One of the greatest myths about growing up, is that you'll know when you're there, that you've done it. And yet, talking to my friends in their 30s, 40s and 50s, I hear that we never quite feel we're there. There are lots of reasons for that, and plenty of articles throwing the blame around for it.

I think that these days there is more choice and less security than ever. There is more freedom to break away from traditional patterns, but fewer guarantees even if you stick with the "safe" choices. And all the time, we're just making the best choices we can, while being bombarded with a whole web of opinions to tell us we're wrong. Pretty much everyone is doing the best they know how, making the best of what they have. And pretty much everyone is battling obstacles unseen to the rest of us.

The truth is that we are always evolving, always becoming. There is space for all of us. You don't need to 10x your business. You don't need to make the perfect choices, or even the best. You get to choose what's  important to you. You get to change direction midstream. You get to start again.

As much as I believe in leading from the path, in teaching the lessons I need most, I'm not often brave enough to walk my talk. It's often when I'm figuring it all out that I go silent on here. I often worry that I'm not niche enough, that I'm too much of a dabbler. And then I question the value of blogging, without that clarity.

I've had a couple of realisations this year. I heard the term multipotentialite and started using the term multipassionate as well. I also realised that while I develop a lot of different areas, they come down to three strands: 

  1. be - who I want to be in the world
  2. create - what I make and put into the world
  3. inspire - how I can lead and support others in their work in the world



Opening the studio doors

Opening my studio doors to the public was a big milestone! Last month I took part in the Open Studios event at Wimbledon Art Studios where I've had a room of my own for just over a year. 

A note about my branding: I work under my own name, Kelly Harcus, and under the business name, Everyday Joy. I started using Everyday Joy 8 years ago as a collective name for selling crafts and like a publisher's name for my artist books. It continues to feel like a good fit, although I do use my own name more than I did in the past. 

I'm sure I'll be reflecting on the lessons of that weekend over the coming months, but some first thoughts:

  • You might feel vulnerable and that's okay. Your work and your space feels very personal. Some of my happiest moments were with people who were interested, even if they didn't buy a thing.
  • The room: tidy and welcoming, but show signs of work in progress. People have come to see studios, rather than going to a shop or gallery. Seeing a working is part of the interest I think.
  • Display: it depends on you and your work. I had more out, but it seemed to confuse people, and I think it can look a little jumble sale-y. Lots of space and clear labels so people know what they're looking at, especially if you do a lot of different work.
  • Keep in touch: have cards ready to give out, and be brave and actually give them out! I think it's better if they show the type of work you have out, so that people can remember what they saw and liked. Make it easy to sign up for a mailing list - I used Mailchimp's app because I find it easy to use and they are clear about what is okay and what is spammy.
  • It is tiring, even if it's quiet. Have some work you can do, it's more welcoming than playing on your phone or even reading and I find it draws people in. Be prepared to be exhausted afterwards, but also be prepared for feeling super hyped up and inspired.