Creating The Life I Want

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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.

Life After Sales

Guess what?  I have no more products to sell!!!  My first experiment was a success.  What a nice problem but I still wish I didn’t have the problem.  I have quite a fabric stash and can make many more infinity scarves.  So why do I hesitate?  What’s stopping me on my path to creating a better life????  I think it’s selfishness, a trait I don’t usually have.

First, I’d be using up fabric I bought to make clothes for me before I got this bright idea.  Second, I lost my luggage last month that contained ALL my best clothes – including my velvet leopard New Year’s outfit (tastefully done, of course), five pairs of lined slacks made by yours truly, five matching jackets, five pairs of matching shoes and accessories.  See what I mean?

But having now recognized it as selfishness, it is out of my system and I will make more infinity scarves to sell.  This blogging is wonderful stuff!

I didn’t go to work yesterday due to a bad cold.  I felt so bad that I didn’t even feel like sewing.  I slept a lot and took lots of vitamins.  But I did get on my computer for a while…and entered blog heaven.  I went to my blog host’s home page and started checking out other blogs.  I “liked” a lot of them and then searched for sewing blogs.  Smorgasbord (a Swedish word meaning a varied collection)! I immediately noticed that I need to learn how include pictures here because that is key in working with an art form.  Let’s see if I can get a picture in here.

Draping sample seen in Mood’s Fabrics Store here in Los Angeles

By golly, I did it.  🙂   I’m back in business.  Tomorrow’s target is 5 more infinity scarves made.

Today’s Sales Observations

  1. 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..
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The two that did not sell today were a brown animal print and a pastel, multi-colored tie-dyed.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

–alethiea

Sales progress!

Hello,

I sold four items today!!!!!  They were infinity scarves (circular scarves with a little twist to them) that I made over this past weekend from various fabrics that I already had.  (I need to remember to take pictures of the items I make so I can build up a  portfolio.  I’d also like to be able to show them to you.)

Selling the scarves was a win for me and validates part of my overall plan for building my business.  You see, I am building a custom clothing business.   My plan is to make small, introductory items for people and then show them the great benefits of custom clothing at an affordable price.

I fell in love with infinity scarves just a few weeks ago after I made one hurriedly out of black velvet for a formal dinner I attended.  It was a WONDERFUL wrap all evening!  So I came home, pulled fabric out and stitched up six more.  And sold four of them today!

One of my sub-goals is to sew every day.  I want to get disciplined to sew every day until I can hire others.  It also means a step forward in my business every day which is what I want.  But I haven’t sewn yet today and it’s already 10 pm.   Time to get busy!

alethiea