piper’s dream report: week three

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This is going to be a recurring statement every week…but it’s so true.  You guys are just so incredibly helpful and supportive.  I want you to know how much your comments mean to me and how they really give me motivation to keep going.  I’m beginning to wonder though how to keep my weekly post here short enough so that I don’t bore you guys to death!  But each week I feel like there’s so much I want to share with you.  So, I’ll do my best to keep it under control :)  A lot happened this week for me though and I really want to share it all with you.  This may go into next week…!

One of the things I used from your comments this week was to take charge of my daily schedule.  I had to come to terms with the fact that I’m not Wonder Woman…I’m not even Bat Girl!  I’m just me…I work a full time job, have a husband and 2 cute dogs that I want to spend time with and a house that we’re renovating.  So I needed to get realistic about what I can (and can’t) accomplish.  I started by taking your advice and scheduling “days”.  One day for blogging and one day for the business.  And then I went a step further.  I took all the to-do items I had listed for one day and set what I thought was a reasonable time frame to complete that item.  Wow, was that an eye opener.  When I listed time frames next to each item…I was out of time for the day…and still had about 8 things left on that day’s to-do list.  Yikes!!  So I’m learning to be more realistic about what I can achieve in a day.  (and also hoping for extra hours in the week to miraculously appear!)

On “business day”, I started reading “The Boss of You” based on your recommendations.  It’s funny because I’ve seriously read a gazillion start your own business/self-help books.  And then you reach that point where you feel like there’s nothing left to learn or it’s just not helpful anymore.  That’s where I was…but, I think I was wrong! (don’t tell my hubby!)  The very first chapter made me realize that sometimes you have to be at the RIGHT MOMENT for the information to be helpful.  A chapter on “hiring people” isn’t going to help me out when I haven’t really hired myself yet!

The first chapter has you write a few lists.  One of them was to write down a list of your strengths & weaknesses.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve done this a bunch of times.  But this time, I didn’t just write the list, pat myself on the back and then not look at it again.  This time, I really looked at the list.  And I noticed that under “weaknesses” I put “being able to describe my vision to others” and “details “.  I’m a big picture type person.  I constantly come up with ideas and grand visions.  It’s the nitty gritty, the details that can stop me in my tracks, especially because my perfectionism gets in the way.

But here’s the thing…I’m the “boss”, right?  Shouldn’t I know all these things?  Shouldn’t I have ALL the answers?  For some reason, this is what I’ve always thought.  I even get angry with myself when I don’t know what to do or how to do it.  But then my ever patient husband and friends asked me the following:

“When you started dancing did you know how to do it?”       Sigh…”No”
“Did you learn from someone else how to dance?”           Sigh…”Yes”

So why would I think I have to know EVERYTHING in order to start and run this store?!  Why would I think that if I’m opening a homewares store that I would necessarily know anything about logo design, or accounting, or web design?  That’s why they have people that specialize in this!  It’s even been on my giant to-do list forever…contact logo designers & web designers.  But something was holding me back from taking that step.  And without being able to figure out why, I’ve felt stagnant.  Not really moving forward on my store.

And then it hit me…my weakness that I listed.  I’m having a hard time describing my vision and concept to others and fine tuning the details.  At another time, I probably would have been down on myself for not being able to figure out things on my own.  But this time…I did what lots of books have suggested…I decided to find someone who can help me.

So guess what my action this week was?!  I contacted some people who specialize in helping small businesses with their concept and game plan!!  I took that baby step (ok, giant leap!) and went with my instinct and scheduled a consultation.

The consultation was setup for Monday for one hour.  As it approached, I realized how nervous I was.  A little bit from wondering if they would like my concept for the online store to wondering if it would be worth the money.  Well, I can’t even tell you how helpful it was!!  I got to talk one on one with someone knowledgeable in the design and home decor industry who could say whether the concept was valid or not, give ideas for solidifying the concept and talk about what my next steps are.  So, first off…phew, she liked the concept!  But as she asked more and more questions (Who is your target audience?  What products are you offering?  What will the online store look and feel like?), I realized that I’m not as far along as I thought.  Like I said before…I thought my next step was to find and hire a logo designer!

But as we talked it became clear that without my concept solidified, without knowing more about who my target audience is and exactly what items I would be selling and what feel I want for my store…how could I really have a logo created along with the tagline and website?  The more we talked, I realized that I have visuals in my head of what my store is like, what I want it to look like, what I want to sell…but to put that into words?  Shiver!!  Definitely one of my weaknesses….so her advice was to put together images of possible products I would like to carry.  This will give me a visual to look at and see what these images are saying, what is the aesthetic being portrayed by these products.  And I decided that I’m also going to do the same for the concept I have for my store.  I’m such a visual person that I think it’ll help me to have images to look at and to give to logo/web designers when the time comes.

I swear it felt like an A-HA moment this week.  I’ve been struggling with taking steps because I was battling one of my weaknesses.  Instead of saying to myself “we all have weaknesses, I just need to find someone who can help me in that particular area”…I’ve been frustrated with myself for not being able to do every single thing that comes my way.  But I think I’m learning that successful business people acknowledge their weaknesses and seek help for them…and then they move on.  They don’t dwell on it.  (that will be something I definitely need to continue working on!)

And here’s the best part – Tuesday felt like a brand new day!  I felt passionate, excited and motivated again…and spent all day working on putting together images.  It’s going to take me awhile but it’s a start!  This coming week’s action will be to continue putting visuals together including a mood board that I’m hoping I’ll have finished to show you next week. And another thing that I’ll talk about next week!  (I told you, I have a lot to tell you!)

So I’m wondering…Do you ever get stuck and not know how to move forward?  How do you guys get “unstuck”?

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  1. lulubrownskin

    Well written – well said! BRAVO!

    I had something [what I had ALREADY known!] highlighted for me once more – perhaps the final time before I too take the plunge & get going [again], properly! 🙂

    Thank-you. Every wee, daily reminder helps! Enjoy compiling your inspiration board – look forward to seeing it!

  2. I really enjoy going along this journey with you Piper. It’s great that you’re able to put into words, what so many of us are probably thinking. We all have weaknesses and we all get stuck. Getting unstuck is the hard part, but I think you definitely went about it the right way. Sometimes it takes affirmation and a little advice from what we might consider “experts” to get us going in the right direction again.

  3. I’v really been enjoying reading this. I struggle with a lot of the same things – so it’s great to hear what you are doing/planning/thinking/etc.

  4. ‘Fools rush in…’ I just went ahead and did it, Piper, and the only downside has been wear and tear on my stomach lining! The only rules: stay cash-positive, and (the hard one) do some marketing every day. About five months in my linen bedding took off, after an article in remodelista. My husband is proud of me!

  5. Maddy

    That was a big step in a good direction! And it’s definitely something I can relate to with trying to find a career path that is right for me. Maybe I need to do some real soul searching in order to get unstuck! Good job!! Glad you took some proactive steps!

  6. Julia

    Hi Piper,

    I’m so glad you shared this chapter of your progress. I think what you’re describing is something I went through, myself, just as an artist and as a person who tends to make huuuuge goals that are usually very lofty and hard to achieve. It’s that perfectionist/A-type personality trait. It’s a double-edged sword, makes us reach really high, but then kick ourselves when we can’t figure out why we didn’t get there!

    I think that you’ve done the bravest thing a person like us can do: ask for help. I’ve gotten better about it over the years, but it was really tough in the beginning. You have to remind yourself that even though you are using someone else’s assistance, it is still you taking control of your destiny. It just takes longer for that realization to reveal itself.

    What I try to tell myself now is to always shoot for the moon, and if you don’t make it, grab onto a star on the way down. That star might be just the right thing!

    I wish you all the best of luck, and please continue to keep us posted. There’s much to be learned from what you’re recording.

  7. Kristin

    When I’m stuck…I walk away. Take a break. Whether it’s an overnight with the hubs at a hotel on the beach…Or something as simple as a bubble bath. That usually helps me refresh and get back that “ready to work” mentality. You’re doing amazing lady. Such an inspiration!

  8. Melony

    Kudos to you, Piper, for taking that step!

    And don’t worry about editing your posts on our account. This is YOUR journey. I, for one, am interested in all you have to say. Remember it is a marathon, not a sprint. Think of us as the people who stand along the route cheering you on, offering water when you’re thirsty and power bars when you need an energy boost! 🙂

  9. Leigh

    there’s some definite synchronicity happening in the blogging world these days… you, jess, kelly diels and i are all talking about stuck. for me stuck falls into two categories: 1. a warning sign that i’m not really interested in what i’m going after, or 2. a wake-up call that i’m feeling overwhelmed and need to buckle down and do something (anything!) to face my fear and move forward.

  10. Jadyn

    Another awesome post, Piper! Details are a weakness of mine too, so could relate. It was interesting to see how you tackled this and how it worked out for you!

  11. Lori

    Piper, what a great article! It’s so nice to see you take a big step and see your ‘AHA’ moment. It does give me a lot to think about too. I continually wait for these Friday posts so I can see what’s going on in your week and so I can learn more about your on-going discoveries and business growth. Keep up the awesome work!! 🙂

  12. Jenny

    Love reading your posts – great job! You are a great Dream Reporter!!!

  13. Heather

    Sounds like you are making really great progress! Congrats, celebrate it! Love the inspiration board. I have a mini one and an inspiration journal, where I capture all the things, colors, patterns, words, looks etc that inspire me for whatever reason. I think we all get stuck and get in that paralyzed mode in our dreams and in our lives in general. The trick is not to stay there.. I really get through time like that by journaling and looking at why I am stuck, is it fear? Is it the shoulds that are keeping me stuck. journaling about it, and then stepping back is how i deal with it. Also even if unrelated, I try to do something a bit new or different then my usual. Getting yourself out of a stuck or rut in once place can lead to another.
    Great Job!

  14. If I get stuck, a talk to my husband and my mentor. Both are calm, level-headed, practical folks. My mentor is really a friend/former boss who always has a specific idea or suggestion when I’m stuck that really helps getting me unstuck.

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