My life feels like an amusement park lately.Â As I take baby steps out of dream world and into the real world of launching my store, I’m finding that I’m experiencing emotions like never before.Â It’s like riding a roller coaster of emotions…the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows.Â And quite frankly, it would be perfectly fine if it weren’t for those terrifying lows…the ones that make me doubt myself or make me feel like I want to quit (daily sometimes!)…before I’ve even really tried.Â All because it’s SCARY.Â I’m being faced daily with facing my fears head on…and I can tell that my fingers are digging in deep, they don’t want to be pried from the safety and beautiful fantasy of dream world.
I started my week with the wonderful feeling of being on track.Â I had my game plan from the consultant, my new schedule of working on the blog one day and the store the next and I felt for a brief moment “hey, this is starting to come together”.Â All I have to do right now is focus on compiling images together of products that I’m interested in carrying.Â Easy peasy, right?Â I’ve already done the leg work (as in years and years spent pouring over design magazines, websites and blogs and putting all the designers I love onto a spreadsheet).
BUT as I’m taking these steps towards the real world, my confidence seems to waver daily.Â I started putting images together of all the products and designers I’ve compiled over the years.Â And honestly it’s cool seeing them together.Â It’s the first time I’m taking this step…actually putting the products together and seeing what they look like together.Â And the good news is that there really is an aesthetic to the products I want to offer!
BUT, I started questioning this.Â It’s definitely my style – I would buy any and all of these items.Â BUT, as I looked at these images versus the way I decorate my house I became worried.Â My decorating style at home is modern classic – I love modern lines but not trendy.Â As I looked at the items I want to offer in my store, I started wondering all sorts of things…are they too trendy?Â are they too young-skewing?Â what is the aesthetic??Â It’s a challenge to find modern classic items – that are affordable – something I’m a big believer in.Â Do I have enough of those products?Â I can say that I do have a fun, whimsical quality to my dÃ©cor – and this definitely fits in with the products I’m looking at offering.Â BUT am I only offering fun, whimsical items and not enough modern classic?
So, as you can see, more questions are starting to arise.Â Not fun, dream world questions either…actual questions concerning the direction of the store and what kind of store it will actually be.Â And here’s where my perfectionism comes in to play.Â I don’t necessarily know the answers…so my confidence plummets.Â Questions like:Â What do these products together say about my store?Â Is this what I envisioned?Â What if no one likes these products?Â Do these products even go together?Â What makes me different from others?Â And the biggie…Can I even do this?Â Oh, self doubt is terrible isn’t it?
And to top it all off, I have a big problem…have you noticed it?Â Don’t laugh…BUT, I have a “BUT” problem.Â And not the Sir Mix-a-Lot “Baby Got Back” kind of problem…the “I tend to start & end all my sentences with the word “BUT” kind of problem.Â I’ve already counted 5 of them!Â I’m beginning to wish I never learned that word (honestly though, I’d just start using a word like “except”…I’m crafty that way!)Â “But” really just means that I’m shaking in my shoes…”but” is my way of putting the brakes on and questioning everything…What if I fail?Â What if I lose money?Â What if no one goes to my store?Â And it’s tiring thinking this way!Â No wonder I feel like I’m on a roller coaster!
I want to have a “who gives a damn” attitude!Â I want to be that person that says “you know what, I like these products so I’m leaping in with both feet and people will show up”!Â I loved the line that Brigitte left in her comment the other week.Â It’s from Seth Godin: “Write your interests down, circle one and don’t work on anything else until you succeed.”Â That really struck a cord with me.Â Somehow when you think about it that way it doesn’t seem as scary.Â Like if I don’t do anything but work towards my goal of opening my store, how could I not in some way succeed?Â BUT…
See…I feel like I want to qualify that statement.Â Guess what though?Â I’m putting my foot down…I’m not going to do it!Â I’m choosing to believe that statement today – I’ve worked hard to get to this point.Â And if I can one day say the words “my store’s grand opening is today” then that’s at least something I’ve never done before!
So in order to be able to say that – I have to confront these questions.Â I’ve already started by continuing to create these product catalogs.Â I’ve also asked friends to look at them to get their feedback (it’s amazing how that helped – sometimes other people not as invested in the outcome can see things that you can’t).Â And finally, the reason I’ve been putting these images together is so that I can show them to my consultant and she can give me her opinion and feedback.
I can see how pulling these items together gives me a sense now of who my customers will be and how it can be branded. It’s still a bit fuzzy, but hopefully as I keep taking these baby steps it’ll get more and more in focus!