Monday, June 30, 2008

If I Rent It, Will They Come?

I saw what is to become my new workshop today for the first time, and it got me really excited! The biggest draw of the space for me is that it has a full kitchen, which I will be spending a lot of time in. Of course I forgot to take pictures, but that's OK because it is currently under construction, and I would rather post pics of the finished space. Mama isn't exactly in a financial place where taking on another monthly bill is the best idea, so this is a big leap of faith. Which is more than a little scary in our unsteady economy. However, I really do feel that having a space where customers can come see me work and interact with me is a big part of the sales process for an independent designer. One of the hardest parts about working at home is that I feel completely disconnected from the people who use my products. I'd like my customers to understand the work that goes into making everything. A $15 lotion isn't cheap, and people should understand what they're paying for. Plus, having their feedback about what is working and what isn't, is invaluable for making my line the best it can be. Mary has been kind enough to let me get started with a 6 month lease, and since we're approaching the holiday season, which is the busiest time for Mama, I'm hopeful that I can at least cover my investment. Of course I'm striving to go way beyond that.

I have a multi-prong plan to try to get Mama out to more of the masses, and when I look at all there is to do to make this happen, I kind of want to crawl into bed and put the covers over my head. I'm pretty good at big picture planning and making tons of lists with action items, but I have a terribly hard time prioritizing these lists, and I tend to get overwhelmed and anxious about how much there is to do, which can be paralyzing. I've been looking for ways to combat this unproductive behavior, and I recently read something helpful about how athletes approach a race. When running a marathon, you don't start off thinking about making it to the finish line. You set a smaller milestone for yourself, and focus on achieving that, and then do it again and again until you reach your goal. It seems like a no-brainer, but I've been creating anxiety inducing lists for years, so it's going to require some undoing of these unhelpful habits. And like many creative people, I have a considerable amount of ADD that I'm constantly trying to keep in check. Another technique I've been trying out lately is visualization. My mom sent me a great article that was written for people in her field, but can easily be applied to anyone trying to achieve a goal. It talked about visualization being a key component of achieving success, and that simply setting a goal wasn't enough. So whenever I get overwhelmed, or start to succumb to the inner demon of self-doubt, I close my eyes and picture myself in my new workspace, with 5 mixers going at once, and hundreds of empty bottles lined up on the counter waiting to fill a throng of orders.

I move into my space July 15th, so I have a lot to do to get ready! One thing at a time...

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