Planning for 2020

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020|Comments Off on Planning for 2020

You’ve set your goals, declared your intentions and shared your resolutions with others.  Now the real work begins to create action steps and smart goals to bring them to fruition.

Before you can create those action steps here are seven ways to prepare and help improve your circumstances, your state of mind, as well as your state of being in 2020.

  1. Get Organized

Account for you how you spend your time and energy. Use the 80/20 principle to lean on your strengths and allocate your resources more effectively. Plan for productivity, organize your physical and digital space, outsource what you can, and simplify your life.

  1. Get Going 

As many Americans are becoming less geographically mobile, that shouldn’t stop you from seeing what you want to see of the world. If you want to travel, relocate, change jobs, or become a full-on digital nomad, now is as good a time as you’ll have to make those plans and put them in motion. Artisan Creative can help.

  1. Get Focused 

We are what we attend to. Use your sharp and curious mind to better know yourself, so you can understand what you really want and determine how to get it. Practice mindfulness, hone new skills and stay engaged with a rapidly changing world.

  1. Get Physical 

If you want to feel better, get more comfortable in your body. If you find the right diet and fitness plans and stick to them, the rewards will enhance all areas of your life. At the very least, have a glass of water and get your teeth checked out.

  1. Get Social 

In our culture of hard work and proud individualism, loneliness can easily become a problem. Whether you’re an extrovert, an introvert, or something in between, it is essential that you actively engage with other humans, whether through networking events, in peer and mentor relationships, or by making sure you spend plenty of time with your family and with friends old and new. You will build a strong network and a strong spirit.

  1. Get Grateful

Take time to fully acknowledge how much support you have from the people and things around you. To do this, cultivate a daily gratitude practice and make lists of everything you appreciate. Incline your mind toward opening your heart.

  1. Get Over It

In a viral article, creative director Momo Estrella shares the story of how he transformed his mindset and his life when he changed his computer’s password to “Forgive@h3r.”

You can use the new year as an opportunity to release old resentments – if not for others, then for your own improved well being, you’ll be happier, more productive, and more creative when you are able to let go of anything from your past that’s holding you back. After all, you’ll almost never hear anyone say, “I wish I hadn’t forgiven that person!”

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals reach their full potential in life and work, whether that means having more success where they are, or by seizing a new opportunity. Contact Artisan today to learn more and make the new year your best yet. We hope you’ve enjoyed the 551st issue of our weekly a.blog.  

2020 Vision (Board)

Monday, December 30th, 2019|Comments Off on 2020 Vision (Board)

This is a special time of the year to reflect on the abundance of the previous year and to plan for the upcoming new year. In this very special case, we have a new decade to celebrate with the perfect 2020 Vision.

What would you like to see, do and be in this new year/decade?

Here at Artisan Creative, each year our a.team members work on their New Year’s goals and create a vision board or dream board. Most create physical boards, although a few opt for a digital version using Trello, Canva, Pinterest or PicMonkey.

We present our boards to one another at our first team meeting in January. The boards are a collection of our short and long term goals and include both personal and professional aspirations.

Presenting to the team creates accountability (one of our a.team core values) and enables the group to learn more about each other’s ambitions, dreams, and commitments. Some set a theme for the year, some have specific action words—others use inspirational quotes. All have in common a shared use of imagery that inspires, tells a story, and conveys a message to create a powerful visualization tool.

In addition to sharing our vision and goals at the start of the new year, we review our boards mid-year in our June meeting and share a recap at our year-end meeting. This helps keep us on track during the course of the year, which can have many twists and turns. This activity is one of our strongest team-building exercises, as it stays “evergreen”.

You can do a variation this year and create a vision board for the decade with a focus on long term goals.  An alternative is to create a gratitude board where you can continually be reminded of all things you are grateful for.

However you choose to proceed, here are some tips to create your vision board and get started on achieving your goals!

  1. Select words and images that inspire and are true to your core values.
  2. Create positivity and inspiration for yourself and others.
  3. Imagine the integrated life/work you want to live.
  4. You can either divide your board into sections for business and personal or mix the elements together throughout. The important point is to create an integrated board where your personal and professional aspirations are represented.
  5. Hang the board where you can re-visit it daily—read the inspirational messages out loud— and often! Mine is right in front of my desk, so I get to see it every time I look up from my computer.
  6. Share with others. Having an accountability partner will help you get closer to achieving your goals.
  7. If you choose to go the digital route, change your desktop to the vision board artwork so you can see it every day for inspiration and setting priorities.

Tools needed:

  • A large poster board to give you plenty of space to visualize your year, yet small enough to hang on your wall. We use the 22 x 28 size available from Staples.
  • A good pair of scissors and a strong glue stick so the pictures stay on all year long.
  • Variety of magazines to look through and find those inspiring words and pictures.
  • (Optional) Markers/stickers to write on or embellish your board.
  • Patience and Creativity.
  • Time to reflect.
    Cut images and words throughout the month. Select aside a day to create the actual vision board. For some, it’s easier to start with a theme and for others, the pictures and words shape the theme of the board. There is no right or wrong method, harness your creativity any way that works best for you.

What is your goal-setting process?

Happy 2020!  We hope you’ve enjoyed the 550th issue of our weekly a.blog.

Digital Detox

Thursday, December 12th, 2019|Comments Off on Digital Detox

Like most things, screen time is best in mindful moderation.  As the holidays approach, we have a good opportunity to unwind and take a digital break.

As digital technology proliferates through every aspect of our lives, we are becoming more cognizant of its potentially less-savory effects. Taken to an extreme, the use of such technology can hamper our productivity, sociability, and mental health. Indeed, some of the most wealthy and well-connected people are beginning to ensure their children spend less time looking at screens.

It is possible to take advantage of the profound benefits that digital connectivity has brought to our life and work while mitigating the harm it can do when overused. Here are a few ways to do this.

Become More Aware of How You Use Your Screen Time

If you think you may not be using digital technology as wisely or productively as you could be, start by keeping track of how you actually spend your screen time.

There are numerous apps designed to help you measure or limit your screen time. Try one, and get a more accurate idea of your use and how your time is being spent. You can also follow these few tips to keep yourself from common indulgences that are likely to be counterproductive or to make you unhappy.

  • Turn off unnecessary notifications and get updates at certain times (rather than all the time). This will eliminate some of the digital distractions that can prevent you from doing deep, focused work.
  • No scrolling in the morning. Start your day with exercise, mindfulness practice, or a productive morning routine instead.
  • Read a book, practice meditation, and engage in other activities that might be more enjoyable and less stress-inducing than looking at social media or the internet.

Try a Digital Detox

If you think digital technology is really cramping your style, it may be time for a digital detox.

Take a mandatory day of rest, or even a week, and see what it’s like to go without electronic devices, apps, and the internet altogether. Let everyone know you’ll be off the grid for a while, and spend your time resting, working with your hands, or bonding with friends and family.

You may find that those notifications weren’t nearly as important as they may have seemed and that you didn’t miss anything you couldn’t just as easily handle later.

Don’t Overdo It

Unplugging is becoming a fad in its own right, with some of the excesses that entail. You can moderate your screen time without doing anything too extreme.

You don’t need to subscribe to highly demanding regimens of dopamine fasting or do anything else that could compromise your career, your relationships, or your happiness.

Again, the key here is awareness and moderation. Take stock of how you spend your time. Regulate your digital intake as much as you can. Make sure you have all the time you need for the pleasures and challenges of “real life,” and you should be able to keep your digital technology working for you, rather than against you.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals, businesses, and teams make the most of all aspects of their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 549th issue of the a.blog.

Giving Thanks 2019

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019|Comments Off on Giving Thanks 2019

We give thanks to our clients and talent, and to our a.team for 23 years of building a more creative world together.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Here at Artisan Creative, we have a #gratitude Slack channel where throughout the year our a.team shares what they are grateful for daily. Everything from bike rides and nature walks to home remodels and healthy families, we recognize every day how very fortunate we are in so many ways.

Here are some snippets of shares on Slack from the past year:

Grateful for health.
Grateful for family.
Grateful for laughter.
Grateful for loving relationships with friends and family.
Grateful for enriching experiences.
Grateful for launching our artisan podcast on creativity, inspiration, and determination.
Grateful for our virtual office and not commuting—celebrating 10 years of working remotely.
Grateful for a strong body and mind.
Grateful for learning to wake up to life at a deeper level.
Grateful for new friendships.
Grateful for old friendships.
Grateful for sunrises and sunsets.
Grateful for being able to give back and helping others.
Grateful for our 4-legged furry friends.
Grateful for air travel that makes it possible to see family and friends who are far away.
Grateful for babies sleeping through the night.
Grateful for positive attitudes.
Grateful for the bathroom remodel being done.
Grateful for “Find My Phone”!
Grateful for self-care.
Grateful for new beginnings.
Grateful for the amazing a.team!
Grateful for 23 years of Artisan Creative.
Grateful for our clients and talents.
Grateful for new additions to our team this year.
Grateful for our focus on life-work integration.
Grateful for living and being true to our core values.
Grateful for continual learning and growth.
Grateful for knowing and understanding our strengths.
Grateful for mindfulness.
Grateful for the entrepreneurial journey.
Grateful for a happy life!

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.
The artisan a.team

Creative Team-Building Activities

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Creative Team-Building Activities

In business, as in life, so much comes down to effective communication, coordination, and collaboration. When teams work together to solve problems in a fun environment, they can bond, connect, and learn to trust each other in ways that will help them navigate through difficult challenges in the future.

This explains the perennial popularity of team-building activities. Team-building exercises can take place inside or outside the office. They can be competitive and cooperative. Some are more fun and creatively galvanizing than others.

If you’re leading a creative team through a project or you’re a manager supervising creative professionals, it’s important for you to decide what team-building activities will best help your team to coalesce, cooperate, and put their best qualities into play.

If you’re looking for unusual team-building exercises to fire up the imaginations and problem-solving skills of your team, here are a few we suggest.

Escape Rooms

Escape room games have exploded in popularity in the last few years. They give your team a chance to work in concert and breakthrough to freedom, generally through solving a series of puzzles. As team-building exercises for professionals, escape rooms can reveal hidden leadership potential, teach colleagues new ways to support each other under pressure, and reveal issues that may need attention, all in an atmosphere leavened by storytelling, humor, and fun. Winning an escape room game can be a strong bonding experience, and even if you lose, you will gain valuable insights into how you can work better together.

Painting Parties

A painting party can give your team a chance to get moving, get their hands dirty, work their imaginative muscles, and share fun new aspects of their personalities, all in an environment emphasizing creativity, conviviality, and joyful expression. Kristine Griffith, owner of Paint ‘n Sip, a mobile paint-party service based in Los Angeles, describes a painting party as “a relaxed environment and a non-competitive activity that releases stress and facilitates conversation on a level above workplace politics. Bonding ensues.”

Storytelling Games

When you encourage your teams to tell stories about themselves and their work, it can help them develop a sense of structure, better appreciate their shared values and mission, and see their challenges by fresh and more useful lights. Such “inside games” draw on skills ranging from recalling shared memories to strategizing and mapmaking, and can incorporate the tools of brainstorming, authentic relationship-building, and improvisational comedy. You could even make a deliverable, such as a parody music video. Such games can be great standalone team-building activities as well as wonderful ways to break the ice before meetings.

At Artisan Creative, we have many ways to support managers in helping their teams reach their fullest potential. Contact Artisan today to get started.

Creating Your Personal Brand

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019|Comments Off on Creating Your Personal Brand

As a creative professional, how do you open better opportunities and do more of the work you love? How do you differentiate? In the context of personal branding, this means presenting yourself in a way that sets you apart from others in your field. Your personal brand should be easy to explain in an elevator pitch, yet complex enough to generate a range of ideas and evolve over time.

You can get some unusual personal branding insights from a classic Harvard Business Review interview with Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the richest person in the fashion world, and one of the world’s leading authorities on building “star brands.”

Become a Star Brand

According to Arnault, a star brand has four key characteristics. “A star brand is timeless, modern, fast-growing, and highly profitable,” he says. “It is very hard to balance all four characteristics at once – after all, fast growth is often at odds with high profitability – but that is what makes them stars. If you have a star brand, then basically you can be sure you have mastered a paradox.”

To work toward becoming a creative rockstar, you should cultivate your own unique sensibility independent of passing trends. At the same time, you should pay attention to your media diet and attune yourself to the zeitgeist. And, you must have the courage to ask for what you’re worth. A creative staffing firm such as Artisan Creative can help you get a fair price for your work.

Be Your Own Biggest Fan

“A lot of companies talk about quality, if you want your brand to be timeless, you have to be a fanatic about it,” says Arnault. As a creative professional, this means pouring your passion into every piece of work you do. It also means presenting that work in a way that showcases your personal brand in the most flattering and exciting possible light.

Make sure you invest time and attention to detail when building your creative portfolio so it best communicates who you are and what you’re capable of. Attend networking events to build a professional support system and get comfortable with promoting yourself.

Be Bold and Take Risks

When working with the world’s most famous designers, Arnault’s biggest management priority is to give them the freedom to be themselves. “If you think and act like a typical manager around creative people – with rules, policies, data on customer preferences, and so forth – you will quickly kill their talent. Our whole business is based on giving our artists and designers complete freedom to invent without limits.”

As the manager of your own personal brand, this means giving yourself some space to pursue unusual ideas and try new things. You can orchestrate the right environment to loosen your creative muscles, or do fun and experimental work on your own time – work you really love – to freshen your perspective. Also, give yourself permission to occasionally pitch a risky idea. It may unlock some hidden potential in a project.

First, build rigorous self-discipline. Then give yourself the freedom to be yourself and shoot for greatness.

Seek Inspiration From Unlikely Sources

While he doesn’t make demands, Arnault does encourage designers to broaden their horizons. “Not long ago, I said to one of our designers, ‘Why don’t you take a trip to Japan and see what the teenage girls are wearing on the streets at night?’ These girls are very leading edge in fashion; they create trends years before they hit the mainstream, like with those very high shoes, and it makes very good sense to watch them. I did not say to the designer, ‘Go and see what kinds of shoes they are wearing and copy them,’ although I was hoping he would notice their shoes. I just suggested, ‘Go look.'”

To grow and refine your personal brand, capture ideas and inspiration from as many different places as you can. Go to museums, art galleries, symphonies, and public gardens, and take note of anything that strikes you. Explore the hidden history of your profession and how it’s done differently in other times and places. Keep an open mind, and you’ll have the flexibility to do unique, courageous work that is unmistakably yours.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals get more from their lives and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

We hope you’ve enjoyed issue # 546 of the a.blog.

Overcoming Procrastination

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019|Comments Off on Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the greatest enemies of creativity. There’s an inherent paradox in procrastination – when we habitually procrastinate, we can often use more of our energy than it would take to simply do the work. And yet, even some of the most successful creatives struggle with procrastination.

In order to thrive in the digital age, creative professionals, as well as entrepreneurs and managers, must be able to work independently. Fortunately, we can all cultivate our inner self-motivated self-starters when we learn tools and techniques for conquering procrastination. When we learn to “get in the flow,” we can overcome our own procrastinator tendencies and bring our best, most inspired thinking to the fore.

Supplement Your Will Power

“If you imagine that motivation is like the fuel that gets you to your outcome, some fuels are very good, but others are lower quality,” says sports psychologist Ian Taylor. The sheer force of will can sometimes get you to the finish line, but in order to score consistent wins and improve your habits, you may need higher-octane support.

Visualize Positive Outcomes

When it comes to transcending these counterproductive tendencies, a winning mindset is key. In practice, this can take the form of imagining, in detail, the way your experience will change when you’ve completed the tasks in front of you. If the stress and guilt of procrastination only makes things worse, try giving yourself some positive motivation, and use your imaginative abilities to make your sense of impending reward as clear and vivid as you can.

Reduce Friction

To make things easier on yourself, eliminate any obvious impediments and distractions to doing your work. You can set aside less pressing obligations to deal with later. You can shut off phone notifications, or even try a full digital detox. You can find new collaboration tools or project management software that plays to your strengths. When you start by creating the right environment to encourage your most inspired deep work, you can beat procrastination before it starts.

Reward Yourself

You can always look forward to the relief of completing your work and the satisfaction of achieving your goals. Research indicates that immediate short-term rewards can be more powerful motivators. If you need some help staying on track, try taking periodic breaks, or find imaginative ways to make your process more pleasant as you go.

Keep It Positive

To stay motivated, focus on the benefits of following through on your work, the rewards of a job well done, the interest and passion that motivated you to undertake this work in the first place. Override your brain’s negativity bias, and you’ll find that procrastination is nothing to fear, just another challenge you can overcome with mindful behavior and an empowered mindset.

At Artisan Creative, we love to see our talent and clients get more from their projects, lives, and careers. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 544th a.blog.

Impacting Workplace Culture

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019|Comments Off on Impacting Workplace Culture

Most of us spend significant chunks of our lives at work. How we experience our jobs, our workplaces, and our professional cultures is a big part of who we are and shapes who we become. Therefore, all of us – HR and management, creative professionals, all of us – have much to gain from becoming more actively invested in our workplace culture. We deserve it.

As you become more aware of your workplace culture, how it works, and how to make it better, here are a few things to keep in mind.

All Culture Is Designed

Workplace culture rarely happens by accident. It is the result of values, whether spoken or unspoken and of actions, whether conscious or unconscious. When we act more mindfully and communicate our values more clearly, we grant ourselves more agency to collaborate and create the sort of workplace culture that better serves our needs and helps us achieve our goals. When we have a strong, supportive workplace culture, we can take pride in nurturing that culture and living in tune with what we really care about.

Know Before You Go

Recruiting and onboarding should include clear communication of the values, priorities, and expectations of the workplace culture. Before you join a team or take on new members, make sure your workplace culture is made explicit, and that it’s something everyone involved can proudly uphold and celebrate. It’s going to be a big part of your life – make sure it’s a good fit from the beginning.

Keep the Paths of Communication Open

If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask! Workplace culture is everyone’s business. A healthy one will encourage curiosity, new ideas, and positive contributions. As the millennial generation of workers and entrepreneurs rises in influence, its values of transparency and mission-focus can make it easier to ask useful questions and have important conversations about workplace culture.

Little Things Matter

Seemingly minor details – color schemes, layout, and organization, or whether a workplace is dog-friendly – will compound in importance over time. When you can turn small elements of your workspace or your office culture to your advantage, you make a powerful investment in your long-term success and happiness.

Check-In With Yourself

Even when you’re working hard, give yourself the time and psychological space you need to know your own mind, listen to your heart and gut, and be aware of how your workplace culture is resonating with you. The tools of mindfulness can be helpful with this process – more than a style of meditation, mindfulness is a set of habits you can adopt to develop a more perceptive and grounded take on the world. If those at all levels can become more mindful of workplace culture and dedicate themselves to nurturing and improving it together, it can be an enormously positive influence on team cohesion, productivity, and overall well being.

At Artisan Creative, we love to see creative professionals and businesses thrive. Contact Artisan today to start the conversation.

WE hope you’ve enjoyed the 545th issue of the a.blog.

Become Your Own Influencer

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019|Comments Off on Become Your Own Influencer

Social media influencers are changing the way we think about marketing. You don’t need fancy vacations or five-course meals to make use of the concepts behind influencer marketing. As a creative professional, the success of influencers can inspire you to build your personal brand, increase your network and reach, and find better professional opportunities.

Know Your Niche

As a creative professional, the more specifically you define yourself, the more you will stand out. This means honing a concrete elevator pitch and choosing a niche within your industry. “An easy way to select your niche is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses,” says digital marketing consultant Shane Barker. “Choose a niche that allows you to showcase your strengths and hone your skills further. Deciding on a particular niche will help you streamline your audience and tailor your content to suit their preferences.”

Develop a Content Strategy

Once you’re clear on who you are, you can create content that reflects your skills and values and establishes your presence and authority in your industry and community. Your content strategy can encompass your design portfolio, your social media activity, blogging, video, or anything else that gets your message out and makes others aware of what you do. To become more influential, treat yourself like a small media company, and be thoughtful and deliberate about what sort of content you put out and how it aligns with your brand.

Choose Your Channels

There are many digital channels available, with more emerging all the time. Rather than trying to use them all, it’s better to choose a few you enjoy the most and are best for transmitting your work. If you’re a visual designer, you’ll want to use video or image-based channels to showcase your aesthetic sensibilities. If you’re a copywriter, you can publish articles on LinkedIn or use Twitter to test your concepts, slogans, and taglines. Newer channels can present unusual opportunities for those on the cutting edge.

Keep It Consistent

Your choice of channels is less important than your commitment to show up and stick with them. To build influence, you should be willing to put out a steady stream of content, provide value for your audience, and pursue continuous growth and improvement. With social media, being “always-on” can be a challenge; automation software can help, allowing you to create lots of posts in one sitting and parcel them out over time.

Engage and Grow

If you persist, iterate, and keep putting your best self forward, don’t be surprised to see your influence grow over time. As your work touches people’s lives and new opportunities present themselves, be sure to engage with those who support you. The ability to develop a worldwide professional network and work out your ideas with a supportive audience in real-time is perhaps the most rewarding perk of being an influencer, even if it’s just in your small corner of the world.

At Artisan Creative, we help creative professionals find new ways to enrich their portfolios, networks, and careers. Contact Artisan today to learn more.

Lessons From A Digital Nomad

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019|Comments Off on Lessons From A Digital Nomad

Living on the road full time isn’t easy, but it is a lot of fun. For the last three months, I’ve been doing just that. I got rid of most of my worldly possessions, threw what I had left into a 30-foot travel trailer and set off to see the great American countryside. So far, I’ve set up camp in seven states from Illinois to Montana. While the experience has been a challenging one, it has also been highly rewarding. 

This lifestyle is surprisingly more common than you might think. According to a 2018 article in the Washington Post, over one million Americans are living in RVs, camper vans, travel trailers, and fifth wheels all across the country. And digital, remote work is driving the trend. 

In years past, such lifestyles were impossible for professionals. Sure, the Woodstock generation could take off in their VW vans and earn work along the way, but for anyone with a 9-to-5, a steady life, and a family, a nomadic life just wasn’t going to work. Vacations, sure, but as a lifestyle? How would you support yourself?

Now people can make money anywhere there’s an Internet connection. There are even handy devices such as the weBoost Drive (I’ve got one!) that help you to pick up a signal where mere mortals are in a dead zone. Where you can work is now extending to some of the most remote parts of the United States and even around the globe. 

I travel about once every other week, though I have stayed in some places longer. Still, I find when I stay in one place for too long I start getting the itch. Moving days were incredibly stressful at first — I couldn’t even get the trailer unhitched from the truck without a little help from friendly passers-by. Now? It’s routine. There’s a short checklist of things to be done. They get done. The trailer moves. I’m in a new place, with all kinds of new sights to see and explore. 

You’ll meet a lot of people on the road. Almost all of them are friendly, personable and willing to help. One time my truck got stuck on the road in a very bad spot. A random farmer was happy to provide assistance as I turned the truck around what could have been a very dangerous obstacle. When my trailer had a wasp problem, some neighbors brought me a can of insecticide and refused reimbursement for it. Virtually all of my experiences with my neighbors and strangers on the road have been very positive.

There’s also so much to see out there. I hadn’t seen much of America before I set off on this trip and what I had seen was confined to a few large cities. I’m writing this from a town of 2,000 people. The town doesn’t have a Starbucks or a Trader Joe’s, but it’s still a great place to stay. The local gym is filled with friendlies who are willing to point out the best spots this small town has to offer. 

You also miss a lot sticking just to big cities. There’s simply no competition for the wide-open spaces of the countryside. Mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes are all right outside my door at virtually every stop along the way. 

In over three months on the road, I haven’t stayed in an RV park once. My trailer has made its home in people’s backyards, state parks, local parks and even a couple of Wal-Mart parking lots. Not only is this cheaper but it gives me the kind of breathing room I’d like to have. The population density of an RV park isn’t that much different from Los Angeles or San Francisco. 

In part, this is possible because my trailer is outfitted with a number of amenities that make living on the road, away from everything for long periods of time, very easy. I’m going on one month in the same place with no connection to the power grid and I’ve never wanted for electricity thanks to new efficiencies in solar technology. My composting toilet smells a lot nicer than most people’s bathrooms and certainly nicer than the chemical toilets that are basically an airplane bathroom in a trailer. Yuck.

One of the best things about living on the road is that I’ve learned just how little I need to live my life. I collect things. Clothes, books, records, bric-a-brac. Getting rid of it was a very daunting task at first. But now, anytime I buy something new I have to carefully consider if I really need it. After all, any new addition to my life means less space in my trailer and more weight my truck has to pull. 

This isn’t just about owning things or not owning things. If having lots of stuff makes you happy, by all means, have lots of stuff. But in my time on the road, I’ve come to get a deeper appreciation for the experiences that are to be had over the things that can be bought. The old me would have needed to get a mug and a t-shirt from every burg and hamlet I stopped in. The new me is happy to take in the sights, the smells, and the local cuisine. 

If this kind of life appeals to you, the transition is a lot easier than you think. Most of the stress occurs in the first three weeks or so. Once you’re past that, it becomes just like any other lifestyle — routine.  That said, I’m looking out my window at some of the biggest mountains in the United States and I can’t believe they’re real. Some things, no matter how routine they are, will always be amazing to me.

At Artisan Creative, we believe in life-work integration and have been a virtual business for over 10 years. Our team works remotely, and this is our team member Laura Pell’s adventures from the road.  Contact Artisan Creative today to connect.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the 543rd issue of the a.blog.

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