How to maintain forward motion with your soap business.
When your arts and crafts show sales are off, orders are not coming in as expected and your soaps are stacking up EVERYWHERE, where do you find inspiration to keep going?
I see starting, or keeping a business running, like putting a train on tracks. First you have to shoulder it into place, then lean into the engine to get it moving. Once you’ve got a little momentum you hope to add train cars, and then take on passengers. All this takes muscle.
The muscle I’m talking about is unseen – its mental, emotional and inspirational muscle. Its that same place creativity comes from.
So HOW do you keep going?
This is how I’ve done it.
I keep a mental and physical list that I speak aloud or look at daily. I’m not even kidding.
I have lists of reasons why I began this business. This isn’t my first business, however, it is my first business without a partner. It is my first business of me doing everything.
• I would rather work long days for myself, with the possibility of making more money and staying creative, than work for someone else.
• I love getting up with a laundry list of things to do and getting those tasks done. I enjoy that feeling of accomplishment. I’m going to find something to do anyway, why not do something with limitless possibilities?
• I love making new soap (this can apply to anything).
• I love making a sale knowing I didn’t take advantage of anyone to make that trade. I made money on my own efforts, no one else’s. (No large salaried CEO’s here!)
• I love that I’m working in an honorable way.
• I love researching oils, butters and recipes.
I love executing those ideas.
• I would rather have my day consumed with details of MY business than for someone else who doesn’t appreciate my efforts.
• I love paying myself for all my efforts with time off, doing personal errands in the middle of the day, and a pay check worthy of my efforts.
No one has ever paid me what I’m worth but me.
In one of my businesses I worked for five solid years before I collected a check. I know, that goes against all business models, and I was never late on my mortgage, my suppliers and most importantly I was never late on my payroll. I paid my employees first, because I put action behind my beliefs. I believed the engine of my train was run and fueled by my employees. I started that train running, but to keep it running at the speed we were moving was them. I didn’t just want to say the word, but put action into my words. I proved it to myself.
So, before I can pay myself what I’m worth, how do I keep my only employee, motivated?
I keep up a mantra, a mental chant, of how important I am to this endeavor. If I don’t do it, no one else will. If I don’t make soap, those who don’t even know they’ll love my soap, my company’s brand, my company’s honor won’t get a chance to interact with a company of integrity.
I’m just one little snowflake, and still I get a voice too!
In five years I want to be proud of what I’ve built. I want to offer a place for others to enjoy their days and efforts – to have a place of honor and dignity for co-workers.
In five years I want to know far more than I do now about creating bath and body alchemy.
The goal of my company is to bring a touch of magic to your daily existence. To bring a smile, a moment of joy, to your day. I offer the ability to give that magic to someone else too. Not JUST through soap, but through the existence of my business. There is not enough magic in this world. Real magic. When you can help someone smile, when the last thing they wanted to do was smile, I consider that a transformation, in other words, MAGIC.
I see magic as an unexplainable experience. That’s all. Something our logical minds cannot make sense of, although it might be explainable or understandable upon examination. Do you know magic when you experience it?
Back to the point!
What to do when in Struggle?
When I’m struggling getting some forward motion, I change directions. I look at things I love: horses, soap, photography, dogs… I smell lovely scents. I watch a movie that will help me get back on track – something I’m attracted to that is interesting and than watch for clues about how I can understand my path more clearly. Its all there, if I pay attention.
Last night I watched a documentary on Buddhism. My meditation practice has fallen away. It was a great reminder of a tool that has helped me tremendously. I get new ideas when I sit quietly, when I let my mind rest. Having some control over this tool, the mind, is advantages to understanding one’s emotions. And those two abilities are what will keep myself on track for moving toward a goal.
I’m picking up this tool again.
I’m off to practice this tool now. I hope that this post has helped you with ideas, promoted thoughts and inspired you to keep going. Starting a business or keeping it running is not an easy thing to do. It is worth it. I’ve learned more about myself by owning my own business than I have from working for someone else. I have learned leadership skills, accounting skills, how to take all the responsibility for failures and how to share the successes, honorable management, self inspiration skills and, oh, so much more!
Take a breath and know that someone else believes this endeavor is well worth it!