Well, I got back on track and actually accomplished a lot of small things yesterday (and some larger things, too!) Overall it wasn’t a bad day at all and I even had the time for a short nap with the three kitties in the middle of the afternoon. I don’t do that often, but I find that taking an hour out when I am tired really does wonders because it refuels me and I last much later than I would have and I am far more alert. I feel better too and I am starting to believe that a cat nap is time well spent. (Probably because I have been hanging around here with the cats too long!)
Something nice happened over the weekend, too. I received my new October Artists Club catalog and I saw that my skating pond scene was once again featured on a half page of it. I was wondering how it was doing. Seeing it presented again made me feel good and hopeful that it was doing well there. I thought about it for a while and I decided to just go ahead and ask my contact outright what she thought about it. There was part of me that was scared because if it was a disappointment to them I would naturally feel bad, but I figured there was no sense in me sticking my head in the sand regarding my painting patterns and I got up the nerve to ask.
I was very pleased to hear that it was doing well and they were happy with it. This was huge to me. I was so afraid that if it didn’t sell well and was disappointing that it would close the door for my painting patterns and that they wouldn’t want to take another risk on my work. But since it is doing well, it will give me the courage to spend the time designing other things with them in mind in hopes of them marketing my work.
This company is a dream to work with. They are organized and professional and very clear in what they want and expect from me. They are friendly and open enough to consider new ideas and every single step of the way that I have been working with them has gone as it should. Those of you who deal with companies on a daily basis realize how rare this can be.
From a customer’s point of view, I also love ordering from them for many of the same reasons. They have a great ordering system and in all the times I have purchased things from them, there has never been a problem with an order being goofed up or delayed. I always received my packages on time and complete, even here in Canada. And their prices are very good too. They seemed to have found the magic formula for running a successful business – even in this dismal climate.
So now the only problem is figuring out which way to turn. It is wonderful (and I believe necessary) to diversify, but sometimes I have difficulty in deciding which direction to go first. When that happens I tend to become overwhelmed and start spinning my wheels, making little progress anywhere. I noticed that Keith gets the same. And sometimes I think that having too many ideas can be as detrimental as not having enough.
So it is time to sit down and make a couple of lists and evaluate all that has been laid before me. I know I need to divide my time efficiently between the woodworking wholesalers, woodworking magazine, painting wholesalers, and my own web site. Each of them is on a different seasonal ‘time zone’ and working toward a different holiday or agenda. It can be confusing to say the least.
I am going to spend my day finishing up on the directions for the calendar and then I am really going to try to map things out as to which direction I will head in the next several months. I think that once again, my friend ‘organization’ will come to the rescue. I know I will feel better when I have a good solid direction that I can move in and even if there are several branches of my business to cover, they will be far more manageable for me if I look at everything.
I am not complaining about these things at all. In fact, I am very excited about them. Watching my business grow this way is both rewarding and exciting. It is what I have worked many years to achieve. I am certainly glad that I have a partner to share this with and also I am very grateful to friends like Leldon who proof reads my patterns and helps me out in so many ways with things. Leldon has been working on his own business and it is wonderful to see him develop his talents in this way. He is in the process of rebuilding his own site, Leldon's Scrollsawing where he not only sells his own original high quality scroll saw patterns, but also finished items for those of you who don’t scroll saw. His prices are very reasonable and I can attest to his workmanship as being top-notch. He also does custom orders.
I am realizing a large key to success in my business (or any business for that matter) is the ability that I have to constantly evolve and change. Whether it is adjusting how I do things, or just allowing for growth, I am learning that owning a business is something that is always in a fluid state. No two days are ever alike.
I think that a large part of whether I will continue to be successful or not is how much I am able to adapt to these changes and how I am able to grow along with my business. To me that is a very exciting future and part of the fun. I really am looking forward to what is ahead.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
(Photo by Mariana Nikolova )
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"