Friday, October 25, 2013

What You Can Learn by Doing

For many years, I sat and wrote about having my own business in my journals. I was prolific about what businesses I could start, what strengths I could bring to each, what my downfalls might be and in what ways I might succeed or fail.  What I did very little of was take those ideas into the arena and DOTHEM!  I dabbled in things here and there, but I didn't make a commitment or really invest in making things happen.

Now that I'm diving in, I'm learning things I never could have imagined sitting out on my deck with my glass of wine, pondering all that I might do some day.

I began teaching jewelry making classes through my school district's Adult Education Department which has evolved into partnering with my friend Libby Dow to teach mobile classes in our community.  On Saturdays I teach kids art classes at Orenda Springs (did I mention I still work full-time?)   Every spare moment I have I make bracelets-I'm so excited that the orders just keep rolling in for them! Beads, elephants, skulls...My kitchen island is a sea of color! 

As I'm playing with teaching, creating and launching a business, my first and constant question is always "Do I enjoy this?"  Do I enjoy writing this blog?  What is it I like about it?  Do I enjoy twisting and bending wire?  Do I enjoy teaching kids?  What is it that gets me the MOST excited about what I'm doing and how can I do more of THAT?  That is the road I want to follow.

What have I discovered? 

I  LOVE Co-teaching. I love the collaboration, sharing and confidence that having the support of another in the room brings.  I've co-taught my last 3 classes and I've LOVED them.  When I teach alone, I sometimes leave with a sense of unease and I keep replaying things in my head that I should have said or done.  I don't feel that way when I co-teach, partly because the other person is always there to catch you if you stumble.

I'm going to make mistakes. I know that I have a crap load to learn about my online selling options.  I have my "jewelry" sales page set up to sell directly to those of you interested.  It's verified and secure and it works perfectly if you just buy one thing, but I have it set up to only sell one thing at a time!  That's not very efficient!  Fortunately, the person who taught me this by attempting to buy 3 bracelets was kind and helpful about it and now I know about it and can fix it.  It is just a matter of going back into Paypal and setting up a shopping cart vs. a Buy Now button-a distinction I did not realize the importance of until this happened. 

I need to figure out what's most important in growing my creative empire and make sure I give them time.   I'm spending so much time making that I have little time left for growing or promoting my business (or in participating in fun stuff like the online classes I signed up for this month and time with my family).  My next step is to begin planning in those important things so that I don't cut everything off at the knees by just making and nothing else.

Learning is what it's all about for me.  I'm getting clearer about what I really want to have in my life. I feel like I'm just at the beginning of something big.  It's uncertain, unknown and scares the crap out of me, but what could I gain if only I to rise to meet it?