Putting the Ally back into Alleyway designs

So here we are, dipping our toes into 2023. How does it feel for you? Personally, it feels a bit daunting and scary to me (Ally) as last year was a bit (a lot) of a slog. It was messy, chaotic, heartbreaking, and very uncertain. The joys of running a business hey?

As I sit here, only three days into the working year, doom-scrolling and therefore spiralling reading that everyone is feeling ‘excited and rejuvenated’ for the new year, while i'm sitting here with a half empty cup and pondering on the question, “how to know when to call it quits on running your own business?". And, If I'm being honest, it's a question that has been taking up a lot of space in my mind for maybe the past two years.

I'm not saying I am ready to ‘give up’ per-say, but I am ready to radically change the way I am running and approaching business this year, because lately it has not been bringing me joy (or profit), and isn't the reason we do this, on some level, is to serve and support ourselves? To have the freedom and flexibility of ‘working for yourself’ and to gain back the control that you relinquish when working for someone else?

So, I pulled up a comfy chair and put pen to paper (I actually used connector pens and quickly wondered why I ever stopped using them), and scribbled down a) what hindered the growth of Alleyway and b) what drained my creative energy. Honestly, I hated every minute of this exercise as I am not the 'reflection' type of person (don't dive into the psychology of that, we'll be here all week). I am all action and no plan, but dang it, I see the benefits. If you had a bit of an ‘off’ year like me, I suggest trying to do something similar in whatever way suits your personality best.

Things to leave in 2022 🗑

  1. Super long and drawn-out timelines
  2. Handing the client too much control
  3. Not treating Alleyway as I would a client
  4. Ignoring gut-feelings and red flags
  5. Feeling uninspired by my environment

Things to action for 2023 🧃

  1. Taking on less projects at one time
  2. Being firm (like good tofu firm) with our clients
  3. Blocking time to be the CEO of the business
  4. Trust that if it feels icky, it will 100% be icky
  5. We're moving to a new place and new studio

So, here's to 2023, here's to giving it one last crack and trusting your gut.

Big love,

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*That pun is always intended

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Alleyway Designs is currently bouncing between Vancouver Island, Canada & Fremantle, Western Australia. We acknowledge and pay respect to the Lkwungen People and the Whadjuk People, the traditional custodians of both lands on which we work. Always was, always will be.
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