Day 4: Why we do what we do
Over the past few days, we’ve been looking back on the first half of the year and taking stock of the situation. Maybe you’ve been tracking these metrics since day one and already knew what was going on in your business. I suspect that most of us weren’t crystal clear on all of the details, myself included. Some of us might be pleasantly surprised with the findings. Others may be looking at our KPIs and wonder what the heck is going on. Running your own business is hard, and sometimes you can get so discouraged you might wonder what you were thinking by starting this in the first place.
I began making bamboo tile jewelry back in 2009. I was looking for an easy & fun project to teach in workshops at Party Arty!, the art studio my sister & I owned at the time. I fell in love with everything about these magnificent bracelets and necklaces, and spent many hours perfecting my process until it was no longer a craft project, but an art. I got lots compliments, and then requests for custom orders, so of course I took the next step and turned my jewelry making into a business. In 2012, I quit my job to work on it full-time. I was so sure that I would soon be making a living doing what I love, but here we are, almost three years later, and I am still struggling to make consistent sales. If not for my husband’s “real” job, I would have had to ditch this dream a long time ago. I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and for so little money. But I just have to believe that this work is going to pay off someday. I joke about getting famous, but all I really want is to be able to make a decent living.
I believe that my jewelry is beautiful, that it helps the wearer express themselves and tell their story, that it is a way to be connected. My “why” is my commitment to self expression, quality small batch goods, and creating an alternative to hyper-consumerism. And so, I keep on. Every day, my goal is just to move forward.
Simon Sinek gave an amazing TEDtalk on the subject. My friend Kris wrote this beautiful piece on her “why” and how it drives her. Take a moment to remember your “why” and get your goals realigned with that “why”. I’d love for you to share yours in the comments.