piper’s dream report: week twelve

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Hi everyone!  Phew, three months I’ve been reporting – where did the time go??  I hope you’ve been enjoying it as much as I’ve enjoyed getting to know you guys and hearing from you.  The past few weeks have been tough ones for me.  I’ve hit my point.  You know the one?  The breaking point.  Where you’re just swimming to keep your head above water?  (and right now, I feel like I’ve forgotten how to swim!). You can add a bit of worry to that too since I haven’t sealed the deal on a web designer yet – and I know that even once I get past this hurdle of web design, there’ll be lots more hurdles to cross!

I’m just taking it day by day at this point so it was interesting when Emma asked in her comment last week about my dreams and expectations for the store.  I thought “what a wonderful question”!  Which was then followed by…I don’t know if I have the answer for that!  Partly, I think it’s due to not having the website in the process of being built.  I can tell that once I get that going, I’ll have time to work on other things (much more fun things!).  Also, right now I’ve been so focused on doing all the things that need to be done to open a store and trying to keep up with my to-do list:  financial sheets & budget, inventory planning, contacting artists, what will I use for packaging, setting up an accounting system, sales tax, lions & tigers & bears, oh my!! – that I haven’t even thought much to the future.  The day my store opens for instance.  Or what will my first year be like?  And can I just tell you what a difference that is for me…I usually ONLY think about the future!

I can answer one question off the bat – life has changed a lot so far!!  I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur yet – I think I feel that until I actually “open the doors” on my online store, that I’m not an entrepreneur yet.  Although that brings up an interesting thought – when does someone become an entrepreneur?  When you decide that you want to be your own boss?  Or when you actually are your own boss?  The one thing I have noticed as I’m getting more into the entrepreneur mindset is that I’m more focused on action rather than dreaming.  Which is why I think I haven’t spent time visualizing what the store opening will be like that first year.  Now I’m making that transition where I’m taking those steps that will actually one day allow me to be my own boss!  Before I would have spent months and months pondering the idea of web design.  Now, I’ve actually printed off pages of other sites I like and made lists of why I like them, sketched out what I would like mine to feel & look like, and blanketed the web design world with emails.

So funny enough, actually staying in the present moment (not in dream world!) and not looking too far ahead has helped me.  By taking things day by day and not thinking about all the what ifs, I’m making more progress than I ever have before. This is a good thing for me because I have to admit that sometimes I’m a “glass half empty” kinda gal.  One of those personality traits that I keep hoping I can trade in someday!  It’s bizarre too…because I’m a very cheery, fun loving person in life…let’s just say I have this other side that’s “realistic”!  On the good side, it does allow me to plan for things that can go wrong (and trust me, planning and working out all the “what ifs” is something I excel at!!)  But the bad side is that my “glass half empty” mentality doesn’t let me off the hook and just say “hey, this store is going to be successful”.  Lucky for me, my hubby is about as optimistic as you can get. So, thank god for him, because he reminds me that things are always possible – something I deep down, truly believe and sometimes just need that nudge in the right direction.

So Emma’s thought got me thinking…What WILL it be like when I open the store?  What are MY DREAMS and HOPES for it?

Then I remembered the book “The Boss of You”.  One of the first things they have you do is make a couple of lists.

One was “why do I want to start my own business?”  Hmm, very interesting.   Especially since nowhere on the list I created was the statement “make tons of money”.  My number one reason?  So that my husband and I can work together (i.e., we can spend more time together) and have more freedom/flexibility in our lives.  Number 2?  The ability to spend my day doing something I’m passionate about.  Talk about an eye opener.  It’s as simple as that…that’s what I want and dream about.  (not to mention, it would be cool to work from home and hang out with our dogs!)  Yet a lot of time is spent fretting over the money side.  Which completely makes sense (you need to make money to stay in business)…but honestly I’m not looking to make millions.  It would be nice, don’t get me wrong J  But, I just want enough so that I can work for myself and do something I’m passionate about.

Which brings me to the Ladies Who Launch workshop I took a year ago.  One of the things they talk about is how it can be hard sometimes for women to think BIG.  As in really, really BIG.  And you can count me in as one of those people!  So what they have you do in class is have all the other students write a vision for you.  Because amazingly it’s so much easier to write a vision for someone else.  And when we got our visions back from the other students, it was such an eye opener.  Things I never dared to think about (or at the very least tell anyone about) were in these visions.  Things like “your store will be featured in a magazine” all the way to “you’ll end up writing a New York Times bestseller and have your own show on HGTV”.  If I would have written my vision, it would have been much, much smaller.  So it was such an eye opener to remember to think BIG – you have to think it for it to happen right?  So thanks for reminding me that I need to still dream and think BIG.

So here goes  (boy, this is not easy to put out there!!) My dreams for that first year once the store opens:

  • I make enough the first year to enable me to work full time on the store.
  • My store gets featured on 2-4 of my favorite blogs. (that would be amazing!)
  • I get to spend time working with indie artists and designers and helping to get their products seen.
  • I write a bestseller (okay, I’m kidding about that one!  I’m so not a writer!)

Here’s my challenge to you – create your own vision statement and make it BIG!!!  Fingers crossed that, hopefully, next week I’ll be talking about my web designer!

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  1. So with you on the whole “I don’t need to make millions, just want to spend my day doing something I’m passionate about” tip. You hit the nail on the head. That is the ultimate goal in my mind as well. I think you’re well equipped to have that happen in the near future. You’ve done so much research and poured your heart and soul into this and I believe that it will truly pay off!

    And don’t you just love “Boss of Me”? I think that’s my favorite book for starting up!


  2. Natalie

    What a great update! The biggest message I got from this post was “Action! Action! Action!” I LOVE that you’ve gradually gotten to a point where you’re swamped with action-oriented tasks, and not just with the dreaming and planning and wondering parts. I tend to define “good” days as the ones where I was most productive, so having so much stuff to do kind of says to me.. you’re doing something right! And while it’s nice and lovely to sit and dream and plan (because there is a world of opportunity and potential before you! You can dream up the most perfect, successful business in the world!), having things to do really means it’s all real and on its way! Congratulations!

    I love the second half of your post as well. I just finished the first chapter of The Woman’s Small Business Start-up Kit by Peri Pakroo, and in it she talks about making your own definition of success and trying not to get sucked into the traditional definition. The traditional, default definition of success is to be making as much money as possible and grow your business as much and as quickly as possible. This can lead to business owners just working all the time and becoming slaves to their job, which is pretty counterproductive if you started a business to stop being a slave to your job! Instead, she has you write down your own definition. Maybe it’s being able to take a month of summer vacation instead of a week, or making enough money to save for your children’s college education, or having a flexible work schedule for if you have children someday. It’s so important to define what success means to you early so you can grow your business to fit that mold that will make you happy.

    What a clever idea to have other people add their own “dreams” for you and your success! Although we might fall into the trap of work work work, grow grow grow for our businesses, ironically we still might consider things like getting featured in magazines or writing books to be out of our reach, even though these might be satisfying, and totally attainable endeavors! I’ll definitely have to try out that exercise when I get started with my business. =)

  3. Patti

    I love reading your progress and am very proud of you! Your writing is very inspiring. And that bestseller you don’t think you can write?
    PLa-leeesss! You are a beautiful writer!

    Let me know if I can assist with your website – I can help!

  4. Heather

    You are doing great, please take the time to stop and really celebrate what you have done, you are making huge strides towards your dreams! Love the images, love the peeks out your place, so awesome! Oh and of course love the dogs! It is all working out and will all come together..

  5. Julia

    Oh my lord. I can only imagine how hard it is at this point. I think you’re handling everything with grace at this point. I’m in a similar boat, as I’m getting ready to pitch my idea to an MBA program for more creative types. I swear, I change my mission statement every day! But do you feel like every day, as you go through more of these tests and trials, that you are being forced to get a liiiittle bit clearer?

    And on a totally unrelated note, your puppies are SO CUTE! I recently discovered my love of King Charles Spaniels (that’s what the one on the right is, yes?) when I made friends with one at a park in San Francisco. And I grew up with a lab mix, so I’m already sold! You have my dream family!

  6. Eileen

    I love all of your posts! I’ve been following you each week and it’s inspired me to work on my dreams, too! So much so that I’ve been spending more time off my blog {not good because I love blogging} and thinking of my little shop. I’ve been waiting to introduce my ideas on my blog, because I wanted it to be fully formed, but I’m beginning to think that that might just be my fear of not following through. Soooo, on that note, I’m going to take you up on your challenge and start posting about my dream! It’s fabulous to have you right here on MML for inspiration and encouragement {and I’m a big O.S.R. fan too!}!
    Have you thought of starting your shop with something like Big Cartel? It’s for smaller businesses, but it might be a good way to introduce a hand full of your desired products. And it could save with the cost of developing a store.

  7. Emma Jo

    Hi Piper! WOW…your workspace is so clean !! mine looks like a bomb explosion 😀

  8. Suze

    Ciao Piper,
    Stop a second. Really. And re-read the tone of your first posts here. Now re-read the tone of this last one. Do you feel it??? To me it looks like you’re of course the same adorable person, with the same dream and still facing big challenges BUT the mindset seems so different, so proactive now, much more self-confident (in the good way), even more enthusiastic and definitely entrapreneurial! (Sorry, mybe my English is not good enough, hope it’s clear what I mean…)

    I really hope you feel this way, because you deserve it so much with all the progresses you made so far. And of course you deserve the greatest success with your store, I bet it will come up fabulous!

    *Ah, and seeing my little present on your desk in the first picture completely made my day! So happy it’s with you! :)*

    Should you need anything at all I could help with, Piper, just give me a shout!
    Looking forward to discover something about your web design plans!


  9. Jenny

    Loving the updates! I’m actually working on my own vision statement as well as a mission statement for my blog. It’s so good to have goals written down as intentions and to clear things up in your head. Very helpful!

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