I had a blinding flash of the obvious last week when one of my mastermind trio suggested I apply my well-seasoned coaching skills to my own new venture: creating one-of-a-kind penny rug pillows and wall-hangings. As Homer Simpson would say, “Doh!”
Somehow, I had the magical thinking that it would spontaneously materialize; be born out of me like an ancient goddess. The immediate feedback to my Instagram images, sincere enthusiasm from family and friends, and my own desire convinced me that this time, the business would simply emerge, full-blown, out of my talent as an artist.
Not so fast…
At my first craft show in 1973, strangers came up to my booth and paid me cash for my batik eggs. A well-tailored woman approached my display, said she was the Special Events Director from Bloomingdales, and would I conduct a workshop the following spring. My belief at that time? It’s so easy to make money selling your art.
English translation: Beginners luck!
Decades later I re-experienced that beginners luck with a flood of interest, a quick commission, donations of beads, buttons, even an offer of a sewing machine. It’s now my job to decide what to do with all of this.
How big do I want to grow my textile business? How much should my pillows and wall-hangings sell for? How many can I make in a week, a month, a year? Who is my audience? Do I want to hire help?
After that mastermind session, I sat down with my CEO (aka me) and created a mind map for what would be required to launch. I contemplated my vision, defined my market, enumerated what help I would need to enlist, and took several steps in that direction.
Before I made this Big Girl leap, though, I had to have an attitude adjustment. That involved a power greater than myself, who I invited into the process. Even after all these years of entrepreneurship, I wanted it to be easy, self-revelatory and immediately profitable. I wanted to do it all on my own. I didn’t want to ask for help. I wanted to magically be thrust into the limelight, sought after and praised.
But the truth is, what I really want is to handle these beautiful wools, to make meditative stitches to hold them together, and to apply beads and buttons to embellish the patterns. I want to be supported taking those steps. A large commission would destroy that simplicity.
A quote I live by is Goethe’s: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves to. I needed to make the decision and to begin.
I committed by hiring someone to help me set up an Etsy site, a photographer to capture studio and product shots, a designer to make me a new logo for this part of my business, and a data expert to help me find vendors more efficiently. In other words, I invested in myself.
Even more to the point, I’ve defined my vision: I sell 4 penny rugs (pillows and/or wall hangings) a month to appreciative collectors world-wide for an amount that allows me to maintain an uncomplicated lifestyle of beauty, ease and contribution.
It takes help to make that happen. I stand willing and able to launch this dream.