Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defining passion

"What do you do?"

I have a love/hate relationship with that question. It forces us to define ourselves by our jobs -- a definition that's often inaccurate. I don't always feel comfortable answering it, depending upon who's asking or how I'm feeling about my life that day. I admit that I do ask it of others, though, because it helps me get to know people better.

I read somewhere that Australians don't ask what you do. They ask instead, "What do you like to do?" I think that's wonderful -- and very telling. Makes me wonder if Australians are more fun or more balanced or less work-focused than Americans. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our friends down under.

Fortunately, part of my current vocation is also one of my passions. It hasn't always been that way. But I'm currently creating jewelry full-time, along with a little freelance writing.

In the Artful Success program I am taking, we were challenged to create a passion statement for our business. (This is similar to a mission statement, but designed to be more heart-centered and energetic.)

Since I have two very different kinds of customers, I created a passion statement for each:

1.  "I create unique, lovingly handcrafted jewelry that sets the wearer and her individual style apart from the crowd."

2.  "I create custom pet memorial pendants that comfort grieving people with a beautiful way to help them honor and memorialize their furry family members."

So now, go ahead, ask me what I do! I'm ready!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Something new... a plan!

I'm trying something new. I'm heading into next month with a plan, courtesy of what I'm learning in the Artful Success program. Oh, I've had monthly task lists before. Lots of times. But this time is different. Yep. This list is not just my usual bullet-pointed list of big, huge projects, few of which will actually be accomplished, but this, my friends, is a detailed plan, complete with action steps that will get me there. Yes, I'm all ready for next month, even though this month is only half over.

And because the daunting list of big, scary projects is broken out into bite-sized action steps, I'm smiling. It's still going to be a lot of work. But this time, I might actually accomplish something. Maybe I'll even finish all of them!  :-)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Self management... cuz you can't really manage time!

As I get my feet wet in the Artful Success program, I'm thinking more critically about how I spend my time. I'm always busy all day long and into the evening, but so often at the end of the day, I really haven't accomplished much. I know I get overwhelmed by facing a long list and I know I won't finish all those tasks. And that's disheartening day after day. So I wonder if deliberately limiting my daily task list might actually make me more productive in the long run. Now... to learn the art (or perhaps it's a science...) of deciding which tasks truly are the most important and will give me the biggest bang for my buck! I can't wait to see what my schedule looks like a couple of months from now!  :-)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pursuing Artful Success

I've just begun a new program to help me take my jewelry business to the next level. I've looked into lots of programs designed to help you learn things like social media optimization and the ins and outs of marketing and sales. But this brand new program was designed by a very successful fellow jewelry artist. With a direct insight into what I do, she should have more to offer me than other such programs, don't you think?

Even in this first week, I've learned some organizational and time management techniques that are already beginning to help. I now feel like I can tackle the mountain of tasks that running your own business entails, along with keeping my creative spirit fresh. And I'm very hopeful for the next couple of months!

Wish me luck! And check the Artful Success program out for yourself if you need a new direction.