Do you believe you can have a soap business?
If so, do you believe you have to do it the way its been done? Or can you build a life with soaping you can live?
I’m exploring this idea of a soap business.
Soaping is a hobby for me, now. One that I love. I’ve had other hobbies that I’ve turned into businesses. I’ve asked myself, “why do I no longer pursue those as businesses?” The overwhelming answer is, because it became just like everything else. Work: brutal, tiresome and uninspired work.
I put forth much effort in everything I do. I am not short on effort. I’m not short on applying myself. So why did those businesses turn into work and eventually fail?
I have explored this idea considerably and this is what I discovered.
I modeled my hobby/business from others. I did what was expected of me. What I thought was necessary – what I thought was required. Eventually I began to resent it. I wasn’t a good boss to myself. I’m great to others, just not myself. I insisted I do things that were not supportive of my assets. I pushed myself to move outside my comfort zone one too many times. I felt awkward and, eventually, I felt that I lacked confidence.
I have succeeded in many things in my life, just not with selling my art.
Many years ago I began taking photos of horses. I did it for myself. It brought me considerable joy.
Everyone said I’ll never build a business taking photos of horses. It was what I loved and why I first picked up a camera. My first two shows, one in Sedona and one at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, were built around horses. And not show horses, like I was told to photograph, but horses at pasture, free and some wild.
I sold my previous company and needed a job, so I strove to make my love of horses and photography into a “real” business.
I learned to love horse events, rodeos and round-ups, which I didn’t originally want to do. I have documented remote Arizona ranches. I have donated much time to the rescue of abused horses and volunteered my computer abilities, time and sunburned shoulders to help.
When I had my photography business, which was lamely called that only because I wanted to make money at it, but didn’t have any ideas how to do it “the right way”, I eventually ran out of money and had to do jobs I thought I’d never do in a million years.
I did wedding photography.
I shot new borns and children.
I took head shots.
I photographed a prostitute.
I didn’t judge. I thought, I’ll do whatever it takes to succeed and prove I’m willing to work as hard as it takes. After all, a paying client is a paying client.
I eventually had to bartend. Which anyone who as done this knows its waiting tables AND bartending. I worked under abusive employers and worse customers. I’ve been pushed up against a bar, held up by a crazy man with a gun and down to my last dollar, for the sake of my art.
I’ve stood against my friends who dictated to me or out right shamed me. I have felt shame. Shame of being so inherently wrong that I was a mistake and a failure.
I tell you this because if you’ve gone through similar, now is the time to ask, what do you want THIS business to be?
I am asking myself the same question.
If doing it the way others have suggested, and the way I project I should do it has failed, what if I did it the way I want to now? All the way. What if I did those things that made me joyous?
Would my previous attempts at business have failed anyway? Even if they would have failed, I might have had more fun along the way.
As I begin my soaping endeavors I know I need to sell soap to continue making more soap. If for no other reason but I need the space. Its another art form. I take photos of my soap, learn some chemistry along the way and produce something of use. I can do this in my home. I don’t have to stand in front of hundreds of people who watch me preform my art, like show photography.
If this is my chance to do things my way, why not enlist my determination and dedication? Why not do things differently? Why not do it all the way? No one ever does anything new by doing it the way others have done it. We take what works and build on that.
This time, I’m going to lay it all out. If I do this soap business, it’ll be the way I want, fully and completely.
Right now its a hobby, anyway. This hobby makes me happy to wake up and delighted to be alive again.
How are you going to run your business?
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