Finding focus and the next right action.
I'm just over a month into running my own show and a lot of people are asking "how's it going?"
REAL answer or polite, "I know you have other things to worry about" answer?
If you run your own business, you are probably smiling (grimacing) and thinking back to your early days because you KNOW how this period of time feels. And if you don't, you might think it sounds interesting (or you think I'm crazy). But I think this is a good place to share with you what goes on behind the scenes when you are building a creative empire from scratch (yes, I said EMPIRE ;).
This week, here are few of the more interesting things going on with Ply Studio:
- Outreach: I'm sending out a call for makers and artists to join forces with me and teach at Ply (if that's you or someone you know, drop me a line!)
- Writing, writing, writing: copy for my website, this newsletter, social media posts and more.
- Email: nope, it turns out I couldn't get away from it by leaving my day job. Crap. Since I wear ALL the hats (business owner, customer service lead, workshop instructor, shipper/receiver, cleaner, etc.), I just can't avoid the constant messages. Bah.
- Workshop design: Designing the next workshops that I'll be teaching in March (weaving - all different levels, crochet, macrame earrings and maybe one more if I can squeeze it in). I'm also working with other artists to design their workshops and master their online delivery.
- Shipping stuff: Running a small business that has physical stuff for sale means that you are going to have to get it to the buyer. I think that the experience you have when you purchase something from Ply is SUPER important. So, this is kinda fun to work through.
- Creating stuff: Spinning yarn, weaving examples and creating supply kits for upcoming workshops. Yep, that's part of my job now - yippee!
- Collaborations: Working on an Instagram collaboration with a few other artists as well as stuff for 2 books that I'll be in this year.
This, and all the other stuff that is too mundane and boring to tell you about. It all makes for a lot. And I am aware that switching back and forth between so many things all day long is not a good thing. But, with no one to delegate to, it's all on me.
I'm trying to get better at starting and finishing my tasks. At not having 25 tabs open on my browser. At setting a timer and sticking with something for a set amount of time. At putting on my headphones and blocking out distractions while I think through something. I use a great agenda (which I'll tell you about another time) to help me keep track of the 3 things I prioritize each day. AND get them done. I listen to amazing podcasts to break it all down for me.
The good news is that as I learn to better prioritize and follow my mantra of Keep Showing Up everyday (and lately Single Task! and The Next Right Action), I'm getting somewhere. My email list and social media audiences are growing, my workshops are drawing in new audiences (because they are virtual) and people are walking away enthusiastic and sometimes obsessive about their new skills (#featherinmyhat), the physical studio space is looking better every day (and it will be awesome when you can swing by to say hi!), I'm making some cool art to share with you, and perhaps most importantly, I feel a strong commitment EVERYDAY to the drive behind this business: that making things by hand makes us feel better. I truly believe it and I want you to feel it too.
What's on your heart and mind this week? Does any of this resonate with you? Share your comments - I read them all and appreciate you taking the time to tell me what you think.