Tag : support

Feel the fear… And, do it anyway!

What are you afraid of?

 

When I was considering becoming self-employed, honestly – the main thing stopping me – was I was scared of doing my accounts. The admin, the paperwork. The every single receipt keeping. The checking every single thing. The worry.

I am an organised person – I am actually (believe it or not!) despite the craftiness quite a ‘numbers’ person! I have worked in previous ‘lives’ as a forecaster, in buying, merchandising – accounts! But really, I am the ‘creative’ one. 

However, being self-employed – you wear EVERY hat. 

And actually – it isn’t that bad…

I have learnt that what I was ‘afraid of’ – was actually getting it all done… and now that I am here doing just that – the fear has shifted – and it is of getting anything WRONG. I am scared of the taxman.

Really? I am literally the most goody two shoes, most accurate accounts keeping person ever. To the penny! However, it is also the fear of the unknown. Based on this: recognise where your skills are and allocate accordingly! You CANNOT do it all – hence – why I have both a bookkeeper AND an accountant to double check, verify, account, check again and then submit everything for me.

I do understand, based on your own personal circumstances that sometimes, this isn’t always possible, and/or affordable. BUT – side note, whatever I pay for this, I am pretty sure (120% – DO!) I ‘save’ in a) my time, b) knowledge and accurate research, and c) understanding of the ‘rules’.

 

In our recent CLICHE workshop, I asked a question at the start of the class about fear: What is your greatest fear?

Overwhelmingly a word kept reoccurring: FAILURE. 

But what does ‘failure’ actually mean?

FAILURE

  1. lack of success.
    “an economic policy that is doomed to failure”
  2. the neglect or omission of expected or required action.
    “their failure to comply with the basic rules”

 

But – who sets the standards? 

I can take a wild guess it is… YOU.

 

I am by FAR my worst critique. I may FEEL I have failed, but I am often WRONG. (That is also hard to admit!)

So, I am over my fear of accounts – now, I have to agree with my ‘CLICHE‘ attendees – I too, am afraid of not succeeding. But, have I already got there? It depends on your mindset, outlook, perspective.

To some, I have already achieved. That, I (kind of) agree with. To some, I am nearly there! To some, maybe I will never get there (the nay-sayers – we ignore those!)

 

Well, I don’t know where this journey is taking me, and us (‘us’ – the business, ‘us’ – my family, and ‘us’ – you and my crafty ‘family’) but whatever the destination, it is indeed ‘somewhere’! How hard that climb is, or how exciting, and/or difficult it is yet to become… I am not sure – but I need to be mindful to not set ‘boundaries’. I need to set the bar HIGH and recognise that even if you don’t get ‘there’ – that putting yourself out there, and being in the process of it all is achievement in itself.

 

Also a reminder that: ask me my ‘dream’ a few years ago, THIS IS IT. I just need to remember that. And – I am sure, you need to be reminded too on your own journeys.

 

I have also learnt, that despite the fear – being self employed is HARD. There is no ‘rock up in the day job with guaranteed income’. There is no ‘boss’ telling you want to do. There is no set plan.

On the opposite side, there is no ‘boss’ telling you what you HAVE to do. Yes, there is no set plan – but you make that plan. It is YOURS to decide and do! Need a day off? No problem! I am sure your ‘boss’ can agree it…

However, if you need extra support, please do remember to TALK. You might think you are too busy to ‘chat’ – but you know that not everyone can mind read. Tell your friends, your family – tell them your life plans, your worries, your fears. They may already know, they may not – and want to get involved! – or, have a new ideas to help! A wonderful old BT advert slogan: It’s good to talk.

 

So, what are you afraid of?

Feel the fear and do it anyway…

Categories: Business, General Craft, Workshops

DREAM BIG. worry less.

I am blown away. Absolutely, to the point of tears today.

The amount of messages I have been receiving from friends, old friends, people I have only met once – people who I have NEVER met – telling me I am inspiring. I find it bonkers! 

 

“It is genuinely refreshing to see someone making their dreams happen.”

 

“You’ve reassured a lot of people who are also trying to juggle everything.”

 

“I have just read your blog post and couldn’t agree more! Congratulations on all the wonderful things going on for you and for being a self employed super mum!”

 

“I read and feel exhausted and inspired by your success – keep going for all us who are still dreaming!”

 

“…how do you fit it all in, you are a real superwoman! I am in the first year of my business and you’ve got me thinking about thinking out of the box a little more!”

 

“Well done Mrs – Inspirational – TICK”

 

“I know we’ve only met once, but I just wanted to say I’m always blown away by how you’re living your dream! You are really inspiring so thanks for all your crafty lass sharing.”

 

It’s great to see someone working on their dream, juggling being a mum (and no sleep – I can still relate to this sadly! 😂), and living their life to the full. And encouraging others to do the same. What we want from life looks different for all of us but we should all attempt to live our fullest version.”

 

This is just a small selection. You can see why I got a bit teary today. I told little man that mummy wasn’t really crying – she was really happy – people were reading what she was writing, and it made them, and her happy. He didn’t quite get it and offered me his ‘racing car’ and ‘gingerbread man’ – honoured indeed.

I am just writing about, and sharing what I do in my life. Doing a few crafty things, being a wife, a mummy. And the honest answer to the most common question? I don’t know how I get it all done.

However – I would like to be realistic with you. It is not all glitter and paper roses…!

I am a confident person. I am confident of The Crafty Lass and where it is going and the vision for the future. I know the price of a workshop – and why it is that price, how to calculate margins. Confident in what I am teaching. I can walk into a room of 100 people and not be phased by talking to them. Design my own website. Design my own product. Approach editors of magazines… But:

I am a natural born worrier. I worry about lots of (often insignificant stuff) from what I look like (don’t we all?) and what people think of me, of The Crafty Lass. I worry that I will never get it all achieved. Worry about things like Google rankings. And, if what I am pitching to the crafty world… is right. What if I am wrong? Worry that I won’t live up to expectations (usually my own – too high!). I worry. But, it means – often, I CARE.

When I feel overwhelmed – and a bit ‘wobbly’ (not just in the growing older, had a baby and drink too much wine, eat too many crisps scenario) …which recently with the major different avenues the business is taking it happens more than you think (wine and wobbly!) – I talk! The Husband would say too much (!) but, saying some of what I need to get achieved in X amount of time – makes it suddenly feel achievable. I am CONSTANTLY writing lists. And re-writing lists. Crossing stuff off, and re-evaluating what next… Planning what needs to get done across the day, week, month… year.

And, when for whatever reason, I just can’t talk to The Husband, family, friends – sometimes, it is good to get an external view point. And, although a week behind, in honour of #mentalhealthawarenessweek and – with a comment yesterday:

“Isn’t it refreshing to see honesty rather than the often B******T we see on Instagram?”

I see a Life Coach.

What’s one of those? Well – it is in effect, a ‘counsellor’ – but whatever the ‘label’ – she just listens. And advises. She ‘directs’ my train of thought. She makes me feel light when I leave. She makes me feel that I am actually superwoman. Thank you Donna – you are an amazing lady – who I genuinely think needs a medal listening to some of minutiae worries! 

Anyway… it also helps that I am usually up from 5.30am onwards with little man. I do always feel a bit smug when I’ve put the washing on, dishwasher is on, dinner is cooked and I have managed to send a business email, maybe even a flower or something or other made, and am often dressed, make-up on way and my second cup of tea by 7.15 am… It means I don’t have to feel ‘guilty’ if later in the day I indulge some R&R…

By the way – despite what I feel like when leaving my life coach appointments, and what I have been told by several people in the last few days – I am NOT superwoman… One thing that DOES get me through the day when required is a ‘nana nap’. As I indicated on my previous blog post – that seemed to hit home with lots of people – I am tired. 

I do seem to (very oddly) thrive on little sleep, but recently… not so much. I am tired.

When little man naps? I often do too. Well, sometimes… (ha!) Sometimes I indulge in watching First Dates. Or, having a cup of tea and a cheeky (large, needed) slice of cake. Or, when really needed… doing more crafty things! But, recently – there have been more snuggles and snoozes than anything else.

Our little man, loves to be held when he sleeps. And I, no matter what we ‘should’ be doing as parents – allow it! He doesn’t sleep in the day for long – never has done – and there will be a day, not so far away – when he would love nothing LESS than to snuggle into mummy’s arms for a cuddle and a sleep. So, I indulge me him when he wants. And I do try and sleep too. Or, usually check emails… (with one eye on First Dates!)

Sleep or no sleep – it is the down time and re-connect part of the day.

I would also like to point out:

The Crafty Lass Instagram feed is my brand. Our brand. It is everything we are doing, everything we want it to be, and more. It doesn’t show the down days, or the hard days. Of course not! To build a brand, you need to portray a strong vision – that every single day is happy, and obviously for us: crafty. And – mostly – they are! Perhaps, sharing this blog post goes against this strong vision – but equally, I am an honest person. And people KNOW that there are things going on behind that one single snapshot of your day – you choose to share what you want people to see.

There are days where little man’s temperature is sky high and you are transferred to hospital as the doctors can’t help you any more (last week… worry ahoy! He’s fine.) There are days where you are just low, for no reason. There are days where you feel like you are losing your mind as you hear the nursery rhymes go round and round and round. There are big, sad life events. There are days where a delivery doesn’t arrive and you absolutely NEED it for a workshop – and you suddenly have to drive to Hobbycraft to buy things last minute that you shouldn’t really need to. The days when HE JUST WON’T SLEEP. BUT NEEDS TO. (Why do they do that?)

I say this because as much as the social media feeds ARE my life, there are no lies or faded edges, but I ‘choose’ what to show.

Yes, I do work hard. And long, long hours. (But, it doesn’t feel like work!) And I would agree – I do have the patience of a saint (2,500 hand cut paper petals anyone?!) But most of all, I have support from family, friends, and mentally – my ‘Life Coach’. And – your messages!

I am determined. If I want something to happen? I will make it happen. Even if it takes years. Speaking to Kirstie? I god damn made sure if she came to my tent, she would know The Crafty Lass. She would know I made those flowers. Annoying – maybe? Driven – yes.

As this vision gets bigger, the dream changes, the ideas get grander – it is exciting that you are all joining me on this journey. 

Your messages – please keep them coming. They make me worry less. They make me feel like it is all working, and worth it. I didn’t set out to inspire people, but I am delighted that I am apparently doing just that.

Thank you… and remember, DREAM BIG. worry less.

Categories: Business, General Craft

The Crafty Lass does… Biggest project of her life!

Where does time go? It is a common question I ask – from one day to the next, one week to the next, suddenly from New Year’s Day we see Valentines and Easter in the shops, suddenly the clocks are springing forward, we are planning summer holidays, it’s BBQs, Autumn, Christmas… And so repeats the cycle.

 

It is already the middle of May. MAY. And, my blog posts have been a little (ahem, severely) lacking of late, which I apologise for, and predominantly relates to the aforementioned ‘biggest project’ of The Crafty Lass’ life in the title, which – I shall come back to.

May means – that one whole and first financial year of The Crafty Lass is complete! I say where does time go, but when I look back – an awful lot has actually happened in that year! When I handed my notice in to my full time employment, it was exciting – but ever so scary – I didn’t quite know where this was going to go, and what the future would hold – except, that it felt right. And so far, it turns out it WAS right. I miss the full time paycheque – but with less money, and more life I feel uplifted and incredibly lucky.

 

So, in that year I’ve gone from full time, to part time employment. I’ve held workshops and events locally, at both the Waitrose and John Lewis head offices, at Hobbycraft, at a Christmas Tree Farm dressed as an elf with real reindeers. I’ve been featured in my first magazine article (Papercraft Inspirations), I’ve been featured on The Guardian’s website as part of their Start Up of the Year competition, I’ve built the website up from scratch, created and sold my The Crafty Lass Greeting Card ranges and as part of this, created an Etsy store, created exciting commissions – from bunting, to fabric buttonholes, to paper flowers, feather painting, cupcake making, graphic designing, party decorations and even a bridesmaid dress into cushions! I’ve met lovely, brilliant people and companies. I’ve learnt that when you are following your dream, everyone wants to help you and are behind you. Which, in fact is incredibly humbling. Importantly, I followed up on a simple tweet about a new Craft Channel – which quickly followed to working in London planning and featuring in my own shows on Sky and working with them part time as a craft buyer…

I don’t simply list all these achievements in a ‘wow, look at me’, ‘aren’t I amazing’ kind of way… I mean, of course – it is nice to reflect, and think – yes I HAVE achieved a lot in just 12 short months. And no, it isn’t just a glorified hobby (which sometimes I wondered if it might end up being) but, I just mean that if you think about what you want, even if it means less money, less sleep, more working hours – you’ll make it work no matter what. I am incredibly lucky to have the emotional, logical and financial support from The Husband – but, at the end of the day it only takes ME, to get out of bed, get out of the pjs, go to the office (across the hallway) and carry on working till midnight if needed. (Although sometimes the getting out of the pjs part is optional!) It has been hard at times, but overall – the right decision.

So now, what is the future for The Crafty Lass? Well, as the title of this blog post suggests, I am about to undertake the biggest project of my life. In a recent, now too long ago post, I discussed my ‘new recruit’, Patch – who over the last 3 months has brought sunshine into our lives. Yes, there was the jumping on to the table (Patch, not me 😉 !) to steal my breakfast resulting in: ‘bacon-sandwich-gate’, there was the rolling in unprintable stuff down the park – 5 minutes before friends arriving – resulting in bath time craziness, there was the let’s eat a WHOLE BAG of doggie treats (very silly error by myself leaving them on the table when out…) resulting in a very happy followed by a temporarily poorly little doggie for an evening… However, these moments have been VERY few and far between. Mainly, it’s cuddles on the sofa, playtime with his beloved tennis balls, learning to understand his language, plenty of ‘walkies!’, watching him snuggle into his (it was mine!!) fluffy blanket… He is simply put – just SO CUTE!!!! There are still things to learn, more skills he needs to develop (like being able to cope and see other doggies!!) However, the home wouldn’t be the same without his four little legs tottering around, ‘helping’ you in the kitchen (I mean watching you intently in case you should happen to drop that roast chicken sort of helping) – he is there for you when you get home, he is part of the family.

So, aside from Patch – there is the little matter of, the pitter-patter of, little, tiny, feet…The Crafty Lass is expecting a baby! In fact today, I am 17 weeks along on this incredible journey. 

Being honest, the lack of recent blog posts speaks volumes – my head in the last few months, normally filled with fabrics and buttons and paper craft ideas has been replaced with scans, appointments, nursery designs, names… I just can’t concentrate! I haven’t been the wellest of bunnies over the last few weeks – but, I am now feeling stronger and ready for the challenges ahead! I am still very much involved in various exciting projects – future workshop plans, expansion projects, ideas for products, more branding, events… BUT from a personal perspective it is the most special time I have ever experienced. Again, it is another scary but exciting time – and just when I handed my notice in ‘I don’t quite know where this is going to go, and what the future will hold – except, that it feels right.’

So, watch this space as whatever happens whether it be work life, or personal – there are clearly exciting times ahead 🙂

The Crafty Lass, Patch and now – Bubba Bump x

 

PS – And yes, I am doing some crazy ‘bumpies’ including the relevant sized fruit or vegetable relative to the ever growing bubba over on Instagram… why not check it out! 🙂

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Categories: Business, General Craft

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