Finding Creativity in Lifestyle Limits

“Time Limit” by Casey Cotter – click for info

This is a guest post from Tivi Jones.

As a full-time entrepreneur, I’ve been contemplating a zany idea lately: Getting a full-time day job for the sake of limiting the amount of time I have for my business.

Why? Because I work well under pressure, structure and limited time periods.

A few years ago, I worked a full-time job, a part-time job and did freelancing on the side. My freelance business thrived, despite the fact that I only had 5-10 hours for it every week. I was also more involved in local organizations and hung out with friends quite often.

How did I do it all when now I feel like I can barely take my dog for a walk without the crushing entrepreneur’s “I should be working on my business” guilt?

Being self-employed full-time means my business is front and center and as a creative person, I’ll admit, sometimes I lose that creative spark. I often find I desire the ability to “turn it off” and walk away so that I can refresh my brain with socialization, entertainment and life — things that spark and inspire me to create.

What results could I achieve if I limited the amount of time I have for my business?

Would I streamline my processes? Dump inefficient practices? Produce more because I know my time is limited to do so?

According to Parkinson’s Law, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Could full-time creativity be completed in part-time hours? Or is this small business suicide?

How has the transition from full-time employment to full-time entrepreneur or vice versa affected your creative output?

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Tivi Jones is a Southern Belle who has spent the last decade creating business successes for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, US Department of Defense, Boeing and many “solopreneur” and small business brands. She thrives on positive energy and optimism and determinately believes in the power of having a career you are passionate about. Find her on Facebook and Twitter as well as her website.

18 thoughts on “Finding Creativity in Lifestyle Limits

  1. This is so brilliant! One of those “Yes, it’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of that!?” moments.

    I, too, work best under pressure and the idea of having a full-time job seems like a great concept. Aside from really increasing my focus during those few hours per week that I have to focus on my business, it would also allow for a steady income and, in turn, allow me to create work from a place of passion and inspiration instead of from a state of financial panic and desperation.

    Thank you, Tivi, for your insight!

    1. “…in turn, allow me to create work from a place of passion and inspiration instead of from a state of financial panic and desperation.”
      –get out of my head, Megan! LOL It’s like you read my mind.

      Sometimes I feel like I’m not as creative because of the pressure I put on myself with my business.

      I like Tara’s idea (by way of Kelly Diels) of making earning a game in The Art of Earning.

  2. Tivi,
    This is a great post!! I’ve just started an online shop/website/blog and that’s all I do and I feel exactly the same way. I really feel I need to stay home and get work done on it, but I feel I move at such a slow pace because there are endless hours in front of me all the time. I’m (hopefully ) about to start a part time job and im really looking forward to it – I think it will help my focus and productivity with the online business A LOT! Thanks for the inspiring post – its good to know there are others who feel like me out there!!

    1. No problem, Laura. “Solopreneurism” doesn’t have to be solitary. I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling this way.

      I was *thisclose* to deleting this post before I sent it because I thought “this doesn’t make sense. No one can relate to this!” OR “People will think I’m a loser for even considering this idea.”


  3. I love your post. I have always held two jobs for the same reason. I love the balance of having both of my careers. I also find that there is a lot of cross-pollination between the two. Often what I learn on one job informs or expands what I do on the other. I am fortunate that I love the work I do and have flexibility in both my roles.

  4. oh Tivi, this post is so TIMELY for me! I am a procrastinator and have always been better at getting things done when I am down to the wire. I was beginning to think that I was just hopeless and how the heck was I going to do this solopreneur thing? when your post gave me the epiphany I needed – I need to have a full time job. Then I can work within very strict time limits, which I need to not procrastinate and then I will also benefit from what Megan said about working “from a place of passion and inspiration rather than a state of financial panic and desperation” Good job ladies! thank you for these insightful posts!

    1. No problem, Karen!

      I started out by picking up a couple freelance gigs to help “distract” me from my business.

      Although, technically it all rolls into my business bottom line, I can turn off my brain from my business and focus on someone else’s for a while.

  5. Wow, and I thought I was alone on this! Thanks so much for writing this post, I thought I was a little crazy for thinking just the same, and here I see, there are many more who feel the same way.

  6. Yes!!! Perfect timing. I’m actually riding along on a friend’s work trip just to get out of the studio and clear my head. I’m finding it takes me physically getting out of the studio to get the creative spark. I’m prone to the self employed guilt myself. I’ve toyed with the idea of a part time job, but I think I’m realizing it isn’t going to be the right solution for me. Still working out what exactly my solution is. :)

    1. So true, Lindsay. Sometimes just getting out of the “office” works for me too. It’s amazing how much inspiration and creativity is out in the “world.”

  7. Ah, what perfect timing! After taking a year’s leave to work on building a business, next month I am returning to my former 9-5 job three days a week. I am approaching the change with curiosity, seeing how it could serve my business and creative projects, rather than detract from them.

    Thank you for your post. : )

    1. Here’s to your success, Steph!! I started feeling like a “sell out” for thinking about “going back.” But at the end of the day, I had to experiment and test and see what was the best situation for me. I hope you find yours too!

    1. I forgot that notion when I started working for myself. I started thinking I had all this time for my business, which has its pros and cons.

      Love this quote, JBStudioArte!

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