Not All Glamorous!

Not All Glamorous!


Wouldn’t it be nice if things worked out like they do in the movies? Like setting a goal one day and waking up the next having reached the goal, and things working out exacttly as planned. Unfortunately, reality is a bit more complicated than that. The truth is that we have to work for what we want one way or another.

The business of hard work!

 

As I have mentioned in my previous post, “Boss Struggles”, I am part of many facebook communities that help me to follow my dreams and help me to stay motivated. However, I have days when I read success stories from other community members that make me wonder what I am doing wrong, and why I can’t be as successful as they are. I know that this is unreasonable of me because I don’t know their full story.  I don’t know how long ago they began their journey, how much work has gone into getting them where they are now, whether they had financial and other types of support or not. What’s frustrating to me is knowing all of the hard work I have put into my business is worth it, but the progress is also very slow.

I put so much care and energy into making my products, and I totally feel proud knowing that and seeing it all come together; then I go to a market or fair and hardly sell anything sometimes. Those are the tough days, when I begin to wonder,”why?”. I wonder why I am doing this, why am I chasing this crazy dream of using my creativity to build a business and share with others who are dreamers like me?

I also think about all of all the time and money I’ve put into starting my business. It is a sobering thing when you work so hard, get so far, and think to yourself that you can’t keep going but then realize that it makes no sense to quit now because you’ve come too far. If you do not have a solid support system, it is even easier to quit because you are too disappointed and too exhausted to keep yourself motivated. Seriously, quitting is just so much easier, but you’ll never get any better at anything by quitting.Mindfulness

Yes, you must be honest with yourself. When you have other financial responsibilities, you have to be realistic about how much you are able to put into your venture, and you have to know what your limit is when it comes to time and money. Also, at some point you have to come to the realization that maybe this just isn’t for you; especially, if you are not passionate about it.

I find that our worse enemy is ourselves at times. I am talking about all the excuses some of us come up with, like: “It’s too much to stress over the challenges of starting something I have never attempted”, or “I’ll fail anyway”, or, “I don’t know this or that”. I am talking about how we sabotage ourselves by coming up with so many reasons why it won’t work, even though deep down we know we can; which is why we want to, but are too afraid to go for it.The business of hard!

Then there are some of us who need permission from others because of our self doubt. So we ask for permission and because everyone thinks differently, we get  a pessimistic answer, not because this person we ask does not want us to succeed, but because that is how they see things. So we base our decision about our future on that person’s answer through no fault of their own, but because we are looking for the easy answer and maybe a reason not to go for it.

When we do this, we end up with regret and disappointment, and we sometimes envy others who decided to go for their dreams and do well. We beat ourselves up for wasting time wondering instead of trying.

Time will go by no matter what, so why not start now? I think we ALL know to some extent when we are truly capable of something; but doubt sets in, so we find ways to get out of trying new things because it’s not going to be easy. This happens to me, and before I know it, weeks, months, even years have gone by and I’m left with feelings of disappointment in myself for having a vision that I know was reachable, and not giving myself a chance.

There have been many other times when I have decided that as crazy as a goal might sound, I was going to try anyway and when I did, I succeeded and felt stronger, more capable. Everytime I did this I realized that I was really the one stopping me from succeeding in so many ways. I stopped myself from success everytime I knew I could do it but needed permission; I did it by choosing to be pessimistic out of fear of hurting others if I failed, when my true nature is being optimistic while knowing that I would also be okay with failing as long as I tried.

Boss Challenges

My experiences in the last 5-7 years of my life have taught me a lot about myself but they have also reaffirmed to me things I have always known to be true. I try to be a bit more open minded even when the majority of people have a different view of things than mine. I am choosing to follow my heart and my instinct. I’d rather try, and fail at something than to never know what could have been and blame myself for not trying.

Do not let fear and self doubt paralize you and control you. Give yourself a chance. Work in silence, give yourself credit when it is due, allow yourself to feel pride in what you have accomplished and let your success speak for you.

The business of hard work!

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

It’s so difficult to stay focused and on track these days. There are all sorts of distractions to keep us from focusing on what we need to get done. One of my biggest distractions as an entrepreneur/ business owner is my phone because I am constantly checking my social media, answering PMs, emails, making sure I am tracking online orders, plus updating product descriptions and photos and on and on.Mindfulness

The most challenging thing of all is me being a Gemini; need I really say more about this? 😂 Anyone who knows a Gemini knows exactly what I mean. Having to deal with multiple personalities in one body is serious work. We go from 0 to 60 in no time at all, one minute we are happy and everything is great and the next, all hell breaks loose and not even we can explain how this happens. All of this can be draining sometimes.

My love for learning is one of the reasons my mind is constantly busy. I can be talking to someone and hear them say something that I have been interested in, or that I’m not familiar with, and I immediately want more information about it. But there’s usually so much other stuff I’m thinking about, that it gets overwhelming and I sometimes forget. I have always had a difficult time keeping up with my mind because it’s constantly going fast, thinking a million thoughts at any given time.

Recently, I found myself thinking about meditation to help me be more aware of my thoughts, feelings, and maybe have a better grasp on them. At first I thought it would be impossible to calm my brain knowing how difficult it has been for me to not think constantly.

When I finally made up my mind to just try it, I chose an area of the house that was mostly quiet and unused, in this case I chose our guest room. I picked a small corner of the room and started with shelving for books I love, notebooks to write in, craft items for when I am feeling inspired to write, draw, or whatever this new adventure brings. MindfulnessI chose my favorite colors; colors to remind me of the ocean because it calms me and colors that are bright and cheerful to look at. I put an essential oil diffuser nearby and created a mix of essential oils with a scent I find pleasing and calming. I purchased some inexpensive lighting to create a calming mood for my area.

Everything I have chosen to use in my meditation area has a special meaning to me, so that it reminds me of my creativity. For example, I use photos I took in Hawaii and really feel are some of my best. The table I use is one I up-cycled, and the shelving too. I put decorative touches on the notebooks using washi tape because it’s pleasing to look at. I have a notebook for my favorite quotes, and another for writing down my daily emotions before or after meditation to be able to look back and see the difference. I also have my meditation notebook for writing down tips about meditating to help me out in the beginning. I have taken the time to collect some soothing sounds for meditation.

I began meditating daily either in the mornings when things are quiet in the house, or at night since I am usually the last one to go to bed, and sometimes both morning and again at night depending on how I am feeling.Mindfulness

I found out through research that my thinking about my mind wandering too much to be able to meditate was completely wrong, anyone can do it and it can be done just about anywhere. So I began as simply as possible. I meditated for five minutes at a time for the first few days. I set a timer on my phone, turned on some calming sounds, (here is one of my favorite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHCz8IKQcgc&list=PL4EWARlAi5fYMtoAEBh-XwB8xnTq0ERLj&index=1) sat with my back erect, my shoulders relaxed, my eyes closed, and started with long, deep breaths through my nose and out through my mouth.

My mind? It wanders, thinking about all the new ideas that pop up at the most inconvenient times, worrying about all the things I should be doing right now, but that’s okay. The goal while meditating is to focus on my breath. So, I make myself aware of my breathing and bring my mind back into focus. I do this over and over again until my timer goes off. I have increased my meditation time to 15-20 minutes per session now.

What have I noticed about myself since I began my meditation journey? I wouldn’t call it a miracle cure or an overnight solution, at least not for me. I found however, that I am more aware of myself, my feelings, my thoughts, and my mood is immediately better no matter how I was feeling when I walked into the session. My favorite is guided meditation since I am still fairly new to this and it really helps me to get into my breathing and visualization.

I am so much calmer during stressful situations because I allow myself the time to process things while they’re happening therefore, being able to react much better. I also find that I’m smiling often again and most important of all, I am more patient with my six year old who is extremely energetic. The most surprising of all that I have discovered about meditating is that even after each session, the feeling stays with me, I am more aware of myself. Before this, I felt like a zombie most of the day, I would go to bed wondering how I got through the day and felt so exhausted most nights and I didn’t know why.

I still deal with challenges, I am not exactly where I’d like to be as far as being aware of myself and of my feelings. I do have a lot more to work on but I am one step closer.

I believe the key to self improvement isn’t always just one thing, but multiple things you can do to get you headed in the right direction. My love for words (reading, writing and music) has always been helpful in getting me through stressful situations, and over time I have discovered there are other things I love to do that also work, like art (drawing, painting, anything artistic).

Boss Struggles!

Boss Struggles!

 

Starting a business is very exciting when things are going your way, and then there are days that aren’t so great, and you have to do the stuff that’s not so fun. It is hard to get motivated on those days because you aren’t feeling so positive, either because those things are tougher to do, or you just aren’t as good at certain parts of it.

 My struggles are in the areas dealing with technology, (I now blog, and I have an online store, the irony haha!), financial stuff, and not asking for help being the biggest struggle of them all. I am technologically challenged, as in all I know is I am currently inputting information and when I need it, my printer will output the information. I will not let this stand in my way however, I am bent on doing it myself because I feel a lot of satisfaction after figuring it out, though I might have a good cry from frustration, it is satisfying to see things happen just as I envisioned them.Boss Challenges

Some might say, ” Just hire a professional to do it for you”, but I’m just not there yet. I am not financially able at this point to pay thousands of dollars; truthfully, I can’t even pay hundreds really because my business is still in its infancy. Currently I am the Manager, Tech Person, Writer, Advertising Department, Packaging & Shipping Department, Designer, Janitor, etc… Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind doing most-if not all of this because I like the satisfaction of accomplishing it all! But just like anybody else, I don’t like feeling stuck. I have to be reasonable about what I can afford or not. I have invested in my business; but on a small scale. For example, I designed my logo myself because I knew exactly what I wanted, and then hired a local graphic and design company to do the final work for me so that I could have it to use on my products and look professional. I honestly don’t think I could be happier with my logo had someone else done it for me; though it took me a while to put it together. I feel a lot of pride knowing it is original and that I did it myself.

I’d rather spend money on a good business card since a lot of my advertising is through passing out my cards at markets and other local events. I printed my first set of cards out on card stock, and I noticed that the ink washed away when it got wet, (which I hadn’t thought about), but that was all I could afford at the time. I used them anyway because I knew the importance of giving potential customers my contact information. Another reason for not hiring someone is because I have little money, and we all know: you get what you pay for (at least most times); and when it comes to my business, I really do enjoy being able to add a special touch that lets my customers know that their item was made with a lot of care. I hate the idea of cheap and rushed work.Purealohasoaps

Another struggle and probably the one that holds me back many times: not asking for help when I really should. It’s not that I’ve never asked for help, it’s that I’ve had a hard time reaching out for it. I am bad when it comes to expressing myself, words just escape me at the worst times. The other thing is that I feel like I am asking for too much when I should be paying someone to help me figure out my problems, because people get paid to do those sorts of things.

I am a member of many Facebook groups for entrepreneurs, where people ask questions about all sorts of things business related. Somehow I feel like I’m taking advantage of others when I am asking for help. It is a weird thing, I know, but that’s just how it is. I have gotten great help from my fellow group members and they were very sweet and patient with me, but I would imagine it is difficult dealing with someone who knows very little about technology, the Internet, and any related technical issues. So, many times I have dealt with things and figured them out on my own and every once in a while, I’ve had to get over myself and ask for help.

I am not suggesting others go about doing things my way, not at all; but I will say that having had to try things on my own and fail has also been good for me, because I learned a lot too. I am very stubborn when I want to accomplish something, where many would give up, I will try and try and try until I figure it out. Yes, sometimes I get frustrated and even get angry about it, but there is this thing I do when things get very difficult for me. I think to myself , “Nothing is impossible, things that have been said to be impossible by some have been done by others,  so why not work a little harder to figure it out?” This works for me at least 90% of the time!Purealohasoaps

Running a business on your own, no matter how small, is never easy, but man is it rewarding to get through all the challenges that come with it and say to yourself “I did that, I can totally do it this!”. Sometimes I choose to ignore all the voices of “reason” that are family and friends with good intentions telling me to not do something because so much could go wrong. One thing about me is, I’ve always known my limits and I can usually tell when I can attempt something and when I shouldn’t, I find that I’m usually right.
Pure Aloha Beauty!So, no matter who you are, what type of work you do, I encourage you to stick with what you are passionate about, and let nothing stand in the way of your dreams, the struggles will only make you better, stronger,  and it will all be even more worth it when you can finally say, “I DID IT!”

What struggles do you deal with as a creative entrepreneur, and what helps you to overcome them?

Below I’ve added a couple of great resources that have helped me through some rough patches recently and gave me more confidence to follow my dreams.

Check it out and let me know if you found it helpful!

If you're looking for a great read to inspire your creative side, pick up a copy of this book!
If you’re looking for a great read to inspire your creative side, pick up a copy of  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert!
Boss Struggles
I love the “Being Boss” Podcast on iTunes and I am also a member of their Facebook group, these ladies are great!
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