When I began designing I didn’t envision it becoming a business. I had a burning desire to create and to knit and every minute that wasn’t happening I was miserable. All I saw was the next design in my head, and the pure adrenaline rush of having a submission accepted. This was quickly followed by a sickening thud in the bottom of your stomach as you realise that some of the perfect details you had worked out were a little less than perfect!
However time moves on. Some of the things you found thrilling at the beginning of the journey have become more everyday. As well as this you start to realise that, unknown to yourself, you have begun to build a business. You start to consider what you get the best return on; designing, knitting, teaching or writing? You discover that there are a lot of new angles to your business that start to creep in that you have to deal with such as increased social media, promotion, plus the dreaded accounting! But more important than monetary benefit you need to ask yourself, what do you love? What makes you feel complete, competent and brilliant? What can you do with ease that makes others gasp with amazement? We are not all made the same, and part of our life journey is figuring out what makes us unique. Allowing that to shine and finding jobs to pass on to others that they shine at is my aspirational goal!
To begin with you feel like you have to do everything. When a business is smaller this is true, as it’s not financially possible to pay someone else at that stage unless you begin with a lot of working capital. I think it’s easy to let that stage go on to long though. We don’t always value our time and abilities. Last year Nadia began helping me with social media. I was drowning in the sheer number of outlets and felt completely unable to spend the time figuring out how to make them all work. As well as that I had no desire to do so! I’m very upfront in my dealings with the outside world and I’ll put something out there and say, ‘Hey, I made this, would you like to knit it?’. Unfortunately these days it takes a bit more than that!! Nadia gathers it all together and makes the whole social media more cohesive for me. She stops things from falling through the cracks. I’m so very grateful for her help.
This year I made another transition. When I became VAT registered last year I convinced myself that I could totally stay on top of the accounting side of it. It nearly broke me. I got it done, but what should have been a few hours ended up taking me several weeks and I almost lost my will to live. My wonderful accountant is going to take over the job for me this year and she actually enjoys doing it. This just reinforces my realisation of the importance of letting people do the jobs they are good at. It makes all the difference.
Value your time. Allow yourself to work on a subject and in a way that completes you. And try not to be too scared of the next big jump you need to take! It’s scary every time.
So what makes you unique? What can you do in a heartbeat that makes others gasp? It’s time to focus on your strengths and allow them to build you up!