Saturday, April 23, 2016

First Goal Down

I finally had to go through my list of "brilliant" business ideas and strike through the projects that I'm not likely to get to in the next 5+ years. They are saved away in case I actually decide I want to implement them, but it seems that in 5 years from now I'm likely to have some significant changes of plans. For now I really need to focus on more immediate goals and not clutter my mind with a bunch of other distracting ideas.

One new change of outlook has been a result of my businesses doing a little better than expected. A few weeks ago I made it to the home free stage where it's clear that I don't need to worry about having enough revenue to meet my financial goals (and admittedly some of that has to do with a bit of belt-tightening too), so the things I want to do to grow the business have changed somewhat knowing the basic goal of making a living has been met. And honestly I should comment on that a bit, because it's rather strange. I was talking to a friend of mine last week who is immersed in the same white collar 80 hour a week working situation I left about 6 months ago, and there's something to spending so many years successfully in that environment it seems I've been brainwashed to work that way whether I'm working for myself or someone else. She was excited for me to have this opportunity to get away and work for myself, and to the degree she may have wished she could do something similar, I had to admit there was no sense of relief/excitement/euphoria either when I started working for myself or even when I  hit that home free mark. I understood why I wasn't exactly dancing in my studio everyday when I first started working for myself since there was a lot of pressure to make money immediately. It was a bit surprising though to not be able to process the success of reaching that first goal without anything more than a new outlook on the next few goals. One of the things I loathed about working for a large company was the mentality that no one was ever allowed to enjoy their successes since they would be labeled as a high-achiever and expected to do great things year after year. Afterwards they were considered a disappointment in years when they didn't outshine their mediocre colleagues. The consequence was a lack of incentive to do better, so I guess while I'm not doing a great job of enjoying my first success, I definitely have the incentive to do better. Anyway, it was just a little disappointing in that respect.

So at this point the bulk of my goals are narrowed down to growing my current stores with new products, and finally pulling together a consolidated store (the new home page is pictured...I gave it the the old moniker to my "Gawking Not Shopping" blog since it's an oddball conglomeration of products). I've been planning this consolidated store for probably 6 or 7 years now, so I won't believe myself on that one until it's done. This time I've got a plan that allows me to implement it easily, but easily doesn't mean quickly. It's hundreds of hours of work not to mention how the work grows as I add new products to my current stores since that just means I'll have to add those products to my consolidated store as well. I've put together a plan to get it rolled out before I get all of my products listed, and then I can keep adding products as time permits while having the store open and working on SEO-type issues that improve the longer a store is online.

When summer gets here I expect sales to slow down a bit, and the plan is to take advantage of that time to get products ready for the holiday season when I'll be too busy to make all of the made-to-order items I sell. That will definitely be something to look forward to...planting myself in my location of choice and making jewelry every day. I've got to find something to enjoy more out of all of this. I am enjoying all of it on some level though. Not answering to anyone but myself (although I think I might be harder to answer to than any boss I've had before -ha!), and having a continual creative outlet is an immeasurable improvement to my old working environment. I'm definitely not complaining, nor am I considering going back...EVER!!! :)