Farmhouse-Kitchen-Galvanized At the start of this year, Dana and I sat down and wrote a business plan. Actually, that is not true. We didn't write a true blue traditional business plan. We still need to do that. Shameful I realize. We wrote what we are calling a "Marketing and Sales Plan". On it is a bulleted list of what we need to do for each quarter of the year to reach our goals. This type of "plan" works for me. Figure out what I need to do and then go do it. And so, for six weeks or so that is what I have been doing. I am have been working on new candle sizes and fragrances. I have been working on getting samples for our home decor line. I have been sourcing packaging options for gift packages for the holidays. I have been working on the cookbook, a catalog and marketing materials. Guess how many of those things I have completed? Guess how many samples I have in my hand? None. I haven't checked one thing off of the list. Not for a lack of trying, but I am learning all of this takes so long and there are so many variables that you just don't know until you try. I am feeling frustrated and deflated. I am not expecting everything to be checked off, I just want to check off one thing. Just one. To make matters worse, I have let things go on the blog here so that I could focus on the "list". My house is still "undecorated" after Christmas, dinners have been take-out or frozen pizza far too many times and we are not even going to discuss my "workout schedule". I do not share this to get sympathy or for to make you feel "sorry for me". I share this because many people around me, who are way smarter than me, have been telling me that this is part of my story. That the struggles should be shared as much as the triumphs. I have always avoid sharing the struggles. I will tell you that it is because I am not looking for sympathy or "fishing for encouragement". And that is true. But if I am really being honest here, it is also because I hate admitting when I struggle. And if I am really really honest, it is also because I am scared. So incredibly scared of failing. We made the jump. We have to make this business work. And so I start from here. Today is a new day and I am learning my way through it. I am learning the balance between setting deadlines for yourself to keep moving forward and accepting that there are limitations that are out of your control. I am learning that keeping my desk and office space organized and clean is a something I must do everyday to keep up and keep myself sane. I am learning that as teenagers, my kids need me a lot. I wouldn't have it any other way. The reason we work for ourselves is so that we have that flexibility to be with our family when we need to. Sometimes, that leads to making choices and letting opportunities go, even when they are painful. I am learning that this suppose to be hard. I am hoping that the hard will lead to the success feeling even better. I am learning that I can't do it alone and I am thankful for the people who have chosen to share their time, ideas and opinions with me. I can't see it sometimes when I am so in it. I am learning that I am impressed as hell with anyone who has successfully launched a business and is still running it. I want to know how they did it, how they made all of the decisions and if they will have coffee with me next week. When I first shared with you that Dana left his job and there were so many unknowns, I wanted to focus on what I knew. I guess I haven't changed too much, always wanting to know. Now I am learning, okay trying to learn, that it is okay there are so many unknowns. One day at a time. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read. Quickpen-Signature_edited-1