Last Friday it was two months since I opened my Etsy shop and started the Goddess off on her gossiping adventures. I've also just hit 100 likes on my Facebook Fan page of the same age. So what? I hear you say - not exactly a major milestone in the grand scheme of things and normally I wouldn't disagree. However, it has made me pause for thought and take a quick look back.
Quite frankly two months ago I was more than a little nervous. Despite having been a confident career woman for many years, it's a whole different story when it comes to laying part of yourself on the line. In business you learn not to take it personally if people don't like your ideas and concepts, but my jewellery is personal - I couldn't do it if it wasn't. Yes, I know it's still business but now it's my business!
And as for this blog, I didn't think anyone would be interested in what someone like me would have to say - who am I to comment on anything anyway?
Well, I'm pleased to say those fears have (mostly) quickly dissipated.
I have received such positive feedback from people within the jewellery and craft community (artists and customers alike) about my work that my somewhat jaded faith in human nature has been restored. Likewise the blog. It's a fantastic feeling when you see someones excited reaction to something you've written about them - I'm one of those people who gets more pleasure out of giving presents than receiving them. That said, I sometimes come across things that people have written about me, just little things but it really makes my heart soar and my confidence rise.
I love being part of a community where artists are so generous in the way they share their work, ideas, resources and countless other things; not to mention the motivation and support on tap when you need it. I have 'virtually' met people I now consider to be friends and it makes me smile to think what a great party it would be if we all got together in one place! Thank you all.
There are of course the more difficult aspects still to contend with - like actually making some money! The forums I researched before I opened my shop where largely of the opinion that it could take months to get your first sale. Fortunately for me this was not the case and whilst I'm not exactly tripping over orders I feel I have reason to be positive.
There is still a mountain to climb and so much to learn and I do wonder how those people who are so obviously successful manage it all. Sometimes I feel like I need to be surgically removed from my laptop. And, lets not mention my neglected housework and garden!
But the main thing is that as I face this now the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach is excitement not fear. Two months is not a long time but it feels like forever - in a good way. If nothing else, I've learnt a huge amount about myself and I'm so glad I took the plunge.
So however small the milestone might seem, maybe take a little time to reflect on it - the good, the bad, the indifferent...they can all help focus going forward.
I'd love to hear how other people felt when they were starting out or, if you're one of those people who have everything sussed - how you do it? so please leave a comment and share your experiences.