When I started I took some time to develop my style and get back into making jewellery. I then made a list of others things I would have to do – this included attending a lot of business gateway classes in order to get a clue about what was involved. Going to these classes and doing these various tasks (such as designing a website, looking into insurance, designing and ordering business cards, making a logo, creating the products, pricing the products, registering for hallmarking, business tax – the list goes on) only made my list bigger and bigger – the more I did the deeper I got and there was always more to do. After doing this for a while I was feeling impatient and stuck in a rut. Then I watched a video that changed everything. It was one of these American web tv shows about business and motivation – The presenter, Marie Forleo, was speaking to Brendon Burchard, a motivational, high performance speaker, about his new book 'The Charge'. In this interview they covered the topic of consistency – which personally I believe to be the key to success. When you consistently work hard and consistently put yourself out there, that's when you'll make a change. However, the penny dropped when Brendon Burchard said, "you can chip away at something – but you can chip away forever". He talked about blocking out time to do a project - set a date. Give your project an end date – no more than a month if possible. This made something in me click. Although I needed the initial time to dabble and get back into the jewellery design – that was important - after doing this I could definitely have chipped away forever – my list was endless. So I decided that my business would be launched in a month. At the start of the month I wrote a list of all the things left to do and I squeezed them into my diary. Not only did I get everything done in the month – I filled my days and felt so productive every time I put a score through a task. My rut wasn't due the amount of things that needed to be done – I didn't mind each task individually, there just seemed to be no end. By simply adding that end date and knowing that it could be done in the time I had decided upon put me at ease and it gave me a sense of joy from completing and fulfilling small task and seeing my goal to the end. On the 1st of October, there was one or two loose ends where I was waiting on things to arrive in the mail. It didn't matter because I had to put my website online and just put my product out there.
This is another important thing I learned: It's okay to not be completely ready, it's okay to feel doubtful and feel like your stuff isn't worth showing people. Do it anyway. Putting yourself out there is the biggest and most important step to becoming successful – how often do people really insult you when you do something new? Most people will admire your efforts and they may even love what you do.
When you put yourself out there it gives you motivation to improve – you will get feedback, you will make mistakes, through these mistakes you will get better. There are lots of entrepreneurs out there who sucked at first. There are successful authors who will openly tell you that their first book sucked. But they did it anyway. You must produce and put yourself out there in order to grow. Nothing will ever be perfect – you can always do more. Don't hold off from putting yourself out there because it's not 'perfect' yet, that can come later.
I work entirely on the basis that everything can be figured out. If I started to think about all the things I have to do in the future or of all the things that could go wrong, I would never get anything done. It is so easy to let a big ball of anxiety stop you from doing something you love. When have you ever been in a situation that couldn't be resolved? Of course there will be hurdles, but you will work it out and it will be okay. That list that I mentioned at the beginning, of some of the things I had to do to start my business may have made you cringe and want to run away, but taken one step at a time it was completely do-able.
What comes easy to you may be impossible to others. As a creative person I have found from speaking to like minded people and looking at other business that most people have a knack for what they do – it feels natural and kind of easy. I love making jewellery – it feels natural to me and I feel as though anyone could do it. This is something you must be aware of – just because something feels easy to you, it doesn't mean that it is easy for everyone. With this it is so easy to undersell yourself, to not put your product out there or talk about what you do as if it's nothing, undervalue it in price and in words. Realise that what you do is providing a service for someone who either can't or doesn't want to do it. For example, I can make jewellery – but I can't cook – or at least I don't like to. Cooking comes very easily to some people whereas it is something that I avoid if I can, and so someone who can cook and provide me with amazing meals has extremely high value in my eyes. Take what you do and realise that it is something to someone. When you put yourself out there – do it with confidence and passion. You are providing a service to someone so don't feel guilty about doing what you love to do.
Some people may be reading this and thinking – I want to start a project but I don't know what to do. I think it's important to really sit yourself down and think about what you could do. If you have no plan or idea about what you want, any road will take you there. This isn't easy for most people. You may have to mind map and think about it for a while but I would say that it is something that you should take the time out to properly think about. It may not just come to you one day. You might never really know, unless you invest in some thinking time. It will be worth it and it will mean that you can begin. Beginning is everything. In a years time you'll have wished you started now.
The main thing I've learned is that the path to success isn't about being wonderful at everything you do, it isn't about doing one amazing thing one day or just being naturally born to be successful. Success is not a trait, it is the choice to keep on doing, over and over no matter what. It is done by being consistently active. Work away and keep putting yourself out there, eventually your efforts will make a difference, action creates reaction. Successful people keep going even when they feel defeated, even when they have a crap day, even when they fail. -
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” - JK Rowling
I will keep putting myself out there, I will keep working hard to pursue my dream and live out my passion full time. I hope you can find something that is worth pursuing too, if you can - do it now, and keep doing it until you feel a change. You will get there.
A link to the Marie Forleo interview with Brendon Burchard.