I participate in Caveday.org, an online study group, that starts off each ‘cave’ with a theme. Today’s was a celebration of Star Wars. I drew a blank until the leader said, “It’s May 4th, Star Wars Day. ‘May the fourth be with you.'” Having seen one of the trillions of Star Wars movies, I giggled at the reference.

I promised to write about the hundred actions I’ve taken to start Jane Pollak Designs, a new venture that began the weekend before the pandemic seized up life in our world. Today’s post mentions two categories: Inspiration and Networking, but I’ll focus on the first. Come to think of it, these two are always intertwined. Whenever I’m among other people, I learn something new, often as surprising a bit of knowledge as today’s.

Other than networking, my main inspirational infusion comes when I take a class or or go on an Artist’s Date (á la Julia Cameron’s advice). My new art division was a direct result of the Penny Rug class I took at Guilford Arts Center a year ago March, the weekend before the Great Shutdown. I was deeply inspired by the medium and the work of my mentor, Liz Alpert Fay. That provided the impetus to order materials and create new designs.

Once I’d begun to accumulate inventory and share it visually over zoom with friends and family, I kept hearing, “Get on Instagram!” I’d had a minimal presence there for the past several years and knew I needed to deepen that relationship. I signed up for Jana Platina Phipps excellent class and was inspired by Jana’s instruction and success. She’s an Influencer and gave us how-to’s, tips and tricks, and demonstrated live how, for example, to post a story with music. I’m still baffled by that one, but plan to learn and do more in time. At this stage of my career, I choose to hire experts to teach me. Yes, I could (and do) go on YouTube, but the ability to ask the follow-up questions is crucial for this learner.

I continually schedule artist’s dates including walking through a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan called Marble Hill. Getting outdoors, exploring new terrain and even getting lost, spark synapses in my brain that excite and propel me. Another day I went to the Noguchi Museum in Queens which required planes, trains and automobiles – (actually, subways and busses in another borough, which I find daunting, but rewarding). In addition to what I see, my self-esteem increases as I overcome fears and conquer new frontiers.

Circling back to today’s theme, the force that is with me, that propels me on this business venture, is inspiration. It is essential to my ongoing energy and excitement. Though action steps like ‘asking for help’ and ‘following up’ are more numerous, the fuel for all of my forward movement is the stimulation I receive from fresh ideas.

What force do you rely on to move you onto the next right action?

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