Some thoughts on building a thriving creative career

Some thoughts on building a thriving creative career Kempton Shaw Shoot 01 DSC 0475 Filter

I am writing this to you from a private room above one of my favourite coffee shops, which is a regular hot desk space for me. Next to me is Mr K, making notes ahead of a full day of interviewing for a new team member. We just had a conversation about how it never ceases to amaze us how doing what we love enables other people to do what they love, as well as pay their mortgages, be there to collect their children from school, explore their own creativity or whatever matters to them. Being able to employ others in your own business is a huge responsibility, but also a huge privilege that you become part of that person’s career story.

This got me thinking about the ripple effect of any of us following our hearts and doing what we love. Other people sense it, get inspired by it, start asking themselves why they also can’t do it, and we become beacons for others feeling stuck or unfulfilled. The reward of that is almost as precious as the doing it ourselves.

Of course it isn’t always easy, and confidence can be a massive barrier to creative success. That’s why I invited Lilla Rogers – top art agent and my co-Founder of – onto the podcast this week to share her thoughts and advice on thriving in a creative career. Listen in here and give yourself a huge motivational boost.

This month it feels like we have opened the faucet and so many new things we (and our amazing teams) have created are spilling forth into the world. Let me give you a taster, so you can see how much variety there can be in a creative career (and see if any of these new things can help YOU in yours!)

–       Today sees the launch of The Colour Gang, the new members’ club from Make It In Design which I co-founded with Rachael Taylor. We have created this in response to huge demand from our alumni for an accessibly-priced, year-round place to go for creative challenges, colour-based teaching, trend reports, and a buzzing community. And now the doors are open – come and join us here!

–       Next Monday is the first day of the first live class I have taught in over a year – it is a brand new co-taught class with Lilla Rogers, called MATS MBA (Money BadAss), a three-week intensive and super-fun course to help you deal with your money stories, take control of your money situation and figure out how to make a lot more in your creative business. It is completely video based (with daily videos and a downloadable Playbook), and includes a weekly live teachings with Lilla and me. If this is for you, come and join us. Starts next Monday!

–       We are on the countdown for the release of my new book ‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life. With just over three weeks to go, I am looking forward to a photoshoot, videoshoots and a lot of podcast interviews over the coming days. If you would love to discover what life lessons lie hidden in ancient Japanese culture and aesthetics, I think you will drink in every page of this book. If you pre-order before August 30 it you can also get a place at my live group coaching sessions which will run online from late October-early November, diving deep into the main themes of the book and reflecting on what they could mean in your life. To secure your spot just pre-order from Amazon or any bookshop and pop your details on the form here.

Phew! So much goodness in such a short space of time! Thank you for being part of it, and for believing in your own potential to do what you love. It’s an ongoing journey for all of us, and I am so grateful to share it with you.

Beth Xx

Some thoughts on building a thriving creative career BK WABI SABI PREO.DER FB 3.1 800X400PX LR

Unleashing your creativity

There is beauty, creativity and purpose inside each and every one of us. Yes, we get days where our sparkle is dulled, but by breathing into it, understanding who you are and what’s important to you, will help you bounce back with the vivacity you’ve always had. My next guest on the Freedom Seeker Chronicles podcast, Pia Jane Bijkerk knows all about helping creative people to slow their minds and listen to their hearts.Unleashing your creativity FS PODCAST FB S2 015 LR

Pia is a stylist, photographer, author and creative mentor and down she is also a wanderer, a philosopher and a seeker of beauty. I called Pia to the show because I knew the strength her story has brought to the many people who know her (including me) and I can’t wait for her to share with you the creative, guiding principles she lives by which allows her to unleash magic across the world every day.

Listen in for a real dose of creative energy.

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New book ‘WABI SABI’ teaches life lessons inspired by ancient Japanese wisdom

New book 'WABI SABI' teaches life lessons inspired by ancient Japanese wisdom WABI SABI WIDE

‘Wabi Sabi: Japanese wisdom for a perfectly imperfect life‘ will be published by Piatkus on August 30. This is the second book from Do What You Love founder Beth Kempton, and offers a whole new way of looking at the world – and your life – inspired by centuries-old Japanese wisdom.

Wabi sabi (“wah-bi sah-bi”) is a captivating concept from Japanese aesthetics, which helps us to see beauty in imperfection, appreciate simplicity and accept the transient nature of all things. With roots in Zen and the Way of Tea, the timeless wisdom of wabi sabi is more relevant than ever for modern life, as we search for new ways to approach life’s challenges and seek meaning beyond materialism.

Wabi sabi is a refreshing antidote to our fast-paced, consumption-driven world, which will encourage you to slow down, reconnect with nature, and be gentler on yourself. It will help you simplify everything, and concentrate on what really matters.

From honouring the rhythm of the seasons to creating a welcoming home, from reframing failure to ageing with grace, wabi sabi will teach you find more joy and inspiration throughout your perfectly imperfect life.

This book is the definitive guide to applying the principles of wabi sabi to transform every area of your life, and finding happiness right where you are.


Pre-order your copy today to get access to a series of group coaching calls with Beth, where you will dive deep into the main themes of the book. Find all the details and book your spot here.

American/Canadian friends – you can get a copy from with 10% off and free shipping, or wait for the North American version to come out next year!


When you ‘don’t have time to create’

When you 'don't have time to create' Flowers 3

This hot sticky July evening has me dreaming of cool lakes and gentle breezes. I wonder how the season is unfolding wherever you are?

I spent much of the past week in the company of flowers – sweet peas and scabiosa, blousy dahlias, astrantia and achilia, purple agapanthus and many elegant dusty roses. I was on a floristry course, not because I want to become a florist, but because I want to have more flowers in my life and learn how to care for them, and because I needed a break from my screen, doing something creative with my hands.

Isn’t it funny how so often, we tell ourselves we don’t have time to get creative, at the very moment we need to be creative. The reasons we give ourselves for not making time for creativity are often the very reasons we need that time. This was certainly the case for me last week.

When you 'don't have time to create' Flowers 1

Getting on a train to London last Monday felt like an outrageous indulgence, knowing that I would be offline, conditioning stems and arranging bouquets instead of working through my to-dos. But here’s the thing. I have come back from that week refreshed, rejuvenated, full of ideas and with a whole lot more energy, not to mention an archive of photos I can use for work.

As an aside, watching the flowers wilt in the heat, and then seeing them rally again with fresh cool water, reminded me how we also need to nourish ourselves properly to be at our best. I am now using the sight of flowers as an aide-memoire to drink more water!

This week I want to encourage you to find some time to be creative – whether that means taking a whole day out to make or do something, or finding a small pocket of time to create some beauty in your day – and see how different you feel.

When you 'don't have time to create' Flowers 2

In other news, I will shortly be announcing two brand new workshops I am going to be teaching in California in September, at one of the most amazing venues you can imagine. I would love to share the experience with you. More on that in my next newsletter – stay tuned!

Have a great week,

Beth Xx


On prioritising the important stuff

On prioritising the important stuff nick hillier 3283721

Three times in the past week I have been asked how I prioritise personal projects, when there are so many other demands on my time, so I thought I’d share some ideas with you today.

Firstly, it’s important to be really clear on why you want to do the project you want to do. Sounds really obvious, but if your reasoning isn’t crystal clear, the project will slip and other things will eat the time you were meant to make available for your project.

Secondly, it’s important to block out a realistic amount of time to make progress on your project. I have two versions of this kind of time – one set of blocks is non-negotiable, another is moveable depending on what is going on. This gives me flexibility (because life happens) but also keeps a level of commitment (because if you keep releasing your blocks of planned time, you’ll never get anywhere new).

Thirdly, I try to focus on one chunk of the project in one given block of time. So, right now I am working on my second book (hurrah) to a very tight deadline (eek). I have found that getting super organised gives me just enough boundaries to then be creative and free within the chunks of time I have. I might pick one particular chapter or idea within a chapter to focus on, and only work on that in a particular 2 hour block of time. Ideally creative work needs even bigger chunks of time than this – a full day, or a full week, but when that’s not possible, even a couple of hours can be valuable if you can dive right into the heart of the matter.

Lastly, it really helps to share your plans with someone for some kind of accountability. Right now Mr K is that check-in person for me. At the beginning of each day I am working on my book I tell him what I’m going to focus on, and then report back at the end of the day. Sometimes I get done more than I expected, sometimes less. Sometimes I find I have gone off on a tangent, but talking about it really helps me realise whether I used my time well, and then I can adjust accordingly the next time.

If you don’t have anyone in your house to help you stay on track with your personal projects, try finding an accountability buddy in real life or online, or get a mentor who is invested in your progress.

With so much going on in our busy lives, and so many demands on our time, combined with our natural tendency to prioritise others before ourselves, it’s no wonder that our personal projects often slide. But these projects are where much of our joy and genius lies, they are stepping stones to a more creative fulfilling life as we explore what we are capable of, so this week I encourage you to try out these ideas and see what works for you. Let me know!


On prioritising the important stuff

PS This is the last call for our free Winter Writing Workshop, which starts TOMORROW! If you want accountability for a writing project, this is a great place to begin. With daily writing prompts, thoughts on the writing life and a community gathering space where you can connect with other writers, this will get you back into the rhythm of writing! I hope you’ll join us. Sign up here (it’s free!) https

Feeling stuck? This could help you figure out what to do next!

Feeling stuck? This could help you figure out what to do next! FREEDOM SEEKER WORKBOOK V1 0111

I am writing this on a train, whizzing north through the English countryside to a beautiful hidden place, for a week-long writing retreat to work on my next book. The fields outside my window are veiled in frost and mist, and I just found myself doing a long and slow exhale. You know the kind that you do at that moment when you realise all your holiday preparations are finally done, your bags are packed, your out-of-office is on and your adventure has actually begun? That kind of breath.

To me the idea of having a whole week stretching ahead of me to write (which means to wander and ponder, walk in the hills and think deeply about one particular thing, chew my pencil, eat chocolate and drink copious amounts of tea) is dreamy. It’s one of the times that I really feel free, and my life is better for it.

I’m sharing this with you because I want that for you too, whatever your version of feeling free might look like. Which brings me to our newest tool to help you figure it out!

Since Freedom Seeker was published a year ago (Is that all? It feels like several lifetimes!) I have been humbled and delighted to hear how it has helped so many of you discover so much more about yourself, and inspired you to move in a new direction. One of the things I have heard over and over is what a difference it made to have practical exercises in every chapter of the book, so it goes beyond inspiration to real and immediate action.

In order to make it even easier for you to take that action, we have designed this elegantly beautiful new Freedom Seeker Workbook to accompany the book. It’s an action plan for living more, worrying less and doing what you love. And it’s in digital format so you can either type straight into it, or print it out and use it like a personal journal.

The Workbook contains versions of all the exercises from the original book, with space to scribble your thoughts and responses, and ready-made templates where they are helpful. 78 pages of goodness to help you make an action plan for moving towards your dreams!

Get your Workbook here, and dive in!

And if you haven’t read Freedom Seeker go and get your copy now to read alongside the workbook, or get it on Audible and let me read the book to you, while you sit somewhere cosy with a cup of tea and let the Workbook work its magic!

Right, it’s time for me to switch off and get writing. I’ll see you on the other side…

Beth Xx


My secret mission revealed (Hint: it’s my next book!)

My secret mission revealed (Hint: it's my next book!) SECRET MISSION UNVEILED

After several months of secret trips and meetings and negotiations and dreaming and planning, I am thrilled to share my big news with you… I am working on my next book all about life lessons inspired by ancient Japanese philosophy and culture, which will be out later this year.

For those of you who don’t know, over the years I have spent many years living and working in Japan, and have two degrees in the language. Even so, I am always discovering new things, and this book is a wonderful opportunity to dive deeper than ever into the magic and mystery.

I know many of you share my deep love of Japan and all things Japanese, so I can’t wait to reveal more over the coming months as this exciting project unfolds (starting with another long trip to Japan next month – hurrah!) I’d love to hear more about YOUR experiences of all things Japanese – please do share.

For those of you who haven’t really come into contact with that part of the world, stay tuned – you’re in for a treat!

I couldn’t be more grateful to be working on a book that brings together my three passions of Japanese language and culture, beauty and design, and personal development, but I must admit I am slightly terrified of my very tight manuscript deadline (April!) I have cleared the decks, booked time in and will be nose to the grindstone for the next three months!

More soon…

Beth Xx

18 questions to help you figure out how to make money from your passions

Today I want to talk about something which can be a real sticking point for many of us – knowing we want to do what we love but not knowing how to actually make money from it. And let’s face it, most of us need to generate an income somehow. So I thought it would be helpful to share some questions which can help you figure out what might work for you. And if you already have a side hustle or a fully-fledged business, these questions can help you extend what you offer. Depending on your situation, some of the questions will be really obvious, and others will prompt a new avenue of thought. I encourage you to find a few minutes this weekend to sit with a cuppa and your journal, and see what emerges!

  1. Looking back at my story, what opportunities are there to monetise what I have learnt along the way?
  2. What skills/knowledge do I have that I could hire out by the hour as a freelancer?
  3. What could I make and sell?
  4. What could I teach in person?
  5. What could I teach online?
  6. What could I write about in a physical book?
  7. What could I share via an e-book?
  8. What topics could I consult on?
  9. What could I coach people on?
  10. Business ideas are everywhere. What products/services are out there that I could improve upon?
  11. Business ideas are everywhere. What products/services are needed but don’t exist?
  12. What opportunities in my field are offered by rapidly changing technology?
  13. What could I do as a side project to test the water before jumping in?
  14. Could I simply ask for a pay rise at my current job to help fund doing more of what I love? (Be sure to demonstrate why this is justified based on the value you bring and have created for your employer)

And if you already make/sell something, ask yourself:

  1. How could I sell more EXISTING products to EXISTING customers?
  2. How could I sell more EXISTING products to NEW customers?
  3. How could I sell more NEW products to EXISTING customers?
  4. How could I sell more NEW products to NEW customers?

Any closer to figuring it out? If so, you might find one of our courses helpful to take the next step (and the next, and the next)

PS I’m off to Japan on Sunday to work on a top secret project! Can’t wait to share more about it soon. In the meantime, come and follow along on Instagram @bethkempton. I promise loads of gorgeous eye candy and off-the-beaten-track peeks into this wonderful country!

18 questions to help you figure out how to make money from your passions JAPAN FB 02


On finding your true calling (even if you already have a successful career)

On finding your true calling (even if you already have a successful career) DWYL steps

If you take a moment to reflect on your journey so far, have you lived out your life on the path you thought was right for you back when you left school? If so, you are not alone. So many of us have the experience of recognising what we are good at, and what brings in the money, and following some version of that path in the hope that it is a route to happiness. And that’s fine if it works out.

But what happens when you get all the things you thought you wanted – the business card, the flash car, the beautiful home and have cash left over for fun… but don’t feel happy? What if you’re left craving something more?

If this sounds like you, you need to meet my guest on this week’s podcast episode, Ruth Anslow, a woman who quit her Global Marketing Manager career to unveil a purpose-rich life as a social entrepreneur. It was a difficult road, but she discovered her true path and is here to share tips with you in discovering yours. LISTEN HERE (and if you know someone who needs to hear this, please forward it to them!)

If this inspires you to make a move, whatever stage of your career you are at, then stay tuned for our huge sale coming next week. We have up to 70% off our life changing courses, that could help guide you in the new direction you are dreaming of, or support you after you have made a major change. I’ll be back with details of that next week!


On finding your true calling (even if you already have a successful career) FS PODCAST S1 002 1

Key Moments:

[2m 25s] Ruth shares how she is transforming the food industry and the social mission she is working on

[3m 30s] Why Ruth is so motivated to solve societal problems, and why you should work for what you’re passionate about

[5m 30s] The challenges Ruth has been up against in taking on such a strong industry, and how she deals with people thinking her mission is nuts

[7m 0s] Why you should start a community before you open a brick and mortar shop

[9m 0s] The confidence that comes from seeing the community you have built rally around the cause you’re fighting for

[9m 30s] How the people you need to build your business will be attracted to the energy you put out, if you’re not afraid to ask for help

[11m 0s] Ruth tells us why she has been outside her comfort zone for the last 10 years and wouldn’t swap it for the world

[11m 35s] Ruth reflects on where her innate “dream big” attitude has come from and how the vision for her future has quickly become a reality

[14m 0s] The crucial moment Ruth realised she had built a life she didn’t want

[15m 0s] The strategy Ruth took to discover who it was she really wanted to be, and what purpose she wanted to work for

[16m 0s] How Ruth came to quit her highly paid, Global Marketing Manager career to become a social entrepreneur

[20m 10s] Why and how Ruth set up business with her sister Amy

[24m 0s] How Anita Roddick’s legacy came to be Ruth and Amy’s inspiration in starting a business together

[26m 0s] The challenges that can come with working alongside a family member and the support they have had with their communication

[28m 55s] How HiSbe the supermarket physically came to existence

[30m 0s] Why Brighton, UK was the most suitable option for Ruth and her sister Amy to open their first supermarket

[33m 30s] Ruth explains how they’ve gone from a team of 3 balancing responsibilities to a team of 11 operating the store

[35m 0s] Ruth’s dream for her future

[36m0s] How do you know if now is the right time to start?


On making a living from the things you create {New podcast episode with Jess Van Den}

On making a living from the things you create {New podcast episode with Jess Van Den} FSC 07 Jess Van Den

Many creatives dream of turning the items they make into a profitable business that can support their lifestyles so they are free to do work they love from wherever they desire. For one lady, this dream is an ongoing reality and she strives to help other makers profit from their talents and live a life that’s true to them too.

Jess Van Den, my latest guest on The Freedom Seeker Chronicles Podcast, is a silversmith from Australia who makes beautiful jewellery from her solar powered studio north of Brisbane. She’s the founder and editor of Create & Thrive & the Thriver Circle, supporting creatives turning their handmade hobby into a full-time business and together with her husband Nick, she has built a life for themselves centred around freedom and flexibility.

On making a living from the things you create {New podcast episode with Jess Van Den} FS PODCAST LISTEN BUTTON

Key Moments:

[3m 15s] How Jess came to discover the heart and soul behind her business and understand her ‘why’ in business

[6m 0s] The moment Jess decided to make her hobby her business

[10m 30s] What Jess’s day to day life looks like, her creative routine and how she balances business + life commitments

[13m 40s] Why Jess lets go of business priorities at weekends to create headspace

[15m 20s] Jess + Beth’s thoughts on managing social media as a small business owner – and the importance of showing up as your whole self [not to fill gaps in your social schedule]

[17m 0s] How Jess balances time, finances and energy for 2 businesses

[21m 0s] Jess explains the different revenue streams that come from her businesses and how they support her

[23m 05s] The challenges Jess is currently facing and how she differentiates urgent vs. important tasks

[26m 15s] Jess highlights the common challenges creative business owners face and how to overcome them

[29m 30s] Overcoming confidence issues and fear when you’re starting a creative business

[31m 0s] The power of finding a community to support you

[32m 20s] What Jess has learned in interviewing lots of entrepreneurs and changemakers for her podcast

[35m 10s] Jess explains her very own definition of Freedom

Listen and subscribe here