I am at last seeing the finish line in painting the skating pond scene. As of today, I am on the last of the figure and then I only need to do the trees and lamp posts and I will be able to unveil the entire scene. I have thoroughly enjoyed recreating it, but there have been many distractions along the way and I am feeling that I can’t wait to get to the many other things that await my attention.
The distractions haven’t been all bad, but some are certainly more productive than others. Something that I made a commitment to do should have taken two hours and it is now up to about six. I quoted a flat price to do it and I thought I was done, and I delivered my part within the time frame quoted, only to find that there was misunderstanding and what was given is not at all what was wanted.
I am not writing this to point a finger or to blame anyone, but only to vent my frustration and justify some of the reasons I feel that I have accomplished little in the last week. It is times like this when I get frustrated mostly at myself for not making good business decisions and digging myself into a hole.
It is hard to differentiate between business and favors sometimes. (Well for me – lots of the time) I am getting better at it, but apparently not good enough. I actually lost sleep over this one. Not because of any drastic reason, but because I saw myself slipping into old behavior that wasn’t good for my business. It is like a dieter sneaking a piece of chocolate cake in the middle of the night. They know they are wrong, but can’t resist the urge.
I have made a decision though today. I am going to cut my losses and bail, which is something I am not in the habit of doing. I am going to redirect things so that I am not leaving anyone out in the cold, but right now I am down to about 43 cents an hour (exaggeration, but not much!) and I know that starting from square one on this job isn’t what I want to (or can afford to) do. So I am going to cry “uncle” and get on with the hundred other things that are calling me.
I am not angry or blaming anyone for this, except maybe a little bit at myself. I accept full responsibility for the situation. I know of several woodworkers that have found themselves in this position. These include many people whom I admire and respect. So at least I am in good company.
You can probably figure out by now that this bailing thing bothers me tremendously. I am not a quitter. And I do keep my word. But I did do exactly as discussed and gave it all I had to give and things just changed. I mapped out the plan as carefully and explicitly as I could, and it was still misunderstood. The way I see it, I have two choices – I could redo the entire thing and feel crappy about it or move on and feel less crappy. As I said, I will not move on without offering other options, so at least no one is left in the cold.
With that said, I hope this is an indication that I am at least learning to be a better businesswoman. I like people and I like my customers and I want to make them happy. But it can’t be at my own expense. There is so much on my plate right now that I need to do and I thought that squeezing in a couple hour job as a nice gesture would be OK. Now it is turning into a full day’s work, which I can’t afford to give. I found that teaching my children one simple phrase – “I can’t afford it” – may be one of the most important things that I can teach them. There is no shame in not being able to afford something, it is simply a fact. The same is true for time. The sooner we learn that, the better we will function in our lives.
I did finish the next piece of the pond yesterday. This is Helen and Joseph:
|From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures|
I only have one more figure, then it is on to trees an lamp posts and finishing up. I am seeing the end of the tunnel. Some of you may have noticed that I am still behind in posting the figures on my other blog, but again, that will be coming. The stories for the characters are ready and I just need to sit down and write them down and present them. I am going to try again today to get that ball rolling again.
I am looking forward to a good and productive day!
Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"