As I start my small business journey with my new venture, Make + Do, I wanted to share some of the thoughts and insights I have as I develop my brand.
I started Make+Do (said ‘Make and Do’) almost impulsively. I had wanted to start my own business for about three years and had chosen the name Make+Do about two years prior to this winter. I approach life with a lot of thought, but the thoughts had turned to fears and I had a lot of nervousness about actually starting my own business. I was incredibly worried about what people would think of me, if I was “good enough”, if I was “creative enough” or if I was even capable of or deserved success. When I decided to bust a move and be a part of a local craft fair, the decision was such a quick one, that these insecurities didn’t have any time to surface. For a week I developed my product, created my brand and worked out some basic administration and finances for the craft fair to work.
As I worked that week, I couldn’t expect ‘perfect’, but I was able to create something really lovely that represented me well and had the ability to evolve as I did. By taking immediate action I was able to overcome my fear of getting started at all!
December started to get really hectic, but I knew it was important to maintain the momentum I had created for my new business. I made a list of things I knew I needed to do to get started and began to work through the list, accomplishing things like ‘start a facebook page’ or ‘create an etsy store’. On the list are also goals to ‘list a new item on etsy every week’ so I can grow my inventory.
One of the challenges I have faced so far is maintaining my momentum. Christmas forced me to slow down and it also really burnt me out. The last few days after Christmas I was really tired and found it hard to get my house clean and normalize my life again. I don’t feel right about putting my duties as “the woman of the house” on hold every day in order to work on my projects and I can’t concentrate on much of anything when the house is messy. Balancing my responsibilities at home with my part time job and my new little job has been challenging requires a lot of discipline. One way I am trying to stay focused and define my roles is by creating a work space for myself that is just for make and do. I work in our living room and at our dining table a lot so I can spread out and have a level place to cut my fabric. We have a second room which was intended to be an office and work space for Zachariah and I, but it has honestly been such a disorganized space that I mostly just keep the door to that room shut. I have been making an effort to keep it tidy and many times I am able to work in there, but I still float out into the living room.
Another initial challenge is knowing what to do each day to move my goals forward. I have had broader plans for Make+Do, but the day to day actions which result in larger success were harder to figure out. I took an evening to break down my goals into smaller tasks and then categorize the tasks by type. I decided if these tasks were daily, weekly, monthly or seasonal tasks and created a few different to do lists for accomplishing these things. Each day I try to work on my social media, responding to blog comments, shipping, and of course, making things. However, Sunday and Monday are days which I write my blog posts and take photographs. If you feel overwhelmed with the amount of work which your goals require, this is a good approach. I feel a lot more comfortable with my work load now that it is broken down into daily chunks. Additionally, if at any point I feel directionless, I have these lists to look to for guidance.
+If you are starting a new business this year, so far I would really recommend taking a week to work furiously and impulsively on your goal. I found that I shed insecurities and found a lot of clarity in my goals, direction and style when I did this. Its helped me to let go of a need for things to be perfect and allow room for possibility.
+ Create a work space for yourself as much as possible. It helps to balance your life and create balance. It helps if you can shut a door on the work, especially if it excites you to the point that you don’t want to take care of anything else. That’s my problem ;)
+Approach your goals with a list and make them break down into baby steps which you can work at every day. Have a list which gives you direction in the hours which you spend working on your business.
Looking ahead, I’m feeling nervous about maintain momentum and morale as I prepare for a move and try to set up shop someplace new. I don’t Make + Do to fall by the wayside as I am packing up boxes and wiping down cupboards. It’s important to plan ahead when stressful times approach. I’m crossing my fingers for the motivation to keep up the hard work!
Are you starting a new business this year? If you have written a similar journal post, or would like to, please share it with me!
Love to you, Brittan