my thoughts go. It’s also fantastic for releasing tension from sitting at a computer all day, and has tremendously lowered my stress levels.

Another tool is to drown out that little voice in your head that is reminding you of how much work you SHOULD be doing and all the other bits and pieces that you COULD be doing with your time (like calling your mum cos it’s been ages again) with positive remarks, and reminding yourself that it is completely and utterly “ok” to relax for as much time as you need.

It still makes me laugh when people make comments about how easy working from home must be and how cool it is being my own boss. If only they knew the daily struggles and waves of personal manipulation that goes along with it ha ha. It IS really cool and yes, I CAN do whatever I like (such as going to yoga whenever it works for me). But just like it does when you are employed by someone, your responsibilities and conscience seem to take over and you do what you should be doing rather than what you’d necessarily prefer to be doing.

xx B xx

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~ B travels Europe ~

{ Something from the very beginning of B ~ running around Europe in 2013 with a ‘B’ }

Last month marked the 12 month anniversary since my first trip to Europe. Prior to this trip I had only been overseas a handful of times, mostly Bali and once to New Zealand. Prior to my departure my gorgeous Aunty found me a white, wooden letter ‘B’ to take with me. At that stage the ‘seed’ of Studio B and starting my own business had only just been planted, and everything was ‘on hold’ until I returned from my overseas experience. It was so incredible travelling with this intention in my mind, and I know that I saw the other side of the world in completely different eyes than what I would have if that seed had not yet been planted.

 

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My trip began flying over to London and having a few days there on my own ~ travelling alone is something I highly recommend to everyone. It is such an eye-opening experience and I really surprised myself at how well I accomplished and enjoyed it!! Anyway, a couple of days later I was on my flight to Belgium to meet up with some friends, and head to the most insane music festival in the world ~ Tomorrowland!

 

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Words cannot describe the next 5 days. That festival is completely out of this world, has had a significant impact on my life and I will absolutely be going back one day (hopefully 2015). I listen to music differently now, and any sound of dance music throws goosebumps across my entire body and brings tears to my eyes. I know it sounds strange, but until you’ve experience something to that level (250,000 people from different nationalities jumping to the same beat) you can’t really compare or begin to comprehend.

 

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Leaving Belgium was sad, as I had been so relaxed and comfortable spending time with the familiar faces of my friends. I headed back to London, and met up with my gorgeous friend Christie who was exploring the next exciting part of my trip with me.

 

 

 

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We had a couple of days in London exploring and then jumped aboard our Topdeck Tour Bus for a 22 day experience of a lifetime! We possibly would have been slightly more excited at this point if we hadn’t found that incredibly fun cocktail bar the night before and weren’t so god damn hungover. Yep, a churning stomach on a bus for hours = bad idea!! We quickly decided that that would not be happening again ha ha!

Our 22 day tour saw us exploring Paris, Nice, Switzerland, Florence, Rome, Venice, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Amsterdam! Beautiful wine, delicious food, incredible new friends, uncountable laughs, plenty of dancing, too many selfies, and a pretty stylish ‘stack’ on a bike tour later – we had absolutely had the time of our lives!!

It’s just the little things that you see and take in that will hopefully remain embedded in your mind for the rest of your days – the smell of ‘perfect’ in the air at the swiss alps, the feeling of a snow ball hitting you in the face for the first time, the richness of the French Riviera, the staleness of that weird dingy little pub in Prague, the feeling of a pebble ‘beach’ on your feet in Nice, the salty ocean you jumped into in Croatia, the sound of horse shoes on the cobble-stone streets in Ljubljana, the taste of your first beer in Berlin, the reflections of beautiful flowers on the canals in Amsterdam, and the peacefulness, balance and harmony on that incredibly perfect lake in Slovenia (Lake Bled).

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One aspect of my trip that I will never ever forget is carrying that timber white ‘B’ with me everywhere. Even my new friends were helping me setup fun photos with it, and pointing out “B’s” everywhere on signs, logos, flyers, graffiti, menus, trains and boats. It was during that trip when I would introduce myself as a ‘graphic designer about to start my own business’ that my dream developed further and further into a reality that I couldn’t wait to get home to!

 

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The design inspiration over there was absolutely incredible. The shop fronts and displays in the major stores in London, Paris, Rome and Verona were mind blowing! The contrast of such old beautiful buildings displaying modern crisp funky designs made me smile every single time.

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Surprisingly graphic design-wise, Amsterdam was by far the best inspiration ~ even the laundromats had beautifully crafted logos. I even discovered a gorgeous store that had been owned for many years by a lovely (and a little quirky) man who used antique letterpress machines to create prints and greeting cards! I was like a kid in a candy shop! Needless to say, I purchased a print of a beautiful ‘B’ from this inspirational man, and it proudly sits in my studio along with the timber white letter that was very much the Beginning of B!

 

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I can easily say that I reminisce on my adventure every single day, and without a doubt it is by far the best thing I have ever ever done ~ not only personally but also for my business and my creativity. I can’t wait to explore more of this amazing world, to open up my imagination even further, spark new creativity and remind me that anything is possible. Thank You Europe!

xx B xx

~ First sick day ~

{From Tuesday, 8th July 2014 }

My partner has been feeling unwell the past few days and smashing the vitamins, veggies and cold & flu tablets feeling like he was getting a flu that’s going around at his work site. Annnnnd yep – now he is fine but I have got it!!

I had a sleep-in until 7am, which probably made me feel worse than if I had have gone to Crossfit at my usual 5:30am. The day started ok, I got a fair bit done, but I was no-where near as productive as normal. Ugh, I HATE being sick!!

At about lunchtime I started to feel really sick in the stomach, I was working on a very detailed information wheel design, and it was make me dizzy! I tried eating some soup thinking this would help but only got worse… Gosh! I have far too much work to do to be sick!!! I had to lay down as I was really unwell… At first I couldn’t even relax as I was so anxious about the work load but yet I physically couldn’t get up either.

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Eeeeeeek!!! I’d fallen asleep and it was 5pm!! Uh Oh!…. That was my phone beeping with a text message. OMG. This is officially the first time I’ve had a nana-nap during work hours (which everyone often assumes that I do ha ha). I’m trying not to overwhelm myself again, my body obviously needed the rest. I just really hope I’m feeling better tomorrow so I can catch up. It’s such a weird feeling – not having to call in sick, or notify anyone – except for my valued clients of course.

xx B xx

~ Beginning with B ~

So yesterday 9 months ago I launched my very first ‘business’… at the age of 24.….on a Sunday! What was I THINKING?!

I cannot believe it has been 9 months already!! I’ve been wanting to share my journey with you all for so long, it’s amazing to finally get it ‘out there’ – which is what this little blog will predominantly be about. I hope you enjoy reading about my experience so far – the ups & downs, excitement & anxiety, success & stress. I will be sharing some milestone moments with you, and I’m sure there are plenty more stories yet to come!

~ So here is a little  snippet from the very Beginning of B ~

Nerves, anxiety and fear aside, I am actually TOO excited about launching my business that I can’t wait for tomorrow (hence doing it on a Sunday). I’ve been holding onto this secret for MONTHS which is HUGE for me! Like really huge!

I am a graphic designer, with 5 years experience in the industry in a remote ‘town’ in Northern Australia. I have grown up here, and my family have been up here for many years – so I am lucky to know a lot of people and how the industry works. I have named my graphic design business Studio B Designs (the B is of course for Brooke – thats me!).

Friday was my last day in my full-time position with my previous employer – which is sad (because they were great to work for), and exciting as I leap into my new venture. Over the past week I have been sending out ‘teaser’ posts to my 621 personal Facebook friends… I’ve told them I’m “working on something very exciting… what could it B?” There has been plenty of ‘bride’, and ‘baby’ guesses but only a couple of people guessed correctly – “business”.

So with a “eeeek here we go” I finally hit ‘post’, and the readily prepared Studio B Facebook page was revealed. It got 100 Likes in the first hour! Holy Cow! I was expecting some feedback but this is just amazing, what a feeling!!

It’s been such a long time in the making, so it’s incredible to finally share my new life with my friends. My incredible partner, family and close friends have been so supportive and forever encouraging – I just hope I can create the picture that I can see in my mind.

So here we go! Welcome to Studio B… {yep it’s going to take a while to get used to saying that – along with “I’m self employed”}…

xx B xx