Learning the Lesson

First I must admit, that I really struggled with whether to share this or not. I certainly don't want to scare anybody off (starting their own business,) but I've been through so much in the last few months; that I thought if I could share the lessons I've learned, it would be worth it.

Last year, I decided to start my own business, and came up with my first product - tsumami kanzashi flower snaps. I knew things wouldn't start fast, I was a new name with a new product, and I knew there would be a learning curve to get over. It took me a few months to get products together for the store, and I was pleased to make my first sale in the first week after I listed my first round of items. Fast forward to this January, I had a great plan to promote my products, first with The Sampler, and then Etsy's Showcase.

And then, in mid-February, my grandmother died. We weren't very close in the last few years, but I was very surprised by how hard it hit me. What was even more surprising, I now think I made it even worse for myself, because I didn't allow myself to really own up to what I was feeling after her death. I tried to push everything back down inside, and focus on my store. That was probably the worst thing I could have done, because I ended up wrapping all of my hopes and goals for the store, in all of the negative emotions I didn't want to release.

Consequently, I pushed myself so hard to find new products, and come up with new ways to promote my store. I put all of my happiness in that, and was shocked to find it wasn't making me happy, just to stress about how it's not doing as well as I'd hoped. It was so hard to find amidst all of my personal disappointment, the real truth - I can't decide where my happiness comes from, but I do have to open my eyes, and see that it won't be one thing. Whether that's my business, or my house, my blog - not one thing can ever make me truly happy. It's the balance that I'm looking for. Strong when I need to be, but also vulnerable sometimes, which has always been the tougher side for me to express; hopeful about my goals, but realistic with how I approach them. That's the balance I realized I'm longing for.

A few years back I caught a documentary about Bruce Lee. While he was a bit before my time, I was amazed by how smart he seemed. He had a quote I really love, and I knew I had to share it here. He said,
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.
So, I've decided to not push so hard on my store stuff. I'm still taking custom orders, and shipping anything that sells, but I won't be spending too much time developing it until I can find a balance between it, and the other parts of my life. (It won't affect the blog though, I seem to have found a pretty good balance here, and with my other activities and responsibilities.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous23.5.07

    Hi Ginger

    I am so glad that you were honest about your feelings. I look at your blog regulary and always felt that your are so 'together' - with a blog, a etsyshop, etc. It seems like you are living your dream.
    I am planning to start my own business soon and always felt like I am to insecure and unprofessional to do it - not like you and other craft bloggers.

    This honest account of your insecurities, will not only help you to deal with it, but will also help others who feel the same to be honest about it and deal with it.

    I wish you well, and that you may find peace and balance soon. Thank you for sharing.



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