Peace Signs

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

I've put a lot of what I was working on, on hold since I learned about my physical problems. It hasn't stopped me but it definitely slowed me down a little bit. Finding the rhythm to become a healthier me isn't difficult but it put all the energy I had into me and not my business, future or otherwise.

Having said that, after a few months of this new me, I am now ready to tackle some business plans once more.

I am concerned about the financial end of things ... so much so that I actually made myself ill for a few days both mentally and finally physically until I realized what I was doing to myself. How my thoughts were sabotaging all the love I have for mosaics and all the wonderful dreams that are associated with my calling. I have, in the past, sort of shook off these thoughts as a dog does water when he's wet. But these past few weeks have been harder to shake and in hindsight I am assuming I just need time to put all the pieces back together in my brain so I can once more plan and dream. I am concerned about the monthly debt I have to pay with no steady income. I am concerned that without collateral (except my art) I won't find the backing/financial help I need to move forward. I think those are legit concerns but I also think if I stay in that mindset, I will never move forward due to fear.

It's time to start thinking once more about what I want to do. I made a new vision board. This one is just a reminder that I do have favorite words and phrases that I use to pull me out of a bad day. I've named this one "stories" because these are the stories I tell myself over and over again.

In this board, I've shared the other 3 vision boards I've got hanging up, and below that, some of my favorite sayings.

One is from Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Excuses Begone" book. He gives examples of our excuses as to why we can't do things. The excuse is: "No one will help me." The affirmation is: "The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time." I tried to get that all into the sentence in the board but it wouldn't fit, so I made a brief version that reminds me to stay open to whatever comes along.

My "Wish Upon's" mosaics have the tag line: "Wish, Believe, Trust, Receive" with them. These are small boxes I made that hold the dreams and wishes we always have. Writing them down and putting them in a special box especially for wishes, is why I made them. I don't have any more available but am considering finding a way to make more once I get a little money gathered up for supplies again. It would be great to make up little jewelry boxes with a star on them (the other boxes I made were star boxes with a lid but are sadly no longer being made) like this.

Cool, huh?

The third reminder, is loosely based on Mike Dooley's teachings about the Universe and how we perceive life in general. "The Universe has got your back!" is probably the most accurate thing I could remind myself to keep me in a positive frame of mind. I am reminded that if I focus on what I don't have, or lack, I will get more of what I don't have. Focusing on what I'd like to have in my life, not just money (who doesn't need more money?!) but also a more fulfilling life sharing the love I have for mosaics with others. It is so important to me.

I have come to a crossroads in my business life. What used to work 6 years ago, no longer works. I have done everything right, but the formula no longer works. I have a lot of online shops and venues for selling my mosaics and other art. I use social media constantly. People ooohhh and ahhhh and tell me how wonderful my art is, but very few actually purchase anything. It's time to do something different because what used to work, no longer serves me.

I'm ready to take my mosaics out in public (and me with them even without proper teeth or a happy smile ... it's time to overlook those physical problems and forge ahead) and do craft fairs a few times a year, maybe building to 4-6 within a year. It takes help and money. I have the help, thankfully and gratefully my cousin has offered to take time off from her job to help me for a day when I need it, to man the table and carry the mosaics. My daughter has said she'd help me if I needed it and I might just have a new Facebook friend who will help me too. Anything is possible! My Dad has a table and a tent he uses when they do outdoor events and he might even have a chair or two we can borrow. The first craft fair I found close to me is in August and I contacted the person who is running the show and she told me I can hand her the money for the space on the day of the fair as long as I confirm I'll be there. Now all I need to do is find the money.

Without a steady income, it is difficult to do things like this. Savings is long gone. It's hard to do anything, really. I have been fortunate to live with my daughter and her family for a long time and it's been mostly wonderful and rewarding. Seeing most of my family every day, especially my grandson, is awesome. There are times when I need, for example, a new pair of shoes. I can't buy them. The fam definitely can't buy them for me, they are stretched to the limit. Luckily within the next few months, I hope to qualify for social security retirement benefits. That will at the very least keep me in shoes. But, getting from right now to September (I'm assuming the benefits won't start until I'm 62 but I've yet to call the social security office to find out ... it's on the list to do today!) is difficult.

However ... as far as the business end of life goes, I see nothing but blue skies! I'm about to contact someone I know who works for the Chamber of Commerce in our town. I'm hoping to make a connection through this person to see what my future holds as far as getting a studio workshop open and functioning. Just because I can't see how to do it today, doesn't mean it can't be done!

As Oprah says, one thing I know for sure: the Universe has got my back!

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