It has been harder than I expected to make this feel like a coherent project. Coming off of the 100 Day Project I felt like I wanted another long-term goal-oriented project, or at least my thoughts were something along the lines of “Whoa, I actually did that! Surely I can set other goals for myself and achieve them!” The 30in3before30 project is chugging along, but more slowly than I expected, due to August being mostly travel and other distractions. I’ve had a hard time coming back from that, and so September has also been less productive than I hoped. I’ve made some progress, though:
- I am almost done with a quilt, and my plan is to have it done by a week from today. It wasn’t an in-progress project (because clearly I’m a glutton for punishment), but I’m going to count it as checking off this item as long as it gets finished!
- I have just the final finishing steps to go on one shirt I’m sewing for myself, and (again, glutton for punishment) I’m thinking about taking a few hours for myself tomorrow and trying to start+finish a different pattern that promises to be easy. We’ll see.
- I’m still knitting!
- I’ve read two whole books (All the Light We Cannot See, and A Walk in the Woods, both excellent ), cover to cover, since I started this challenge! I still have approximately 10 different in-progress books, surely I can finish at least one more of those.
- We rearranged all of the everything, so that I have my own separate studio space now! That line item on my goal list read “Rearrange and organize the studio”…organization is still TBD.
Today’s #stateofthestudio is #bashthecat reminding me that even though I can get to my desk again, after the disaster that was rearranging all of our furniture on Tuesday, I still have a long way to go until this space is fully functional, and in the meantime he’s enjoying climbing Mount Sewing Supplies. #crafterproblems
- We went to the Boston Public Market a few weeks ago and drank Taza chocolate drinks, ate freshly made apple cider mini donuts (made by a donut robot machine!!), and then wandered over to Saus and ate poutine. It was delicious, and I suspect I will venture there again before my birthday rolls around.
- Last weekend we drove out to our favorite apple orchard and grabbed some Gravensteins and some Honey Crisp apples, peaches, donuts, and cider. This is another one I hope to repeat before the end of October.
- I’ve been walking more, which is awesome! Still working up the courage to try running again, or biking.
- I don’t know that I’ll be able to fit in Portland and Vermont before the end of October, there might be too many other fun weekend things already scheduled. We’ll see.
I’ve had the hardest time with all of my business goals, even though these are the things I expected to be most effective at accomplishing. I had a bit of an ah-hah moment yesterday, that’s still sinking in. I listened to a few episodes of this podcast called Raise Your Hand Say Yes, and this particular episode, called The Power of Knowing Your End Game made me sit down and listen. It describes perfectly the overwhelm I’ve been feeling. As a small, handmade business owner I’ve been trying to network online with other people who are doing the same, and “find my tribe” as they say. This has led me into this strange world where (it feels like) every other small handmade business owner is transitioning into mostly giving advice to the crafty millions. This is awesome! More power to these ladies, and a lot of the information is super helpful! But holy cow, I’ve been doing a terrible job of actually doing my own work, because I’m allowing myself to be steered in zig-zags by all the “shoulds” I’m picking up along the way.
Listening to this podcast (the gist of which is know, own, and focus on your own “why” instead of everyone else’s “should”) was simultaneously a “Whoa, she knows how I feel even before I realize that’s how I feel” moment, and what I guess could be called a “Definitive Three” moment: in the last two weeks both my husband and a close friend of mine have independently said to me “Do you even like what you’re doing?” Ouch! Right?!
I’ve been so determined to do business-y things “The Right Way” according to the Internet, and I’ve been feeding, instead of training, my own perfectionism monster. I’ve ended up paralyzed and miserable!
All of my goals for my business for this challenge are things I have complete control over. They don’t involve gaining a certain number of followers on social media, or making a certain number of sales, they’re all about doing the work: spending the time to prototype and test new designs, get them photographed and up in the shop, and get ready for the holiday season. I am going to refocus on these goals, do the work, and see if I can make up for being so lost the last few weeks.
And I think my next long-term challenge for myself will be…different. This one is so far-reaching and wide-ranging that it’s making me feel distracted, not well-rounded!