"Never thinking anything is good enough is a mindset breeding ground for self doubt and failure!"
As a small business owner, some days are good and some are bad. I am at a transition point with my business and I am finding it hard to stay focused. I have spent long hours for the past month of nights trying to develop new products that will "blow up", when I should be happy with what I am doing and focusing on marketing the products that my customers and myself already love. I have no idea what I am doing with the marketing so I have been taking on-line classes and reading books, trying to implement what I learn as I go, but it is a long road and I am moving slowly!
I am trained in art drawing, painting, photography, and graphic design, and have been thinking about why I didn't have the confidence to start a business as a graphic designer then, and how it pertains to my business now. I have set out on A Soap A Day art quest to try and answer some questions and to fill a creative void that I sometimes feel with regular daily production. I had some real talent as an artist studying photography, painting, and graphic design, and I wanted desperately to be some sort of visual artist after school but kind of failed at it. Wanting something isn't enough if you don't take action! Looking at my past failures may help me actively recognize pieces of my personality that are holding me back from taking my business to the next level, thus empowering me to change those pieces of my personality.
My husband recently told me the Japanese concept of Kaizen or continuous improvement, which is just taking baby steps on a daily basis to reach a goal, rather than being overwhelmed with big tasks that are daunting and may not actually help you achieve success. I am going to try and use my art and soap as a medium to visualize those baby steps I want to take in my business, and hopefully it will help open my mind to what is holding me back!
Here is the bar for June 5th 2012. The concept is "beginning" as depicted in cell type shapes. If you think about it the process of creating life is a series of baby steps! My business started with a single bar of soap like my life started with a single cell. I am going to keep going on this theme for a while slowly moving my way to an end.
This one bar of soap took over 60 minutes to make! 3 inch x 3 inch bar.
The small "cell" shapes were made with a thin sliver of pink soap that I shaved round and centered in an empty pen tube and plugged off with clay. They are very tiny and were difficult to work with! The first couple of tries did not work as soap was hardening before I could pour it, or the soap was hot enough to pour but then melted the thin pink soap!
What I have learned from this bar is that I am fickle. I loved it for a second when I made it and the this morning was already looking for ways to make it better and criticizing the design, rather than just being happy with it as is. This is often my thoughts on products, not that there is anything wrong with wanting to improve, but sometimes you just have to be happy with what you have! Never thinking anything is good enough is a mindset breeding ground for self doubt and failure!