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!
Why is that when I REALLY focus on a goal and start doing everything in earnest to accomplish that goal, there seem to be distractions everywhere???? That is my BURNING question in life right now so I want to get it out of the way and out of my system. The little buggers are definitely something to be conquered and controlled. And I am determined to do so by making whatever changes need to be made to succeed first over them so I can succeed in other ways.
This is what I see: . This is what I seem to get:
I have often wondered if my many years as a legal secretary are unwittingly the root cause of many of these perceived “distractions.” You see, as a legal secretary, my duties are (1) to keep order of calls, letters, receipts, papers, files, and people (appointments, meetings, etc.) — incoming and outgoing; (2) to answer questions or find answers to questions; and (3) to predict and stay ahead of my attorneys so services they need miraculously appear before they ask. After 29 years of doing this, I am admittedly well organized and tidy – at home as well as at the office. Compared to pursuing a goal, these tasks are mundane yet I am still compelled to keep order, stay neat and tidy even when not at work.
Here then is the list of distractions to my career-changing quest and the ideal life I want:
- Cleaning and tidying up
- Getting ill (darn it)
- Groceries and other errands
- Getting and reading and answering personal mail and email
- Checking finances and paying bills.
Funny list, huh? They seem like mere points of normal life but to me they have now landed on my List of Distractions to be conquered and controlled! When all I want to do is sit down and sew and I have to stop for one of these, I feel distracted.
What to do? You will find, in time, that I like to think in solutions. That is to say, if something is not optimum, I want to look for a solution. If something is in the way, I want to find a solution. I don’t whine or dwell on problems. So here’s my solution: I am going to schedule these “distractions” to be addressed at certain times only and no other times. Every other minute outside of work will then be production time I can dwell on, relish and enjoy!
Now, back to those five infinity scarves!!!
- I offered six handmade infinity scarves to five ladies today. The first two in a row did not buy. The remaining three ladies bought a total of four scarves. LESSON LEARNED: DON’T GET DISCOURAGED. KEEP PROMOTING..
- One lady considered infinity scarves as old, something from the 80’s. She did not buy. Yet my 3 buyers were not familiar with them at all, and neither was I until recently.
- Each lady was attracted first to a scarf’s color, then the texture. They reached right away for the one they liked, then they checked out the others and went back to the ones they liked. They purchased the first one they touched and liked.
- The potential customers asked questions on how to wear the scarves, and I showed them using myself as a model. Then I handed it to them to try. The non-buyers did not ask questions. No one asked the price until I offered it. I priced them low and only mentioned the price after they seemed really interested. LESSON LEARNED: IT’S NOT THE PRICE; IT’S THE EASE OF USE AND WHETHER IT WILL FIT IN WITH THEIR WARDROBE.
- Two of the ladies bought conservative scarves — a large solid navy blue polyester and a narrow gray wool tweed polyester. The other two scarves were a long cream chiffon with sequins and an orange tie-dyed cotton with sequins — both to the same customer.
- The two that did not sell today were a brown animal print and a pastel, multi-colored tie-dyed.
- My customer Mary is super-sensitive to fragrances and noticed perfume on her scarf. It came from one the non-buyers who tried it on before her. LESSON LEARNED: BEFORE SOMEONE TRIES ON SOMETHING, ASK FIRST IF THEY ARE WEARING PERFUME. Mary will wash it and then pay me. We are co-workers and I want her to be happy with it.
- My customer who bought two scarves purchased one for herself and one as a gift. She will pay me on Friday when we all get paid.
All these customers are my co-workers.