Creating The Life I Want

A Target Diary

I’ve been gone from here for quite a while.  Primarily because I was not achieving what I wanted to achieve.  And it’s embarrassing to talk about it when nothing’s happening!

I still have the same basic goal — to feel successful at something.  I’m just not defining it so narrowly as “a business” or “sewing” or whatever.  It’s just to feel successful at something.  The operative word is “feel.”  I have actually noticed that I’m successful at several things.  Yet I want to keep going up, going forward, do more, achieve more.

It’s quite something to be able to take a look at what one is doing wrong and figure out how to do it right.  And that’s what I’ve done recently and it’s working!  Instead of expecting all my wishes and desires to come true right away or very soon, I’ve learned to work toward them more efficiently and to embrace gradients — a word I’ve never been particularly fond of, frankly.  But when a system is not working, you can keep doing it and get the same result
— nothing –or you can change and get different results.  So I’m changing by embracing gradients and doing correct targeting now…and getting different results.

* * * * * *

I realized that targets were happening all the time around me and I didn’t even notice it.  They’re not just for life goals or big dreams or long-range plans.  At work, when a brief has to be filed with the court or a report sent to a client, it is researched, notes are taken, it’s drafted, edited, reviewed, edited again and then finalized and sent out.  Guess what?  Those are targets that were set and done.

When I have to run errands, I make a plan of which one to do first, second, etc.  Those are targets.  If I want to cook something, sometimes I need a recipe but I always need ingredients which are used in a certain order to get a desired result.   Get my hair done.  Get my clothes cleaned.  Go from my bed to my job.  You name it, it involves targets.

Well, those are the simple things in life and I can do those really well.  Now what about the big things in life?  They clearly don’t happen magically by themselves just because I wish it.  How do I get those done?  Duh!  THE SAME WAY!!!!

So I’ve had to overhaul my thinking about targets and gradients.  In the past, I would make up targets like take classes, start a business, expand it into different areas, make it international and move off as a great success.  Didn’t work.  Targets are still the correct tool to use but I’m taking a different approach to them now.

* * * * * *

I’m teaching myself to first be more aware of targets in my everyday life and to control the targets I can control.  Once I get really skilled at that and actually see positive changes in my life that I’m doing it right and getting better at it, I’ll increase the level of the targets onto more important things.

At the beginning of this year, I bought a daily planner — one page per day because I have big handwriting.  Very simply, all I do now is just write down what I need to get done the next day: call Ron on his birthday, return the wrong paper towels, nail appointments, eye exams, etc.  My goal is to get all my targets done for that day.  Nothing earth shattering, nothing great or magnificent or hugely significant about the items.  Just get them done.   And I can see a difference already:

  • The things I write down get done.
  • No matter the time involved, if I want to get it done, it gets done.
  • My life has smoothed out a little already!
  • I’m now seeing that I can do even more each day.
  • It has increased my awareness of what I actually do every day and how I can do more.
  • I have learned where I waste time and knocked off doing those things.

It’s really pretty cool now!  I have hope again.  My goals are getting closer incrementally but definitely getting closer.

I will write more about this again soon.

Alethiea

 

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Another Bright Idea

Right now in this “Creating The Life I Want” phase, I keep wanting to discover the best sewn product I can personally produce that will be a big hit right out the gate until I can then get others to make it for me.  Over and over, this has been on my mind continuously.  Well, I got another bright idea a few weeks ago that I’m very excited about.  Using Google to search for it shows that hardly anyone is making it and, those who are making it sell it at a high retail price.  The reason I really like this idea is (1) it’s something EVERYBODY wears (men and women) so demand should be high; (2) it’s something I can sew easily; and (3) it doesn’t require custom sizing which means that tons of them can be made at a time instead of one at a time.

So off I went to the garment district downtown here in LA several weeks ago and bought a bunch of material that I can experiment with for starting my new line.  it sounds funny to say “my new line,” as I’ve never really aspired to be a designer and I don’t consider myself to be one.  I just like to sew.  But if I’m going to be an entrepreneur which is my main goal, I’m going to have to wear all the hats in the beginning.  I am continuing to research my idea to make sure I do it well, make it efficiently, and have a really good competitive advantage over others.  By this past Friday, I was satisfied that I’m ready to go into high gear.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was reading a trusted blog that I respect and love called Fashion Incubator by Kathleen Fasanella.  It’s totally awesome for anyone making sewn products, whether new to this business like me or not.  She’s the absolute best.  I have had her book for months now and originally intended to use it like a bible.  But then I got anxious, thought I could take shortcuts and went off in another direction.

Well, yesterday, after reading archives in her blog, I learned the importance of market research.  EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!  So, not only am I going to do proper market research now but I’m going back to her book big time and will use it like a bible.  Her book is The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, and her website is http://www.fashion-incubator.com.  Check it out if you’re interested.  Did I tell you that she’s the best?

I will continue to improve my sewing skill on my product idea while I do the market research.  Stay tuned!

More Lessons Learned

Well, it’s May and I’m just getting back to blogging after a looooooong absence.  At first, I wanted this blog to be a sort of diary of my path to creating the life I want.  Then as I started getting readers, I shied away from writing about the difficulties I was having.  So I have decided and hereby affirm to write this for both audiences – for me and for readers.

I have had some anxiety on exactly how to go about creating my business which is my first goal in creating the life I want.  Very surprisingly, I have learned that my personality carried over into my business.  You see, I’m basically a pretty impatient person – I like things done quickly with little lag time.  At restaurants, I expect my choices to be already cooked.  I don’t like my tea hot so I can drink it right away.  When someone is telling me a story, I want the ending as soon as possible.  You get the idea?

So this concept of creating or building a business was taking way too long for me!  But my dear friend and mentor, Kay, calmed me down so easily.  She told me to study gradients – the definition, examples, whatever I could find on it.  And I did.  And it calmed me down!  So much so that I’m still calm.  The anxiety I had (which is a very low operating or motivating basis) is gone.  I’m still motivated to reach my goals but the crazy anxiousness, self-invalidation, hurry-up, drive-me-crazy nonsense is gone.  In its place is a dedicated, meaningful purpose with definite steps on a gradient to get me where I want to be.  Man, this feels sooooo much better!

I also completed a course entitled “Setting and Achieving Your Goals” which gave me the most senior data to concern myself with in building my business instead of trying to do everything at once and being mildly overwhelmed (is that an oxymoron?).  Clearing up the necessity for gradients was great and then doing that course gave me exactly the steps that I should be doing — on a gradient.  If I hadn’t done it in that order, I doubt I would have gotten as much out of the course.  Gotta tell you that it’s good to have answers when I need them.  And I have also learned now to go get answers whenever I get stuck again.  It makes no sense to struggle with something when you don’t have to!

LESSONS LEARNED:

1.        Gradients are okay and are necessary.  Expect them and embrace them.

2.        My personality – good or bad – will inevitably transfer over into my business.  I need to be the best person possible to pull this off.  Self-improvement on this journey is a must.

3.        Pay attention to the senior data.  Everything else is noise until one is stable enough – on a gradient – to fine tune handling everything needed to be and to stay operational.

4.       Operate from a high tone – not a low one.  Action, enthusiasm, cheerfulness, mild interest, strong interest are so much better than anxiety.

5.        When I get stuck, go learn something new by L. Ron Hubbard about that area.  It works every time!

 

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Back At It!

 I know I’ve been gone for a while and a lot has happened since I last posted here.  First, it got very busy at work so I graciously and willingly put in a lot of overtime.  Can you say “cha-ching?”  My job right now is what is financing my entrepreneurship so it was good.  Ah, but wait, I just realized something!  Actually, the first thing that happened was a frequently looming idea that I’m not making progress.  It stops me dead in my tracks each time!  Two friends separately helped me overcome this and interestingly enough they’re both married to each other.  I’ve got great friends.

  You see, I’m allergic to this concept of gradients and always have been.  Who invented gradients?  I don’t want gradients.  I want my ideas to materialize as soon as I make the plan.  Is that too much to ask?  Well, yes, it is, darn it.  Gradients are the way this world was built and that’s the way this world works.  It’s not a societal or cultural thing, it’s a whole world thing.  No getting around it.  BUT we don’t have to be the effect of it.  Where we can help gradients along up is to INCREASE THE INCLINE!  As long as the gradient is going up, it should be admired, respected, welcomed, and stoked.  So guess who likes gradients now?  You go it. ( Kay helped me with that one.)

 There’s a great planning tool called the Administrative Scale by L. Ron Hubbard that lists everything anyone needs to have in place in order to accomplish a goal.  It’s simple, just a few words, but very powerful.  (You don’t have to be a Scientologist to use it and it’s non-religious.)  Well, John told me that he uses it all the time for lots of things, and he rattled off some parts of it as it applies to what I’m doing.  So this morning, I dug out my old Admin Scale and it’s perfect.  I just hadn’t moved to the next step on it.   Duh!  (Thanks, John!)

 My nephew, Marshall Davis, Jr., was in town last Saturday doing a tap dance show with Savion Glover.  I went with my son and a friend.  Those guys are so talented.  They sold out the large theatre here at Northridge University.  It was intense and extremely entertaining.

What has also happened recently is the $640 mega million lottery which would have been right on time if I had won.  I would have left my job of course, but I’d still build this even if I had won.  I am determined to get this done!

That being said, I gotta go sew!  See ya later.

Reality Adjustment

Wow!  Did I have a reality adjustment today! And I’m still having it!

Unbeknownst to me, this reality adjustment actually started a few weeks ago when I discovered that there is a term for my business idea that I was not even aware of.  I read about it with mixed feelings – the hope of learning something new about it and simultaneously feeling bad about it because here I thought I had this very original idea that NO ONE IN THE WORLD has ever thought of.  The term is mass customization.  A wonderful term, sounds impressive, sounds like something that could make a lot of money too!

I tucked that information into my personal memory files and quite frankly forgot all about it.  I continued working away on my little scarves, all the time trying to figure out how to keep inventory on hand, how to turn this idea into something really big that I can work at full-time, when should I hire others, etc.

Well, today, my whole life changed.  Splash!  Boom!  Bang!  I ran into “mass customization” again.   Ran smack dab into it.  I read that there are MANY others who are way ahead of me already.  They are already competing with each other…without me!  It hit me – duh! — that my brainchild is not new.  Now what do I do???  These other guys are well-financed, have overseas connections, big fancy websites, they started years ago, etc., etc., etc.

The reality adjustment happened 8 hours ago in the afternoon.  It’s nighttime now.  I’m over the initial shock and I’m re-grouping.  Yes, I’m re-grouping.  Instead of having to create how to do this great business idea of mine, I have to figure out how to compete with these guys and do the business way better than they are!

The game plan has changed.  You realize, of course, that it just got way more interesting!

 

Bad Girl?

I must confess:  I’ve been a bad girl lately.  I feel off the success grid here the last few days.  But I’m back starting tomorrow with a vengeance!!!

I sold all my infinity scarves this week and now again I’m out of business because I have no inventory!!.  I can see that that’s the first production problem I have to fix.  I have also observed again to never to give up on sales when something seems like it’s not going to sell.  I had two scarves all week that no one seemed interested in.  Then I sold them both, one right the other, yesterday.

I was told again that young kids LOVE infinity scarves and can’t find where to buy them.  I really need to get busy, huh???  One young girl that I saw tonight gave me the scarf she was wearing so I could turn it into an infinity scarf.  I told her she’ll still be able to see the tassels when I’m done.  She liked that.

So what kept me from sewing this week?

(1) One night this week, I helped a wonderful retiree with my secretarial services.  She calls me when she needs me, and I’m glad to help her with correspondence and keep her calendar up to date.

(2) Tonight I attended a beautiful choral concert that a friend sings in which is composed entirely of legal professionals (attorneys, judges, etc.).  I am always glad to support the interests and endeavors of friends.

(3) One night I studied a few chapters of a self-improvement book.

None of these are bad things actually but they did keep me from sewing.

(4) Didn’t keep to the schedule this weekend.  (Now that one is bad girl!)

Tomorrow’s targets:  (A) Finish my purple pants; (B) turn Ronni’s scarf into an infinity scarf; (C) find more fabric to make more scarves and make some more scarves.

* * * * *

I am having such a great time pursuing my goals.  Every minute is fresh and new because every moment is an opportunity to make something happen that will bring me closer toward my goal.  Who can I talk to?  Did I tell that person?  Who else should I tell?  Who can I sell something to?  What’s on my schedule for tonight?  Which fabric am I sewing up next?  And after that?  What have I learned today?  Am I becoming smarter about this?  Ahhh, it’s quite wonderful to create a future.

 

Ta da!!!  I made three more sales today!  Two white scarves and one pastel tie-dyed scarf.  It was funny how I did it too because I put my new scarves in a bag and left the bag with a co-worker so she could look at them.  She was busy, so I took the bag, went and sold a scarf and brought it back to her cubicle.  A little while later, I took the bag again, sold another scarf and returned it to her cubicle.  I loved it!

My schedule is still working out quite well.  It is the best schedule I’ve ever made because it is keeping me disciplined which is a benefit I sorely need.  I believe successful people are disciplined, meaning the “training or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers, self-control, etc.” (World English Dictionary)

I have often craved discipline, and you might laugh when I tell you why.  I am convinced that being a grown-up has disadvantages – primarily because if we goof off, procrastinate, don’t do what we’re supposed to do, etc., there seem to be no penalties.  No one ensures we always do what’s best all the time anymore.  No one forces us to confront the things we don’t want to do.  If we mess up, we can rush to get things done later or talk our way out of it, etc.  No penalty….or so it seems.

But every time I can’t buy something because I can’t afford it is a penalty to me.  Every day that I am not living in the kind of house I feel I should have is a penalty to me.  I could go on and on but you may remember that I don’t whine. 🙂  So as I see it, every step I make toward my goal reduces the penalties I will get from life later.  It sure has me focused now.

Next targets:  Sell more scarves, finish the pants I’m making for myself, check fabric stash again for material suitable for more scarves, make them or go get more fabric.  I also need to reach out to other areas besides the job to make myself and my products known.

Stay tuned!