In looking back at the past week, it seemed that many situations arose that called for me to play many different roles within my company. I was required to be a technical consultant, accountant, customer service representative, writer, advertising agent, administrator, teacher and photographer. Oh, and I almost forgot – a designer. It certainly was a full week!
So many times people say to me that they don’t want to do woodworking as a living because it would take the fun out of it and make it a chore for them. I respect their feelings on that point, as everyone has a right to how they feel, but for myself, I think I look at it a bit differently.
I feel that I am a very fortunate person to be able to have a job that I love. Most of the time, I don’t even consider what I do as work. To me, it is all a wonderful part of the life that I have chosen for myself and I don’t think that there is a day that goes by when I don’t feel very lucky and privileged to have things this way.
I realize that the kind of life that I have isn’t for everyone. I could have never dreamed of doing what I am doing now when my children were younger. There just wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. Even now I long for more hours to accomplish all that I set out to do each day and many times fall a bit short of my goals. But that is OK. I just readjust the next day and try to get what I can finished in a timely manner.
I also am very lucky to have a partner who for the most part has the same visions that I do. Although I can assure you we don’t agree on everything, we have the same basic goals and standards and after two years of working together we have settled comfortably into a good place where each of us has certain responsibilities that we feel are our own. Now this isn’t to say that we can’t cover for each other now and again, but in the daily routine of things everything goes fairly smoothly.
We also have our own niches that are more our own within the company. I do the painting as an extension of my designing and woodworking and Keith has taken to the lathe. I think that is a great thing, as it allows each of us a corner in the business that we can clearly call our own and gives us a bit of individually. Initially I had intended to work on the lathe also, but since I am quite busy with other things, I don’t really feel the need to do so at this point. That doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do lathe work, but for this time in my life, I am very happy to support Keith in his development of skills and see him thrive on it.
I can honestly say that I love every aspect of the business and the different roles I need to play. There are days when I get a great deal of satisfaction out of making the site work and function properly. Keith has a large part in that aspect too, as he is in charge of the basic set up, look and organization of the site. My role is more that of entering my own products and writing and editing descriptions for them, as well as the customer correspondence. I love talking to and interacting with customers and I consider many of them as friends.
As you know, I like doing this blog every day too. By writing here, I not only am able to organize my thoughts and map out my day, but I feel that I have made some wonderful friends from all over the world that have the same love of creating as I do.
I like participating on the forums as much as time allows me also. I realize that this takes time, but I find that it gives me a great deal of satisfaction when I am able to help others with questions, and I learn a lot myself too. I think it is a wonderful part of the job and I have also met many interesting and kind and talented people though that arena.
I don’t even mind solving the day to day problems, such as the issues with the card processing that occurred earlier this week. Like any challenge our jobs bring us, they also come with a wonderful sense of satisfaction when we are able to solve the problems that arise and leave us with a sense of accomplishment. I felt that I came through that entire experience a little bit smarter and at the very least more aware of the process of this aspect of my business and in the long run it will make me a better business person. And that will help me run a better and more successful business.
I spoke with several people this week who were interesting and pleasant, whether they were customers or representatives from other companies. It may seem that I am here in my own little world, but as I think back on all the activity from the past week, I see that I am not. Communication is a large part of my daily schedule, and it keeps me informed and fresh and eager to do my job better.
When I think about it, there just isn’t time for me to be ‘bored’ with my job. Doing what I do reminds me of a beautiful mufti-faceted kaleidoscope – filled with color and constantly changing every day. Although each new day brings something different, everything is still vibrant and interesting and stimulating. I think the key to success is to be able to adapt and change with whatever comes up in order to make sure that things go smoothly.
I don’t mind wearing many different hats. In fact, I feel it is one of the things that draws me to doing what I do. I think that is part of every self-employed business and one of the reasons I chose to withstand the risk and additional hours of work in order to follow this path.
I don’t think I will ever want it any other way. :)
Have a great Saturday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"