A brain pretzel is a term that came to mind one day when puzzling out a problem. A pretzel is a twisted piece of dough, and the one above has some extra embellishments that suit this term even more. It’s a description of that moment when you are thinking really hard about something, and your head tilts to the side, and one eye is squinted while the other one is wide open and that eyebrow is pointed straight up in the air. It is what I imagine is happening to the brain on the inside when a person is struggling to figure out a conundrum. The look of perplexity on the outside, with twists and knots forming on the inside as the puzzle gets solved.
That is what a brain pretzel is. This was an introduction to one of many Tish-isms. It’s not trending anywhere yet, but it could be a game changer. If it catches on. There will be more. Always thinking…and full of surprises.
#Tishspiration Tuesdays have been missing here lately. I find myself heading back to the beginning. I am creating a business, with what I thought was an incredible idea, to help artists and authors through a subscription box service. The plan was to collect art, write stories, create my own Bling, and find other inspirational items to go into a box. I thought about launching bi-monthly, or quarterly.
Instead of worrying about it being wildly successful, I tell myself that will be a good thing, as I will need to hire help. I was moving forward with as much as I could before making it all official.
The first problem I ran into was the cash flow. When I started to add my own salary into the budget, I started to lose money. This concerned me, and my business advisor. He has been working with me for months to help me apply for the self-employment program, which would allow me to draw on unemployment insurance for 12 more weeks while I grow my business, and most importantly, not have to claim my earnings against the unemployment insurance with this program.
Last week, I asked for a meeting to figure out what was going wrong with my cash flow, and what I should do to make it work.
I learned I had to re-evaluate everything. Budget. Cost of goods. Sale price. How much to ask for a startup loan. All of the elements I had worked so hard on to make a business plan to make my entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
I am in a networking group called 100 Coffees. The Coffee Community is women who want to learn networking techniques. It works on a basic principle of having virtual meetings, which we call coffees, with two members a week. I am more active in the community now and involved in a weekly Master Mind meeting. I have been working with my peers within the group to develop the ideas for my business.
Two weeks ago, our weekly meeting started having more participants. One was not convinced that the subscription box idea would be right for me.
This made me pause and doubt my plans.
We found time to have an online chat together, separate from the weekly meeting. We both shared where our thoughts were coming from, and at the end of our conversation, she was concerned that I was upset. I was quiet and explained that I was processing. Some of my fears were valid, and I was having a brain pretzel moment.
What were my fears? I worried that if the business was too successful, it would cause problems with finding enough artists to contribute to the boxes as I have only had one inquiry since I started my local networking with artists to exchange information. I have enough product for the first box, but no solid leads for the second.
This is when the questions became a little harder to answer. I was asked to choose between being an author or a jewellery designer. It made me pause to think again. I know I am a writer who loves crafts. I have narrowed the scope to jewellery designing for business purposes, with the Tish MacWebber Always Blinging business.
The jewellery business has never been my purpose.
It is really hard for me to admit this. I love being creative. For as long as I can remember, I have always made gifts for people. I had to search my heart to find my answer.
Writing is my purpose. Creativity is my passion. Jewellery Designing is my pleasure.
I wrote this when I relaunched my website in January 2019. My answer was right in front of me this whole time. People have asked me to narrow my scope since I started this journey to become an entrepreneur, and true to my stubborn, Scottish roots, I dug in my heels. I wanted to do it all.
For 17 years I have tried to get the jewellery business to be my thing. I will continue to work on it, but it is time to be realistic about it and see it for the hobby it really is. There are customers who I can rely on me when they need something special. The challenge of custom orders, especially when I can surprise my clients with the bling they didn’t know they needed, is something I enjoy. I will continue to make gifts for family and friends, however, I will not be continuing with it as a business. I’ll still sell pieces as a side hustle, but it will not be along for the ride in the passenger seat any more. It is time to pack it into the backseat, or maybe even in the trunk for a while. Not forever, but for now.
In three days, I will need to submit a new business plan
It is a little daunting to start it all over, after spending so much time on it already. I have to take what I have learned from meeting with professionals, and with my networking group to move forward. Yes, I have a plan.
My one on one meeting with my peer also made me come to this conclusion. She told me I would be lost in the subscription box business because it wasn’t about me. Her concern was that I will not reach the people I am meant to help with this business idea.
I have been reading two books. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson and You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. Yes, I do read in the washroom and the bedroom for a few minutes when I can. Real books; usually more than one at a time. I have 2 others in progress and am thinking about picking up a fifth as I have a stack of books from the library which I need to speed read to get through them all before the due date.
They are about changing the way you think, and I have been working on affirmation statements for a while. I realized today that I only need one. It is something I have been saying for a while now, and I shared it on my Facebook profile earlier this evening.
The world needs more Tish.
My next challenge is to rethink the whole business plan, based on this affirmation. In no way is it meant to be egotistical. I am not arrogant or conceited when I am saying this. What this affirmation means to me is that I can help people by being myself, and sharing the best parts of me with others.
My new business plan will reflect this. I can’t wait to share more details with you as they develop. Thank you for following my journey. Here comes another left turn. Hang on!
Here is the first Treasure Seeker Tuesday from my NEW WEBSITE! What do you all think? I have worked really hard to get it this far, and I am not even close to being done. As I wrote somewhere else, earlier this week, I knew it was time to launch, even if it is not perfect. If I wait for that I will never launch it, and if you want to know the other truth from behind the scenes, it will never really be done. If I stop working on it, stop changing and updating it, it will be a dead website. Why? Not because I have a burning desire to constantly work on it, although at some point I will be working on it from a maintenance perspective, rather than a building & construction perspective. No, Treasure Seekers, the reason for that is you. I do not want you to leave out of boredom. I try to keep things interesting on the blog, but I realize that there is more to experience here on the website, and I am just testing the water with my big toe right now. Once I dive in, it is going to cause ripples, waves and splashes that you will never see coming until they are in your face.
Photo of a wave splashing in the Atlantic Ocean. Location Chimney Corner, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photographer Lisa Hill.
That picture is one that I have had for several years, and a friend took it. She shared it with me, and I treasure it so much! It is one of the things that I am happy to use over and over again, because it speaks to my soul, and my soul is in constant longing to be near the ocean. Seeing this picture makes me happy.
Why just my big toe? Well, if you grew up in Cape Breton like me, you know that in the deepest part of winter, the ocean actually freezes every winter. Locals say, “The Big Ice is in,” when it freezes over. Seals sometimes wander too far inland following the ice up a river, and if they are lucky, people help steer them back to the ocean. I am sure some of them make it back on their own. The Big Ice does thaw and melt every year, but the ocean is never warm like bath water where I am from. There is a coldness to it year round, although it is warm enough to swim in from the middle of June to the middle of September, in a good warm year. So I have learned at a very young age to always test the water before diving in.
Here we are. I am beginning my new adventure, and I am so happy that you are here, reading, and joining me on this next big leap. I am never going to say that I know all of the answers, and that is why I am known for asking so many questions. It is how I learn. If I get stuck, I will keep asking until I sort it out, or until I finally understand. There is a story about this. What is a Brain Pretzel? is a Tish-ism, and they are stories about things I think up that need a bit of an explanation. I have had a few of those while building the website, and I am sure they weren’t the last ones that I will have.
I would like to officially welcome all of you to my new website, and I wish for many returns!