#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!
Hello Treasure Seekers! Here we are for another meeting where I think, then I write; so you can read, and maybe then you think too! Not too hard, I hope. It is good to think about things, but if you are Always Thinking…like I am, it can be exhausting. Want to know a secret? It is also exhilarating.
I am building a website. You know that if you follow this blog. I am writing a book. You know that also for the same reason. I have more than one book in me to write, and that is something that I am happy about. In the music world, there are one hit wonders. I want to be a best selling author, and that means I have to write more than one book. I don’t expect to hit it out of the park with my first book, but a girl can dream.
So what holds people back from taking the leap of faith into the exhilarating world of chasing your dreams and chasing their passion? I have been thinking about that a lot, lately. I have been dragging my feet about my website launch. I am struggling with the importance of it. I want to change it, but not too much. There needs to be a bit of familiarity to make people want to take the leap with me, and that requires a foundation built on trust. I am working hard to put myself out there so that when I make the leap, there is a landing pad to aim for. Since I am writing about this in the Treasure Seekers category, I need a map and a big letter X to the destination.
I have been working on this website in my mind for months. I know what I want to do, and now that NaNoWriMo is over, it is time for me to take action on it. I do have time this weekend, but me, really, building my own website? I never learned how to do anything like this before? What if nobody ever goes to it? What if nobody ever buys any books from my website? What if it fails?
The fear of the what ifs can be paralyzing. If you are too scared to try, then you have already failed. What is the alternative, then?
To take action. To stop thinking and start doing. I don’t always have all of the answers, but I have never been too afraid to ask questions. More importantly, the end result is worth asking questions for. I am working on all of this with an end goal in mind. Although like a resume, a website is never going to be sufficient to be left alone when it is done. Inevitably there will need to be changes and updates. If it is left the same for too long, it runs the risk of losing its zest. That is one of the reasons that I have decided to move this blog to my own website.
It is a risk. It is scary. It involves a fair bit of work, which I am not scared of, itself. I am more worried about getting stuck in the middle and not being ready to launch on New Year’s Day. That is the goal I have set for myself, and with that in mind, I have time, if I get working on it right away.
The other thing I see people sharing online is the fear of being seen as an imposter. I am an author. I am writing constantly, several times a week if not every day. I had to build up my stamina as a writer. I needed to test the waters (make a splash) with the blog to see if it was something that I would keep working on, instead of something I just wanted to play with and drop when I got bored. I am still writing here, so I passed the first test I gave myself. I pushed to learn new things. I am taking courses online. I am not spending a lot of money on this passion, yet. I will need to work on a business plan. That means I have to take another course (YAY! #HAPPYWRITING has a course for me to learn how to do this) and I need to take the next step. I need to research what I need to know about publishing options. In the middle of everything I have going on right now, I also have to write my book. Then I will literally switch gears and write another book. The second book will be going in a completely different direction. I have a concept already. It is another one I NEED to write. I am hoping to get the first two books out of my system so that I can prove that I can write a book, and start preparing to make the fantasy trilogy a reality, not just a dream.
When I publish my first book, and sell just one copy, I will no longer be working towards the passion of becoming an author. Of course, I want to sell more than one copy of my book. One is a good place to start. Then we will see what happens. Until that day comes, I will keep working on writing and building my website. If I am doing instead of thinking about what to do, it takes the fear and the imposter syndrome right out of the equation. That is something to work for. When I am a best selling author, and I believe that I will be one, I can start tackling other dreams. Chocolate diamonds are a part of that dream…
Treasure Seeker Tuesday: Photo by Tish MacWebber; Photo Edited by Noa Price
First Rejection Letter
In the journey to becoming an author, there are many roadblocks along the way. Inspiration or the Muse must be present to begin. Time must be set aside each day to write and practice your craft. There is a whole different world to enter when one wants to become a published author. WIP means “Work In Progress”. It is the current project that is being written. A social media presence is a must to develop your target audience. Writer’s Block is a fear that can strike at any time, and if it takes hold, can have disastrous effects on that WIP.
If an author survives all of these obstacles, the biggest hurdle of all looms in the distance. Submissions are needed to take the scariest step of all. Submitting the WIP for publishing.
Self-publishing is an option. Editing is a must. Beta readers test read the WIP and hopefully provide constructive criticism and positive feedback. Repeat as necessary. Query letters are sent to publishing companies.
Then the waiting begins.
The self-doubting during this time, which does not always have an exact deadline for a reply can be paralyzing. The WIP is sent out to one or many different publishers, with excited anticipation. As the days turn into weeks, which turn into months, the feeling changes. The belief in the WIP can fade. Negativity creeps into the picture and can cause the author to stop writing. This is the hardest thing a writer has to face.
It happened to me. I wrote a poem and submitted it to my writing group. I have experienced new friendships, answers to many questions, and support in this group. I continue to be a member of the Ninja Writers. I found them on facebook, and I am now a card carrying member. I am supporting a co-operative publication. My submission did not make the first publication.
I got my first rejection letter. It was not the result I wanted, but it is done. As an author, it will not be my last. As an author, I have arrived.
Was I disappointed? Absolutely. Did it break my desire to keep trying? Not a chance. My work is just beginning as an author. There will be times when I want to give up. If I am going to succeed, I have to be able to keep trying. Stubborn determination twisted with an immense amount of patience will help me to persevere and succeed.
I will be looking forward to receiving my first copy of the Ninja Writers Zine. It is called The NW. I am planning to read it from cover to cover, more than once, so that I can up my game for the next call for submissions. More information about it can be found at their Patreon link:
If you are interested in becoming a part of the phenomenon known as the Ninja Writers, here is a link to their facebook page:
Ninja Writers Facebook Group
It is a closed group, but the creator of the Ninja Writers, Shaunta Grimes, has given me permission to share both of these links here. She is a published author, and leading the Ninja Writers Revolution! She has created so many useful tools and guides for up and coming authors like me. Thanks for giving me a place to share, learn and improve upon my writing dreams, Shaunta! Ninja Writers Rock!
Finally, I will link the poem that I have published in January here. It was featured on this blog, and I am proud of it whether or not it shows up anywhere else. This is what I submitted for The NW.
Give yourself a little Grace
I will continue sharpening my writing skills until the next call for submissions.