Peace Signs

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

Thanks for sharing the journey with me so far. I haven't accomplished a whole lot this week, but I have been working.

I've got a lot to do: read, watch business-oriented videos and filling out worksheets to narrow down and make clear what I want for the future of my business. "Where do you see yourself in five years?" shouldn't be hard to answer ... but it is for me. I see so much all at once and have to re-train my brain for the sake of focusing on one subject at a time. I really have to work for it. And it is exhausting. Look at this month's calendar!

Some things get pushed to the next week, next month or get canceled out completely (like the trip I was planning to Chicago). But for the most part, this keeps me on track and focused enough to keep moving forward, no matter what.

I mentioned the things I'm working on last week. For the most part, nothing has changed. I'm still working. The "Infinite Possibilities" Project by Mike Dooley is coming along. I don't do each thing daily (as suggested). Sometimes it takes 3 days to get through one daily project but I'm doing it. That is way more important than how long it takes.

The next thing I am doing is watching videos on the Small Business Association. Again, I mentioned this before but it's worth repeating. If you just want to get some free info on some basic business things, this is a good place to start. Sometimes they seem like a waste of time and then they will mention something I hadn't thought of. Worthy of writing it down and researching it further. That's a very good thing! Another good thing is that they have dedicated areas just for women, older women too or those who want to expand their business and aren't sure how. I recommend taking a look around the website if you live in the US. If you don't, there has to be an equivalent to what we have here wherever you live.

I'd like to caution you about contacting their mentors through SCORE. I'm not a fan. I couldn't find anyone who could mentor me in my area either locally or for the business I'm in. I found someone in Northern PA who worked in an unrelated field and she gave me very bad advice. I wrote to her hoping because she was in the same state as I was, she'd at least push me in the right direction toward someone she knew who might be able to help me. She didn't. She was very "matter of fact". I know I've mentioned all of this before. Obviously I'm not quite over it yet, even all these years later. I have moved on, but every so often what she said hurt me so much I realized I had to have had those same thoughts before writing to her. I didn't believe in myself then. So I have thanked her in my mind and am trying to forgive her for hurting my feelings. Not as easy. But I'm moving on and have come to a conclusion about mentoring.

I don't think a mentor should ever tell you not to pursue your dreams. Ever. That is what happened in my case. A mentor should help you find solutions in ways to make your goals a reality no matter how high the mountain is you need to climb in order to reach them.

This framed excerpt from the writings of Edgar A. Guest has been in my family for generations. I had it hanging near me for years but when I was moving things around a few months ago, I seemed to have put it in a "safe" place and can't locate it now. I need to find it and hang it back up, because it's the best!

It Couldn't Be Done

Okay, so ... I had a bad experience, but many more have had good ones with SCORE. Just be aware that not all advice that comes at you through any website, family and friends, no matter the source, is something you should take. Including mine! I do suggestion that you listen to all advice, be open to it all. Take that advice of mine, please. From there, make your own decisions based on how it feels inside when you think about what you've discussed, read or been told. Please don't give up. I did for quite a while and it changed who I was briefly. I have to work on my self-esteem once more but I'm getting there. Just remember: if it deflates you or devastates you when you're told you can't do it, move on and forget their advice! Forgive the person who "means well" but who doesn't understand your passion and continue on. NEVER GIVE UP.

I am always on the lookout for free workshops to take online. They usually get you on a mailing list for paid workshops or other services the people who do these workshops are in business for, but it's worth an email from them once in a while, pitching their services. It's actually a great learning tool in itself and something I might use myself one day. I've taken 3 free workshops, a few were a few weeks long. One came into my email daily to read, download worksheets and work on. Those I do at my own pace and I have found I'm focusing more on these things now than I was before when I first starting thinking about all of this. With each workshop and email I find to sign up for, I am becoming more clear in what I want for my business.

Each step, each thing I do, gets me closer to really knowing what I want. All the suggestions and advice have been wonderful and now I'm ready to take the time, however long it takes, to work on what I've learned and learn more.

I think next year will be a record-breaking year for my business. I predict, in that year, from this day to one year in the future, I will have made connections I never thought possible. I will have learned exactly what I needed and how to get exactly what I want for the studio workshop.

Here is the 3rd Vision Board I've made. For now, I'm not going to make more. I like the three I've done and can work on each one or all three in any given day. Once I feel like I'm ready for another challenge, I'll make the next board.

This board is called "Working On It". It shows one of my favorite quotes, my new logo (soon to be done in mosaic form), a nice template showing what I'm working on, the paperwork I'm doing, a possible space in the future for my studio and workshop (located near grocery stores and restaurants), how to find funding and lastly using online workshops. That covers a lot of visions. And ALL possible.

Those of you who have considered going 'legit' or expanding your business, I recommend using small vision boards. I can't tell you what a great tool these have turned out to be for me. I've done large ones before and gotten upset when I realize how much I want to accomplish and it seems overwhelming to see it all in one spot. Smaller boards, breaking up what I want to envision for myself, is the way to go for me. I printed out 2 copies and posted one near me and keep one in my worksheets and papers I need to read. They really work for me and keep me enthusiastic about the future. Especially on not so great days.

Tomorrow I will share an update about my personal fundraising campaign. If you haven't read it yet, please do. Share it if you would. The wider it goes, the more likely it'll be noticed. All donations are welcome and gratefully accepted. If you aren't comfortable with donating in that way, consider buying a piece of art from one of my shops or ordering a custom made mosaic. Right now all profits go toward the debt. Thank you!!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics