Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Business Review 2017: Living and Working Intensely for a Few Weeks. Worth it.

I live striving to improve from the last project, feeling euphoric only when I know I put my all into it. Anxiety strikes when I didn't do the best I possibly could. Perfectionist woes! The past two weeks I finally did it, I worked like a well-focused herbalist-machine and now I'm so spent from it all I can barely move. Worth it. I think. Ha!

April was a big month for us because it was the anniversary of our Earth Day Market which was one of our earliest successes, we made over $500 in sales at the last one! That, combined with a showing with World-Class crafters at Renegade Craft Fair in Miami (I really expected a rejection letter!) made me want to revise my work and put my best out there.

The goals: (1) unify each of our lines (2) get caught up on product (3) give each line new labels to the best of my ability within the limited time frame.

I worked almost up to my deadline and made at least 40 label designs, some from scratch, in two weeks! Along with a variety of products! OH, and I have to stick all of those suckers on dozens of products by hand, of course! (My mom and boyfriend granted me mercy and helped me out on the last day.) It was crazy! The event was a whirlwind, and I made it through with the satisfaction of having gone the distance. I feel like Rocky after surviving all those rounds against Creed. I am Batman! That Saturday after my event I slept 14 hours to replenish that spent creative energy!

The theme for April was to learn to laser-focus. I was letting myself go in too many directions and was neglecting the most important tasks. Now I know I need to say "no" to a lot of people and projects and protect my energy. I'm going to focus on three income sources related to Body&Soul and this blog. This month I realized maintaining an online store, local store, and doing frequent traveling pop-up shops is ENOUGH. I can't teach or do freelance client work on top of that. I let everything else go to just focus on a main passion project and that was so much better.

Quick photo of the shop I took for the back of our new post cards. I've been slowly remodeling in here. Posts to come, of course!

Not that it was all sunshine and roses. It was stressful and riddled with anxiety. I wanted labels to hurry up and get designed faster but some processes you just can't rush. I thought those label designs were NEVER going to END! But at the end of it all the accomplishment was worth it. This comic by The Oatmeal describes my feelings on living UNHAPPILY, but with extremely purpose, perfectly. I'm tapped into my growth zone and it's hard but exhilarating. I particularly related to these words:

I work.
I work for twelve hours a day.

I work until I can't think straight 
and I forget to feed myself and the
light outside dims to a tired glow.

When I do these things,
I am not smiling or beaming with joy.

In truth, when I do these things,
I'm often suffering.

But I do them because I find them 

I find them compelling.

I do these things because I want to be 
tormented and challenged and interested.

I want to build things, and then break them.

I want to be busy and beautiful 
and brimming with
ten-thousand moving parts.

I want to hurt, so that I can heal.

I'm not unhappy.
I'm just busy.
I'm interested.

And that's ok.

In my happy AND unhappy place. Working.

Another similar video I connected with every word of was this one on realizing what your true purpose in life is. I have a HUGE variety of interests but creativity is what unites all of them, and with my new goals I get to exercise all of my interests: indie business, writing, PR, marketing, sales, herbalism, product formulation, design, photography, website creation, crafting, I use it all in this shop. I feel excited and proud that I "went the distance" this month...

...But fun free time was definitely sacrificed. I know I'm not caught-up yet and I still have more crazy catch-up work ahead to get where I want to be. But I know when I'm there I can start living a bit more like The Fisherman. I'm looking forward to structuring my life with intense work and equally intense breaks! (Breaks with study and exploration, of course!)

Now I'm looking forward to some uninterrupted bursts of writing! And non-label related work! How goes life with you lately?
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  1. The poem---poetry has had a huge influence on me as a person and business owner and blogger and creative...

    1. The whole comic is really good. I love his posts on the trials and tribulations of creativity. Well edited and very relatable.

  2. Congratulations on your continued success Vanessa! Those words resonate with me completely too. I imagine a lot of entrepreneurs feel the same. You are not alone. :)

    1. Thanks for sharing, truly. I thought I survived those intense weeks but I feel a cold coming on, noooo! Being an entrepreneur is lonely and hard but those of us that do it couldn't live any other way!

  3. Vanessa, you are such an inspiration! Truly embodies the idea of a hard-working entrepreneur Your labels look soooo good! And I so agree with the ethos of intense work with intense breaks. Really looking forward to reading more about your journey:)

    1. Thank Emmy! I can't wait to share the other labels. Also can't wait for that intense break! I dreamed about it last night, sigh ;)

  4. You have accomplished so much these past weeks. I am truly in awe, Vanessa! And I can relate to the happy/unhappy thing caused by being perfectionist. Sigh.

    1. Perfectionism can really be the enemy of sanity, I keep trying to let it go bit by bit.

  5. Replies
    1. It's in the heart of every business owner. He's inspired me to write more, I miss it!

  6. Wow, youve been so productive V :) I can relate with striving for perfectionism haha it's good on the one hand because it makes you strive for improvement but can also make things hard at times! Things over here have been busy with travel, hospital appointments and trying to balance work, exercise and socializing. I'm looking forward to when I'll have more time to create. Enjoy your chance to write x

    1. I need more gym time, that consistency is on-and-off and it shows in how my clothes fit, haha. I can't wait until I can travel like you've been :)

  7. You rock.. you set goals and you accomplish them and it is inspiring..

  8. Fajartoto very happy with your article... very interesting for me to read. Fajartoto will also always visit your website. Thank you for sharing this information with us.

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