What Sustainability in Business Means to Me

When I started my business a few years ago, I was driven by the idea that I wanted to work for myself in a way that was different to a normal 9–5 job. I wanted to be inspired, continuously learning in every aspect of my work and at the same time keep my peace of mind and retain a good work-life balance.

As my business grew I lost track of this original vision. I found myself working all hours of the day, with barely any time to spend with my boyfriend. I often found myself stressing about little things which brought down my mood.

After taking a step back, I could see that this is exactly what I had tried to move away from when I set up as an artist and businesswoman. I realised this was not a sustainable way to run my business. I couldn’t keep up with it forever. It wouldn’t encourage longevity and success. In fact, by conducting myself in that manner, I realised I was sending a message out to the universe that I couldn’t cope. That was the wrong message to project: it wouldn’t attract positivity and success into my business. In fact, it only attracted stress and more worry.

For me, creating a sustainable business is not only about having a positive impact on the Earth — although this is of course important too. It means conducting my business in a way that’s sustainable for myself and my team. A way that doesn’t pollute my own mind with stress, worry or frustration. It should inspire me, fill me with joy, challenge me to grow as a person and ultimately put a smile on my face.

To me, having a sustainable business is having time to restore myself, so that when I come back to the task in hand I have clarity of mind and clear focus. Rome wasn’t built in a day and I think the key to a successful business is longevity. I now know this happens little by little, day by day with every little success achieved along the way.

For many years I pushed on with my business without thinking about developing my creative side. In the last few weeks, I have made a commitment to myself to go to a life-drawing class once a week. This for me is living sustainably. I am giving myself energy and inspiration to move on with my business. Feeding myself with creativity and learning.

Ultimately, my hope is that this positive approach in creating a sustainable business shines through in my artwork and the products my artwork is featured on.

Natasha Jade x

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