4 Mantras for Being Boss in Work and Life

By Kathleen Shannon

Whether you’re a full-time creative entrepreneur paying the bills by doing what you love or hustling to build your dream job on the side, you have to get in the right mindset to really be boss in work and life. Because the truth is this: Blending work and life—doing what you love for a living—isn’t always easy. At times it can be downright scary, hard, and lonely. And getting in the right mindset can be tricky when you feel like a fraud (surely we’re not the only ones who feel like we’re faking it sometimes, right?) or close down shop and crawl under a rock. We use mantras, phrases, or affirmations we repeat to ourselves over and over again, to literally carve out neural pathways in our brains that keep us positive and productive. We’d like to share four of our favorites with you.

Don’t Quit Your Day Dream” limited edition print by Matthew Taylor Wilson

1. “I Chose This”

When we interviewed Lisa Congdon and her wife Clay Walsh on our Being Boss podcast, the full-time artist told us she gets through the roller-coaster ups and downs that come with self-employment by remembering that she chose her path. She reminds herself with every pressing deadline that she chose to live the life of an artist. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in your own daily grind that you forget you’re living the dream—and if you’re not, you get to make different choices.

Chalkboard Dreams” notebook by Jennifer Pace Duran

2. “I’m Wildly Productive and Living the Dream”

A few years ago, my calendar looked like a crazy quilt of meetings and deadlines—I was scattered and spread thin. Every time I would run into a friend or creative comrade, they’d ask me how I was doing, and my standard response became “I’m crazy busy.” And then I noticed all my friends had a similar response—soon, “crazy busy” replaced the typical “Good! How are you?” My life coach, Jay Pryor, taught me that words hold a lot of power—so when I was beginning to feel insane, I decided to shift my response from “crazy busy” to “wildly productive and living the dream.” And guess what? My calendar was still packed, and my deadlines were still there—but I felt a little less crazy and more in control of my attitude toward my workflow.

3. Just Make $100

A lot of people are obsessed with five-figure launches and six-figure salaries. It can be easy to feel like you can’t keep up with all the creative rockstars out there when you just want to pay the bills doing what you love. A desire to make bank isn’t a bad thing, but big goals can be paralyzing. Our mindset when we need to get our hustle on is to do just one thing that will make us $100 today. That could be wrapping up a client project so you can send out that final invoice, or selling a couple digital products by sending out a newsletter with a solid call to action, or posting an image on Instagram specifically telling your followers how they can support you. Just make $100, and more will follow.

Three Wishes” custom art prints by Griffinbell Paper Co.

4. Give It All Away

As much as we love money (no shame in that game), we also love giving it all away for free. What do we mean by that? Being boss is all about being generous with your ideas, openly sharing your gifts of knowledge, mentoring someone a few steps behind you with your experience, and giving away stuff so good people would willingly pay you for more. And that’s the whole point—when you “give it all away,” you establish yourself as a creative expert, which then leads to getting hired by dream clients. If you’re an artist or maker—don’t fret—you can openly share your creative process or the story behind your work. Openly sharing why you do what you do is a gift that will give your work a story your audience wants to own a piece of.

I hope these mantras help you feel more boss in work and life!

Kathleen Shannon is the co-host of the Being Boss podcast and co-owner of Braid Creative & Consulting. Her life mission is to help other creative entrepreneurs be themselves 100% of the time. When she’s not attempting to take over the world Kathleen is in the boxing gym, watching Netflix, or cuddling with her husband and toddler.


Published March 17, 2016 • Want to join the Minted Artist Community? Submit to a Challenge here.

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