Giving up the ‘business’

I’m a problem solver. That’s what I do. Sort things out. It’s one of the things I do best.

Show me a ‘can’t’ and I’ll show you ‘can’. Show me an ‘I dont know’ and I swear I’ll show you an ‘I’ll find out’. Show me an ‘I’m frightened’ and I’ll show you a ‘hell, do it anyway!’

I started making natural skincare products to try and solve the ‘problem’ of my first son’s dry skin. I LOVE learning, so I studied and practised, and I made some lovely stuff for him.

And now, with baby number 2, both my kids benefit daily from their own little bespoke skincare range.

But the thing is, it was never meant to be a business. I guess that has been a byproduct really.

Its great that other people are using and enjoying the stuff. And hey, maybe someone will feel inspired by my journey, and be encouraged to do something to solve their own problem(s).

But I don’t enjoy business. No. Not at all. I enjoy creativity, and beauty, and peace and kindness. I enjoy people and new places, and new challenges, and learning. I enjoy overcoming difficulties, and finding the answer. I enjoy exploring natures gifts – the beautiful oils and herbs that are our natural healers.

But I don’t enjoy business. Not at all.

I enjoy the opportunities that it exposes me to. But I can’t stand the ‘selling’. The ‘transaction’. The value judgement that is made as a result.

I love my products. I love that I have preserved my childrens skin despite eczema, and chicken pox, and this rash, and that allergy. I’m proud of the work I have put into it. But I’m not a natural business woman.

And I’m wondering if and when it might be time to just stop…. After all, I solved the problem didn’t i?

The serious business of ‘business’

I keep thinking I’m missing something…..because business is so very very serious right? Wrong. Or at least, wrong in my case.

I’m sure it doesn’t need to be. I actually really enjoy it. And mess it up. And make it right again. And fumble around trying to understand it.

I don’t ‘power dress’. Or pay for PR. Or wear sky scraper heels (is that what business women do…..? I don’t know). I feel very intimidated by those types of ladies. And by men in suits for that matter.

And I don’t lie awake thinking about it. Or worrying about how to make more money (ha!) or find more customers, or beat the competition, or ‘put myself out there’.

I don’t have a marketing plan. Or a business plan for that matter. I’m not sure I know what SEO stands for (……joking….I do really….kinda).

I just like it. And have a bit of fun. And enjoy making stuff. And meeting people. A friend and I were chatting (…..’a meeting’…..) yesterday and we decided that marketing is just about ‘relationships’. Meeting folk, showing them your stuff, being nice.

Just relax everyone will you?

I don’t need a master class on recognising my USPs, or ‘finding a niche’, or ‘dressing for success’, or some other crap. I just make stuff. You might like it. Take a look 🙂

 

Who do you trust…..?

Its very difficult to know who to listen to when you’re caring for your precious baby.  Theres so many people witnessing your tentative steps into parenthood. Most folks are very quick to offer you their advice – wanted or unwanted. Does it help? I’m not sure it does.

And then when you have a baby that has additional health problems………where do you look then? Who’s the expert then? I found most ‘unqualified’ advice about how to look after my son’s skin very unhelpful. It felt like a crticism. ‘How can he bear it?’ ‘Poor thing must be in agony’ ‘Havent you tried x, y, z?’. Yes!!!!!! Of course i bloody have!!!!!!! What do you think i am?!

Anyway, i digress. The point i want to make – is that running this small business is a very similar journey really.

I started without any experience of business. Nought. Zilch. Nada. And i’ve learnt as i’ve gone along. I’ve taught myself. I’ve made mistakes. Much like parenting.

It has been amazing, and challenging, and tiring, and difficult, and (occassionally) stressful – but also wonderfully liberating. The world of ‘business’ doesnt seem quite so exotic now…..quite so alien. I am starting to understand how it works. And i cant say i really ‘like’ it too much – but i LOVE making my natural products, and sharing them with others, and i just cant keep doing that unless i face the business world.

Now there’s a lot of folks that are very quick to offer you their advice (sound familiar?). And its very difficult to consider handing over your ‘baby’ (business) to those people’s care. Those folks havent shed the blood, sweat and tears to get the business to where it is now. They havent grafted week after week, month after month, without pay. They havent wondered where you’ll find the money to pay the next month’s studio rent. They haven’t studied and crafted and created. Its a true labour of love. Nothing less.

And suddenly there are folks so quick to tell you what to do next. What makes you so qualified? Where were you in the beginning when i really did need your help?

Who do you trust with your ‘baby’? Its a minefield……

 

Going with the flow

I used to think that it was really important to have a plan.

I’m not so sure about that anymore. I think the events of the past 4 or so years, have shown me that planning is often a little bit futile.  I guess its good to have an idea of where you want to go – but i am constantly being surprised by the curve balls that life throws at me, and so am now trying to expect the unexpected. And take things as they come. And be open to changes. And go with the flow……..ImageMy son was ‘gifted’ to me, after a chance meeting with my (now) husband, which followed a dramatic surfing accident, which pretty much changed the course of my (up to then very planned) life. Had i never had that knock to the head…..

The birth of my son re-prioritised my entire existence. All plans were forthwith thrown out of the proverbial window. My new ‘plan’ became – eat, sleep, love and learn how to be a mother. And for me, learning how to become a mother, meant learning how to look after my son. Which also meant learning how to look after his very delicate (and then damaged) skin. Which meant – learning how to create my small business.

If i hadnt had that surfing injury, i’d have never met my husband. And never had my son. And never realised how delicate and precious babys’ skin is. And never learnt my trade. And never set up my wonderful gentle creative small business.

I try to constantly remind myself of the power of ‘synchronicity’ when evolving this business. There are those who tell me i need to ‘plan’, and i need a ‘strategy’, and i should develop a ‘policy’ etc etc. But this isnt a military operation. Not an ‘attack’ on the consumer.  I am moving forward slowly but surely – using feelings as a guide. And being open to the next development (whatever that might be….).

If life has taught me anything so far – its throw those plans out the window. You just dont know whats coming………but never fear…….if the recent past is anything to go by, i’ve got a feeling its gonna be good.