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Marketing Design Dispatch

Behind-the-scenes of burnout recovery

Issue #121

Hi Reader,

Long time, no newsletter from me. It's been a few months of ups and downs and I've got some honest updates for you in today's issue:

  • What's been going well, and what hasn't been going well with my burnout recovery
  • Filling you in on a side project venture that TOTALLY flopped

Let's just get right into it, shall we?

Burnout recovery: What's going well and what's not

Back in February I uploaded a video sharing that I was going through a period of burnout and had paused my design education business. (If you missed that, watch it here for the full story)

I honestly thought of that video as my triumphant return to YouTube. I thought that it would be the start of me returning to my business by creating content on a reduced schedule. I was wrong.

But, three months later, I felt inspired to film an update about what's been going well for me, and what hasn't been going well for me during this phase of life. I just uploaded it to my YouTube channel, so I hope you'll give it a watch if you're interested!

video preview

The high level TL;DW (too long; didn't watch) for those who don't want any context:

  • My business is going very poorly
  • I'm struggling to manage work stress
  • I still have issues with my self-worth being tied up in my work

But on the other hand...

  • My newfound love of sewing is still going strong and bringing me a ton of joy
  • I'm kinda killing it at work at the moment??
  • I have a solid routine of exercise/movement every day that's doing wonders for my mental health

But seriously though, watch the video for the context and details!

My side project failure

Something I didn't cover in the burnout update video is a business venture I tried and totally failed at over the last few months.

Maybe you might even remember seeing a promo for an in-person event I was hosting in New Zealand in April?

Well, that event never happened.

Because I didn't sell enough tickets for it to be viable. 😣

I learned a LOT from this error in judgement, and I talked it through with my wonderful podcast co-host, Femke, in an episode of our show Design Life that we recorded the week the event was supposed to happen.

Find the episode in your favourite podcast app by searching for 'Design Life'

This was a very humbling experience for me, though at the time it felt more like a knock while I was already down. Seriously though: why did I think it was the right time to try something brand new (and as notoriously difficult as hosting a live event) while recovering from burnout? Would things actually have gone differently if I'd had more energy? Who knows, really.

I won't go into the details here, so please do give the episode a listen if you'd like to learn more about what happened and what I did about it.

Add a hand-drawn touch to your digital designs

I have to end this issue on a good note, with a bit of a spoiler from my upcoming annual income report: My hand-drawn vector pack, Scribbles, has sold more copies this year than last!

It's not much (as you'll see when the report is published) but to have sales coming in each month, even when I'm not producing content or promoting it has meant a lot to me.

If you don't own Scribbles yet, I have good news: it's only $5! You can get it as a Figma component library, or as a pack of exported .png's and .svg files if you don't use Figma.

Next week I'm heading off to Boise, Idaho for ConvertKit's annual creator conference, Craft + Commerce. For the first time in a very long time (we're talking pre-pandemic) I'll be giving an in-person talk. I'm nervous, but also incredibly excited! Will you be there?

See you in the next issue,

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