Thursday, January 2, 2014

systems vs. goals.

so, it is a new year. 
i do not miss the old one a single little bit. ok, maybe a little. 
it was so full of stuff.
 a lot of good and some irritating. 
i wish i could tell you all the little details, but they are not all that memorable. 

in the world of the big (my) picture, i started to work on building a more firm selling presence
 in real life. 
i did a lot of shows. by that i mean 48 days of showing. 
that is a lot of setting up and breaking stuff down. 
so now i am totally sick to death of my show 'look'.
 it has been kind of a quest to reinvent a nicer show set-up and breakdown. 
the most important parts are of that would ideally include that everything looks super-good to great, 
it all fits into my beast-mobile for travel to varietal venues,
 and it needs to set up/store/break down easily. 
i may be asking for too much, but it is my great white fish
(hee hee, seinfeld reference).
the more important part of this 'in real life' experience, 
 has been to have a good inventory for the shows. 
this means a lot more things made behind the scenes or in between shows. 
this is not always the easiest to keep in balance. 
i wish i could say with certainty, that it all was perfectly even, i have my doubts.
in retrospect, my goals fell significantly shorter of my fantasies than my realities. 
 ways to identify that measure is through the earnings i created, the contacts made, and/or the branding that was identifiable.

i am pretty sure that the branding worked out, in almost all situations. 
i even went so far as to finally get a banner and business cards made. 
these were absolutely invaluable and i could tell within days how effective having these tools were. 
it wasn't like i never had cards before, i just made sure that they were really good ones and the money spent on them was well worth it. 

my work was seen and i.d.'ed at brimfield and at other places i was not present to represent myself. 
so that was a super win for me. 
i was identified twice in my undercover persona(my day to day slovenliness),
 by folks that knew my work from stores, the Boston MFA or my facebook pages. 
one woman came to SOWA from a significant distance(D.C. area?) while in the boston area, 
to meet me in real life. 
a couple from Ohio recognized me at a shopping haunt, from my facebook profile. 
i am still blown away by the hugeness of the internet's power. 

as for the money end of it, i am not in the red this year end.
that one was a total surprise.  
i am rich as hell in both resources to try to replicate items and 
in-house inventory to make other cool stuff with. 
so that is a double win as well. 

also, folks came to my regular gig at SOWA to find me on days i was or was not there. 
another win. consistency is king. 

as for the things i wanted to do yet did not...
and,,,well no offense to anyone, customers or folks that trusted in me, 
i took customer requests and was unable to complete all of them. 
i lost orders. literally. my house is my studio and it is a little dare i say disorganized.
it is enough so, that i purchased a couple of items twice. 
not a huge deal, but surely not good for efficiency. 

 i also was accused of things that never happened. this is what happens sometimes when you put yourself out there. 
i had a lot of dreams after middle school, that bullying in real life would be over. 
i had the realization that i've dealt with a lot of significantly mentally unwell people... 
and because of that, my sense of when i am around the underbelly of illness, i am unwittingly too tolerant of it. 
this is something that i also worked on since it can be hugely problematic after you extend yourself to find unpleasant characters afterwards.
(a so-called friend stole my wedding & engagement and learn).

i read recently an article recently,  
that goals are not the view to which successful people drive towards. 
they use systems. 
so i am going to work more on systems in my upcoming days. 
they need to be more of a 'honed' and less of a 'flying by the seat of my pants' methodology. 

also, i am a little bit bored. 
i know, i am my own boss. 
 it is a totally unreasonable thing to whine about, since i write my own schedule and set my own rules. 
what i did not achieve as well as i might have, was a balance between my varied places of selling. 
it is worth saying that i was juggling shows, a very bare on-line store, facebook promotions
and a half baked wholesale experience.
simultaneously, i had a bit of a creative block on a couple of necklaces. 
it feels the same as the way i feel when i try to get a perfect gift for a good friend. 
the pressure i imagine, makes me just freeze in place.  

there was also being mom and wife and a few other home related hats. 
NONE of these places i spend my thoughts and life are ones i can walk away from. 
i am always going to be driving my own needs and deeds. 
so like i said, no whining ... and accepting that not everything went smoothly all the time.
( a lot of the time, the teen drama did amuse me) 

i guess there was a lot to freak out about, balance as well as possible, and try to improve upon. 
it hasn't been easy to manage everything while i was worrying about something else. 
anyone who knows me also knows my family motto is :
a newish friend said in a very matter of fact manner, that i was probably managing my time a lot better than i thought i was. 
i never considered that. 

now in my mama mode, it is time to cut my teen girl's stupendous and pretty hair. 
she expects such services. 
she says things to me such as the famous:
"just cut an inch, ok? how much is that?"
as hard as it is to restrain my sarcastic nature, i mentioned that she has seen a ruler in her life, so it should not come as much of a surprise about what an inch of hair looks like. 

so as part of my effort to instill a fresh system, 
i am going to do my 20 minutes of work in my studio space. 
massive epiphanic moments have erupted. 
two weeks spent resurfacing and colorizing my new chest of drawers are the direct focus of my present interests. 

those drawers are being reorganized and filled each night. 
in the mornings as i try to awaken to my to-do list for the day, 
many good ideas have come to me.
i have felt really badly that my use in my basement space has been ineffectual and irregular. 
i use my husband's drill press a lot. he dislikes my cluttering his space with my stuff
(it is super cool, no matter how much he gripes... i suspect he is just jealous).
so my plan to do several things...
1. create a system for storing my shipping/wrapping materials 
2. also make a personal space that is my own and does NOT need constant calibration...with my own 
drill press. 
3. the area needs to be reconfigured. 
when i moved my things in, i had an idea of what i might enjoy as working space. 
layout, storage of small jewelry items, fabric cut-out area for sewing, a sewing area, etc. 
i no longer sew really. 
i need my own drill press. 
my smaller chests of drawers are sagging a smidge in their middles, 
which lends me to think that they might be better off on top of a stronger base. so it is perhaps time to take out a tape measure and move stuff around. 
it is becoming a little clearer that i could snag a couple more chests and get some really good storage in place, or move some file cabinets to make a more considerate base. 
something has to give. 

there is a lot more to babble on about, but this is beginning to give me a headache.
i probably already have over-indulged in my cookie habit du jour. 
there have been poor choices in house recently, 
so i made some good old chocolate chip standbys last night. 
seriously, scratch baking is ALL GOOD!
in spite of teen gal having hijacked the entire household supply of brown sugar
(which i think multiplies in the pantry over time)
and a bag of the yummy special chocolate chips i like to use... 
the cookies came out superyummy delish. 

use a small bit of molasses in with plain white sugar if you need to make a brown sugar substitute. 
also instead of chocolate, i subbed in half of the chip addition in the form of butterscotch ones. 
i had my faithful assistant aid in the process. 

it is also my farewell to cookie eating for an indefinite period of time.
 that and the return to playing more tennis. 
i love tennis. 
if a good heaven is happening, i will someday have a waistline again. 
gotta work on this system too. 

farewell for now and happiest of new beginnings. 



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