I am a mule. I don't care that my sun sign animal is a crab, or that I was born in a Chinese year of the rooster. I'm a mule. A hard-working, head down, plodding mule. I strap the heaviest load I can find on my own back, and go as far as I can until one day I can do nothing but cut the straps, drop everything, and stand there braying my objections to the "unfairness" of all this work. Stubborn and silly, I do it over and over. And now I've done it again.
I have a goal in mind, a "plan" for the future. But the thing I keep forgetting is that I can plan all I want, and whatever is going to happen is going to happen without much input from me. Sure, I get to participate, but I don't really get to steer. I have to keep reminding myself to make plans, and then plan to change them. I've been working stupidly hard for the last several weeks, and when I inevitably hit the wall and crumbled, I found myself wondering just what I was doing it for.
One thing I know (for sure) is that if you want to change everything, you only have to change something. So this time I caught myself before complete implosion, took a deep breath, and said, Hey Kim, let's regroup for a while. Bead sales, like all sales, are slow, so there's no sense in trying to guess how to improve things. I guess a lot, based on what I do sell, and the bit of feedback I get. What I really need is some more serious research, and a willingness to listen, make changes, and most of all, rest up for the next round.
Another deep breath later, I posted the survey you'll find linked below. I'm waiting a few more days for the bulk of the responses to come in, and then I'll post my findings here, so you'll know just as much as I know. Maybe it will help all of us who are struggling with our little businesses these days. While I wait, I'm organizing a few things around here, and making some things that aren't beads, and that I don't mean to sell.
I dug out this nice, plain wood-and-glass box that I got super-cheap at the craft store. It's been waiting patiently for me to decorate it, and now that it's done, I find it's a nice place to store my bead inventory. I think I'll even get a couple more, so it's easy to show things to people when they show up here in person. It's fun for all concerned. Always a good thing.
Then I spotted some lovely felted bowls that someone had made, and being a Maker Of Things, I made some myself. I love them. They're perfect for lots of things, and especially perfect for beads...
It cracks me up that even when I'm taking a break from beads, I can't seem to keep from doing things that are bead-related. Maybe it's the mule in me, needing to keep going, keep going, keep going. After all, I have a job to do, and I take that very seriously. What I'm finally learning though is that even a mule needs to stop under a shady tree and get a drink of water now and then. Takes me forever to get some things through my stubborn head.