#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!
One of the things I am most proud of accomplishing in 2018 was writing From Where I am Sitting…A Collection of Cat Tales. There is a large percentage of people who say they want to write a book; many more than those who actually do write a book because it is not an easy task. I am working on my second book. I have a point, I am getting to it.
My book is a memoir narrated by cats, I have had to find creative ways to share this whimsical book and find readers. I have successfully approached four local stores to carry my book for sale on consignment. As an Indie Author, this means going to each of these stores to ask if they were interested in carrying it, in person. Thankfully, all four said yes. It is something that has the potential to help increase sales locally.
Authors attend events where we offer to sign books for people who want to buy them. It is something I am learning how to do locally. I have my first book signing event coming up in a couple of weeks at the larger of the four stores. It is a really big step. I am excited about it.
Unusual Book Signing Events
I have actually had four book signing events already. One was at a former place of employment. The second one was at the Pet Expo. A memoir narrated by cats sure did belong there. The third one was at The Purrfect Cup – A Cat Cafe. This weekend I was at a fundraiser for four local animal shelters. I helped the volunteers run what I must say was a very successful event. I was really surprised by the turnout. From Where I am Sitting…was there as an item for sale with a dollar donated to the fundraiser with each sale, and one book was donated to the silent auction. By the end of the event, I had sold a few extra signed books. More importantly, I had made some new connections.
What about the Bling?
In this city, I have tried to sell my jewellery with low success as the local market is saturated. Did I give up? Not a chance. I reinvented it, and this year I am bringing it to my online store. It will never be perfect. The website will always need changes. It is how managing your own website works. I am doing my best and asking for help if I need to. My inexperience is the biggest issue I am fighting against, and I am not shy about it.
I haven’t seen nearly the same reaction to the jewellery as I have to the book. Which reinforces the fact that I am doing the right thing. I am moving forward, and changing how I am doing things. It is slowly starting to pay off. Not in my wallet yet, that will come with time. For now, I am networking. Meeting people, and getting my name out there. To my knowledge, there is only one MacWebber in the whole world, and she is typing away furiously right here, right now.
Being fearless doesn’t mean I don’t get scared
I am working on my dreams, without a safety net. At times, it is terrifying. Who knew that picking FEARLESS for my word of 2019 would be put to the test right from the start of the year? I didn’t. This may be something I choose more carefully next year. The entrepreneur in me is pushing hard to succeed. I won’t benefit from playing safe. It will grow from being fearless.
After letting my Extrovert self out, the Introvert in me wants to be at home again.
I am an ambivert which is a mixture of an extrovert and an introvert. I love being around people, and I value my quiet time. It is a good thing. Besides,as a result of being unemployed or on a tight budget, if I stay home I don’t spend money. 😉
Sunday I spent the afternoon cleaning. There is a lot more left to do. I have a hard time tearing myself away from my computer as I am often working on graphics or writing. For myself, a group I run, and now expanding to make some for friends. I am in the process of designing a logo for a peer. A friend needed help for a new business cover photo for Facebook page. Things like this are fun for me. If I have happy clients, it builds my portfolio. With constant improvement and persistence, I will succeed to start taking on more paying clients, for this and for the writing. I know my potential.
I need the coffee to do the things!
Oh yeah, the cleaning. These days I can’t really stand to even write about it, I have a hard time actually working on it. I made progress Sunday, and I cleared a small space. I will continue tomorrow. The problem I have right now is that I am an overachiever. I optimistically think I can get things accomplished on time. With more on the go, I can get wrapped up in what I am working on, and never get to the other items on my to do list. There it is, the helpful process I need to follow to get things done.
If I skip drinking coffee in the morning I become very unproductive. I need coffee and really good multivitamins to keep going. With this plan, I can do everything. The problem then becomes only doing the bare minimum of what I need to do because I am having way too much fun doing what I want to do.
Which makes me wonder why the things I want to do are not considered important enough to be the things I need to do. Hmm. My solution in my mind is to break out the agendas I bought (yes, I bought 2 again this year one for home and one for my purse,) to try and schedule my time more effectively. On a positive note, I have lowered the number of cups of coffee I have been drinking in a day. I am trying to change things in my life, to make it better. How was your weekend? What are you changing?
Today started with Scotch Lick and grab and go. I had scheduled my morning to help a friend look into setting up her own blog. I am in no way an expert at blogging, and I don’t claim to be. But as a few friends helped me get this Blog up and running, I decided to pay it forward.
It was really neat to see someone else put their own creativity into action! We started with some basic conversation, and she figured things out. She has some work left to do and is capable enough with her own experience and training to move forward on her own. I am only a message away if she needs any more help.
I am fighting to stay awake. Waiting to find out the plans for the evening. If it is a Game night, I will have to start preparing snacks and get done what I can here in the meantime. If it ends up being a guys gaming night, I will work on the cleaning challenge. Either way, I will be busy. I have the kitchen to clean, a grocery list to make, and general cleaning to do.
I have had 2 cups of coffee with breakfast. I am having a sugar free vanilla iced coffee now. I AM STILL TIRED! So I have cranked the tunes and will make 1 more coffee. Soon it will be too late to have any more coffee, but if I am busy enough, I can still tire myself out enough to sleep tonight. I need the help today. I am a night owl with a day job. So I tend to be more active in the evenings. Sometimes a little too late. I struggle with it, but my health is better with the 9-5 schedule, so I try to go to bed early when I need to. Sometimes I even make it to bed early. Not on the weekends, though. That is the problem I am having right now. So I am going to make 1 more coffee. A power snooze might have to happen, though. When my body wants sleep this desperately, I have to consider if it is necessary or not. A power nap may just what I need, followed by that one more cup of coffee. Then I’ll head into the kitchen, and unload that dishwasher, that I ran last night. I need to focus, and that is a good place to start.
Had the nap. Never found any energy. I have spent some time on Linked In today. It was time for an update, and it is another way to share this Blog. I am disappointed that I did not get more accomplished around the house today, but the networking has to be worked on also.
My Linked In Profile
Tomorrow is a new day, filled with possibilities. And a new To Do List! Enjoy your weekend!