#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!
This Tuesday, Treasure Seekers, I am shining a Spotlight on Book Reviews. As an Author, it is something that is a good practice to get into, reviewing books. It helps your peers, to get reviews on their work. It helps your followers to decide what book they might or might not want to read next, in their free time. It does take time away from writing, to read other books and review them, so I am not going to be writing them constantly. Once I get enough purchases registered on Amazon.ca, and I switch my profile on Goodreads to reflect my pen name as the Author I am, then I will be reviewing more books there. This is my first book review since I have become an Author. I am still writing my first book, with plans for 5 more. I hope that I will be so lucky as to have people enjoy my books enough to write some kind words about them someday.
I am going to review two books today. They are both completely different, with a common…noodle of thought. The title of the first book will explain that comment a little better.
Sarah Tyley started writing her debut novel, Spaghetti Head in 2006. I understand what she describes when she says that she started writing it, and then she stopped. I have started writing my own first novel, and it is in progress. I am working hard to find the time to work on my own book. Classified on amazon.co.uk as a Contemporary Fiction novel, Spaghetti Head is currently for sale as an ebook for Kindle. When I looked into the future publication plans that Sarah has shared on her social media, she will be launching the paperback version in June.
With a name like Spaghetti Head, I didn’t quite know what to expect. This novel has many twists and turns, much like a bowl of spaghetti. Add in a few solid meatballs, like Granma, Sally and Ty to support the main character Nell; and you have some great personalities to write a story about. The complications arise when Nell Greene, the main character, is presented with a major life choice. In the world that Sarah has created, there are population issues, and Nell is nominated for an Award. It is not your typical award for journalism, her chosen career, but rather to receive it she must become a Mother. This comes with its own form of spicy complications. The sauce of the story lies in the inner voice that Nell has been listening to for years. This voice has its own personality, and name. You will have to read the book to learn more about that.
You can’t have a good bowl of spaghetti without sprinkling on a bit of cheese. Enter Alice and Shilly, the robotic companions of Nell and Ty, respectively. They provide distraction, advice and laughter throughout the novel. Just a hint of something extra, to enhance the flavour of the book.
Being a fan of randomness myself, and fighting with my own internal gremlins, I do understand how the title suits the book since I have finished reading it. One of the things that Nell decides to do to help her make her decision to accept the award or not is to go to therapy. Here is the noodle I referred to earlier. There are techniques used in this book and the second book to be reviewed here that are to help move the characters in this book, and the readers in the second book, beyond what is holding them back. As I am writing this to encourage people to read the books, I am not going to give away the secrets, but I did find it interesting to read two completely different books, and find tools being used both in the world of Nell in Spaghetti Head, that I found also while reading …
The Path to Courage by Debbie Burns. If you are a regular here on my website, you may recognize this author’s name. If not, you might be more familiar with me writing about Facebook Groups. I happened to find Creative Central, a Facebook group that is founded by Debbie Burns. It is one of many projects that this amazing woman has on the go. Not only is this group free, but it has other writers like myself, finding their way to becoming authors, one word at a time. To be in a welcoming, positive safe group with my peers is absolutely priceless. Enough about who Debbie is, time to tell you what I thought of her book.
When Debbie announced that she was having an online launch party for this book, I had to make sure I made it to at least a part of it. I happened to be home that day, so I was there for the start. I downloaded my copy, and read the book, cover to cover, the same day it was launched.
The common noodle is in this book also. There are things people can do to help themselves, and both books reinforce this, in completely different ways. In Spaghetti Head, Nell uses the tools in the book to help her solve her own issues. In The Path to Courage outlines some of the same tools, but in a practical guide for the reader.
Reading The Path to Courage was like having a conversation with Debbie, where she imparts her own wisdom of how to find courage inside of the reader. It is full of joy and personal stories. She describes what happened in her life that brought her to need to write this book, and how she has overcome all of the things in her life that tried to stop her in her remarkable journey. She calls herself the Head Unicorn, she has fabulous pink hair to help support that claim. She writes about glitter and fireflies and how to change the way you think with simple tools, that like I have written before, you will have to read the book to discover.
Spaghetti Head was a wonderful story thought up by Sarah Tyley, and I am a fan. She is currently writing her second book and I will be waiting to read what she has to tell in her next story.
The Path to Courage is an insightful book that helps the reader find their own way. Full of spunk and anecdotes, it is a book that I will likely read more than once, as there are exercises inside that I want to test to help me find my own Path to Courage.
There you have it. A spotlight on book reviews makes its first appearance in Treasure Seeker Tuesday. It is a topic that I see growing into this category and will help me to find other Treasures to seek and share with you here, on the Blog. I hope that you check these books out, and if you do, please let me know what you thought of them. Myself, I enjoyed them both, each for their own unique style and story.
Weekend Warrior this week is being written during Superbowl 52. I watch for the commercials and the halftime show, I’m not going to lie. I understand a touchdown if I see it happen, and that’s about it. I am not a football fan. I am a huge fan of comedy and music, so I enjoy the extras that go along with the game.
I usually make something special to eat during the game. This year I made tacos and taco salad. Nachos and wings could be an alternative, and we had chili last week. So I chose to make tacos and taco salad. Guess what’s for lunch tomorrow, and maybe supper, and maybe even lunch on Tuesday? Good thing I enjoy Taco salad.
Yesterday was busy with some errands. Mixed into what had to be done was a trip to the mall to try on glasses. I had a friend with me, and he took pics. When you are as blind as a bat without your glasses on, trying on new glasses is challenging, because either you really trust the person that is picking out the frames that you try on, or you guess. One time I was given disposable contacts to try them on. It was the one and only time I ever had contacts in my eyes, and it was really cool! I got to see what I was trying on!
I have a few more places to go in the next few weeks while we sort out the cost and fit it into the budget. I have coverage, but it has a price limit, and we have to pay up front. So it requires planning and shopping around. When you only get new glasses once every 2 years, it is nice to have fun trying on glasses, picking some just for fun, and then narrowing down the choices until you find the right pair. I have more places to shop, and I am going to see if I can’t find the best ones in the current fashion trends. I want to look smart, and stylish, like an up and coming author, should look.
Earlier today I met a friend for lunch. We went to the Northside Market, and she got me to try something new. I had noodles, with veggie ground meat, and spring rolls. it was a combo, and I skipped the curry flavoured meat. Spices and I do not play nicely together, and even though it was the milder choice, I found a spice in it that set me off. I recovered quickly, and the meal was very good. I wish I knew exactly what that spice is, that cuts off the air in my throat. I would be happier if I could ask if that spice was in the ingredients before trying new foods, and it would make me feel a little better about trying new things.
We met because I am lending my Outlander book to her. I have lent that book to several people since I first read it back in university days. I loved Diana Gabaldon for many years, but I have had a new favourite author take that place in my heart. Jacqueline Carey is now my favourite author. Kushiel’s Dart and the whole sets of the Kushiel and Namah trilogies, two each, are the most amazing books. Her writing was so captivating to me. Some people have joined me in the love for these books, but not everyone. I keep telling people about them because I enjoyed them so much.
With the Outlander books, there is the Scottish history with a little bit of fantasy and romance. With the Kushiel and Naamah books, it is like a whole new world, just left of what the real world is, with mystery, and intrigue that just mesmerized me, as a reader. I couldn’t put them down, and want to make time to reread them. I am reading some new to me Sci-Fi, by Karen Traviss (Ally), and my first Stephen King novel (Bag of Bones) at the moment. I love to read, and that is one reason that I am really working hard to become an author. It is something I can do.
I also write lyrics, and the sad truth is that I am not cut out to be a singer. It makes my love for music all the more appreciative of the artists that are blessed with the ability to sing. I am still waiting for that chapter of my life to move forward. As a dreamer, I want it to happen. As a writer, all I can do is let people know what I can do, and what I am looking for.
I set up to record the Superbowl 52 Halftime show, but I was not impressed. Apparently, I am not alone with that sentiment. It was OK. Meh. I do want to thank Scandal for playing 2 Janet Jackson songs this past week. I really enjoyed hearing some of my favourite Janet songs. Don’t fool yourself, it was timed very well. I appreciate the message I got from enjoying Scandal this week.
In light of all of this, I was quite torn about taking the Superbowl Selfie with Justin Timberlake (on my TV) this year. I thought about it for a few minutes, and I made a decision. I want to relive last year’s fantastic Halftime show and share the selfie that started all of this. So here it is, she is still one of the best artists to have the Halftime show in my opinion.
Matty & I pose with Lady Gaga for the Halftime show of Superbowl 51.
You had better believe I won this weekend! Next year, the Superbowl had better pick someone that doesn’t have to play it safe or tick people off. One last thought, if they let him back, is Janet Jackson next? I would love to see that! If not, it is a double standard that is just wrong, another thing that people just aren’t fixing to make the world a place of truth and equality for everyone. There is a lot of work to do yet, to make changes like this happen.
I am going to get ready to watch This Is Us. It is up after the Superbowl. I may have some more salad before packing it up for the night. I have my kleenex ready and am expecting to be sad, it is advertised as being a sad show. We have waited 2 seasons to find out how the father in the show died. It was hinted at as a fire. I am going to apologize now for being tired tomorrow. I took a nap before. That will help. How do you enjoy the Superbowl? What are your favourite party foods that you make for the event?