The Business Diaries: Learning My Way Through
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.