When I woke up this morning, something occurred to me.
Isn’t it nice how each day brings with it the chance for a fresh start?
I realize right off that the above statement is quite simplistic, and also that some of us are in situations that unfortunately continue from day to day. But on some levels, there are bits and pieces of our lives that are still in our control. To me, each day is like opening a book to a new chapter of my life that will be written as the day unfolds. And I am the writer of that story.
I find it very empowering to think in that way. Whether it is completely true or not, if I believe that it is true, it gives me a sense of control over my life and my actions and with that control comes calm. And with that calm comes productivity. It can be that simple.
The past week or so have been difficult for me because of some thing that have been going on with my business. Just before those things came to light, I was on a pretty good roll of creativity. But as things began to unfold, I got caught up in these feelings of anger and betrayal and disappointment and looking back, it has taken its toll on me both personally and professionally and of course, creatively.
Each day I try to write here and share my experiences. Going back to the beginning of this blog, I once again recall the story of how some customers called me (more than one in a week) and were surprised that I answered my own phone. They had thought that I had a full staff to do trivial things such as that. I suppose that because of my exposure through the magazine and other places, I had a persona of being some well-off, successful CEO that had employees and staff and all that people think is included in running a company. Little did they realize that I had about $6 in my checking account at the time. Not to mention some debt that I was in.
I felt so uncomfortable that people perceived me in that way, that it prompted me to begin posting here. Not to whine or moan about my life, but to share my journey in developing my business and making it once again successful. (And I knew in my heart that I would somehow be able to make it a success!)
I made a pact with myself that whether things went up or down, I would try to share the information as objectively as I could here each morning. I am not here to throw stones, or to blame others for my stupid decisions or actions (or lack of action), but rather to allow others to come into my life for a bit and see how a small business just starting in a poor economy could perhaps reach a level of success. And also to seek the advice of others who have been through similar circumstances and are willing to share their experiences. After all, creative people in general are for the most part willing to share with other creative people.
I have recently been accused of spewing propaganda here and using my blog as a soap box to try to gain the sympathy of people and demonize certain others that I feel have wronged me.
I really don’t think that is true at all. While I have been admittedly upset with some events that are occurring right now, I truly and honestly have tried to look at them and present them as objectively as someone in my position can. And while I realize that this formula isn’t perfect, and that there certainly may be some slant in my direction (after all, it is me who is doing the writing) I still feel that I have only mentioned things that have actually occurred and have stuck to the facts, without embellishment on my part. Simply said, “it is what it is.”
I have been told that the alterations to my patterns that I recently discovered are “inconsequential” and that I am being vindictive and blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I disagree strongly with that way of thinking, and believe that somehow they are missing the point.
No matter how small the changes were (or for that matter, what they were) they were done without my consent and worse yet, knowing that I specifically opposed many of them in the first place. No matter if it happened on one pattern or all 400+ patterns, it is the principle that it is wrong in the first place. Whether it occurred on one pattern or all of them is inconsequential. It should not happened at all.
Because of it, trust is broken. I would be a fool if I felt the same way about things after this had happened. Whether it was intentional or not, it was damaging. I am sorry that both sides cannot see that.
There is no ‘quick fix’ for this problem. Things are already in print and much of the damage has already been done to our side. These changes could have occurred as long as two years ago and we have no way of knowing exactly how many people received our patterns in this format. There is just no way to tell. How can you put a price on a damaged reputation anyway? Once a bad taste is left in the mouth of the customer, how would I possibly be able to change it? Especially when I was unaware of what was happening?
So we take a breath. And we try to think rationally. We can’t turn time back. We can’t erase what some must be thinking about our work. While it is frustrating to us to have to accept, what is done is done. And we need to move on from here.
Instead of thinking what I can’t do, I am choosing to focus on what we CAN do. We have several opportunities ahead of us. We do have loyal customers who realize the quality of our work and will stand by us. We will work harder to market our work to new customers who perhaps haven’t seen our patterns or know about us. And we will venture into new undertakings and try to expand our business there.
There are all kinds of options ahead of us. And as long as there are options, we will be OK.
I reached a point yesterday when things were again getting to me. I am sure that Keith felt the same, as I could see it in his demeanor. It was then that I decided that enough was enough. I have spent enough time on this problem and I preferred to spend my energy working on all the good things that await us, not focus on the failures.
So today, as the sun began rising, I told myself that this is going to be a good day. And I am going to do my best to make it such. No matter what the outcome of this situation, we will be OK. And we will be stronger, smarter and better for having gone through it. I believe that in my heart.
Have a wonderful day.
”Do not let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace.” – Dalai Lama
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"