It certainly has been a busy week. Everything seems like it is coming together and falling into place. Although I am cautious when using that phrase because it tends to make everything look as if it happened by chance. Those of you who run your own businesses know very well that what many times appears to be ‘luck’ is the result of many hours/days/months and sometimes years of planning. In any case, as crazy as it is, it is fun and enjoyable and very satisfying.
I have written before about changing the direction of a failing business and comparing it to changing the direction of a speeding train. First you have to stop the momentum of the direction it is rolling (which is usually no quick fix) and then once it is stopped you need to start moving in the opposite direction, beginning very slowly at first and building momentum as you go.
I believe that I have been successful in the first two steps of this process and I am very pleased that things are beginning to really start to show some promise. All the hard work of the past two to three years is beginning to show and starting to make a real difference in things. It has been a very valuable life lesson in sticking with something that I believe in and having the guts to stay with things when they weren’t doing so well and keeping focused on my vision of what I want my company to be. And while we still aren’t there yet, I feel we are well on our way and I am happy.
That isn’t to say that now is the time to sit back and do nothing. I believe it is quite the opposite. I feel that goals should be ever-changing and revised many times over to keep a company fresh and exciting. And I plan to do just that.
Last week I was presented with an opportunity from one of the major companies in the scroll saw and tool industries. I was asked to contribute to a new type of newsletter that they were starting which would be a free online source for their customer. The newsletter would be strictly educational and not a self-promotion venue and would feature different guest writers which would address issues in their specialized field of woodworking. Needless to say, I was very intrigued.
I look at this opportunity to reach a great deal of woodworkers who have maybe not considered scroll sawing as part of their woodworking repertoire. I picture their shops filled with wonderful tools and a lowly little scroll saw sitting in the corner, covered with dust and forgotten. I would love the opportunity to get these guys and girls thinking “I have one of those things! Maybe I should drag it out and try it and see what I can do!”
Nothing makes me feel better than hearing stories of scroll saws long forgotten given new life and pulled out of ‘retirement’ after someone sees one of my classes or videos or sees a pattern of mine that they ‘just have to try.’ I am very much an advocate of the scroll saw as you well know. I think it is not only fun, but challenging and versatile and one of the easiest ways to get someone involved in woodworking as a whole. While most of the projects I do on the scroll saw need only the saw and drill to accomplish, it isn’t long before the scroller is looking at drill presses, sanders, routers, and then it escalates to table saws, planers, band saws, lathes and so on and so on.
I think an undertaking like this are good for woodworking as a whole, and I am very pleased and flattered to be invited to take part in it. I will certainly talk about it more as it develops and keep everyone posted. I think that since it does cover other aspects of woodworking in addition to scroll sawing, it will be of interest to many of the woodworkers here.
I really like how things are constantly changing in my business. The best analogy I can think of is a kaleidoscope, with and ever changing pattern. This I feel keeps things fresh and exciting and allows room for constant growth in so many directions. The possibilities are endless.
I look forward to this new venture. I think it will be a rewarding experience as well as gain some exposure to my business and what I do. I am grateful for this opportunity and hope that it not only increases my own presence in the woodworking field, but also that of scroll sawing in general. I think it will be a good thing.
Stretching our vision and trying new things is very positive in many ways. Whether we succeed or fail, it is rare that we try something new and don’t come out of it a little better than we went in. The experience alone can be a valuable lesson for the future and something that will help us a long way down the road. We will never know if we don’t try.
Have a great day everyone!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"