There are 9 different courses being held, and I have chosen 5 that I think are really important for me personally to take as I work on my new Etsy & craft business. The first I took a couple of weeks ago & I really want to tell you all a little bit about what I learned. If you are just starting your creative business like I am, or if you're thinking about doing so, then you might find this information helpful, so I don't want to keep it all to myself!!
Okay, so the class that I took was titled, Visioning: How do you get there from here? The panelist were Toni Morell & Tom Root, owners of Zingerman's mail order. We went through Zingerman's personal training on visioning for your future. It was very eye opening & informative for me in discovering what my goals were for my business & how I see myself getting to the place I work like to be.
Have you ever, maybe when you were a kid in English class, had to do one of those exercises where you're expected to just write, nonstop, from your flow of thoughts, for a set amount of time? You have a topic, and you write on that topic until the "bell goes off" & if you run out of things to say about that topic before then you are supposed to just keep writing whatever comes to your head.
Well we did that exercise as the main part of the class. We were told to pick a date in the future (I chose 2 years from "today") and write as if it IS that day, and to talk about where we see ourselves & our business on that day. So you're not supposed to say "I will be" but instead say "I am" while writing. Try it! Set a timer for 5 minutes & start writing as if it's two years from now or five years from now. Think about how old you will be, how old your family will be or your dog. Where you will be living, and what your business will look like on that date.
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I actually found this exercise pretty easy, since I daydream about this kind of thing all the time. BUT, writing it down made it so much more REAL. Thinking about it in terms of saying I HAVE done it instead of I WILL do it made it more real too. Some of the things I wrote about were how in two years we'll have found out where we'll be spending the next 3 years for Brendan's fellowship. We'll be moving, either into a new house around here if we're staying, or someplace far far away if we're leaving.
I wrote that in 2 years, my little business is profitable. I have started working at various art festivals & fairs around the area in the summer & before the holidays. I have obtained some wholesale accounts & my products are now sold in some stores in my area & maybe in some other Midwest states as well. I have expanded my brand to include some additional products that I have in the works or am dreaming about currently. I am also still working with the race timing company that I now work part time for.
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The main thing I discovered was that I was talking about that at that 2 year mark, I picture myself thinking about ways that I can "quit my day job" and do just my own business and race timing. Right now, I'm basically doing 3 jobs, but my income from timing & anything I start making from the business is going right back into it. I assume it will be this way for about a year. But I'm hopefully that I'll be able to start paying myself about a year from now, and hopeful that a year after that I can start to think about just doing those two things for my living. They are my favorite of my jobs, and they provide a lot of flexibility.
I think the flexibility is the most appealing part. It's really hard for me to do everyday things when both me & my husband are at work all day. I feel like I'm hardly ever home & when I am, I'm working, doing laundry, cleaning, working on the garden etc. Breaks are a little unheard of around here. It's hard to get everyday things done like, uh, grocery shopping, or getting my hair cut when I'm working all the time.
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So, I'd like to really encourage you to think about possibly trying this exercise out. There were a lot of people in my class that discovered things that they were dreaming about, but didn't even know were really part of their goals. It does make your dreams for yourself more real, & I think it makes you more likely to really develop a plan & go for them. Plus, you now have your vision, so you now know exactly what you're working towards & have a goal. You can look back at this exercise in 2 years & see how you met/surpassed your hopes! *grin*
If you do this, please let me know about it below in the comments! Let me know what you discovered about yourself and your goals in doing so! I'm looking forward to seeing what you find out!
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Thank you so much for taking this journey with me :) I'll be sharing what I learn from the other sessions I'm attending as well! I can't wait to see where we go with our businesses!
I will be linking this post up to these awesome sites.