I'm sure you have all been faced with situations in which the future was uncertain and you've had to take a leap of faith. This occurs almost daily in the life of an entrepreneur. I've been in business now for more than 5 years and there has never really been a moment when I thought, "Ah, I'm putting this thing on auto pilot now." Even when the business is enjoying a banner month, I am always thinking ahead to the next soap of the month, the next new event, re-conceptualizing existing product packaging or formulas, etc. You can't really shut it off, but when you are doing what you love, you don't really want to. That's when you know you've found your passion.
As my business continues to take twists and turns, I have many moments of uncertainty. Opening the shop has been the biggest undertaking I have experienced thus far, financially and otherwise. And this year is going to be a real test. We enjoyed a terrific holiday season and as things naturally slow down post-Christmas, my inner little girl is panicking. Of course, I have action plans in the works which include advertising campaigns in print and on the radio. My sales representative is taking our line to 4 big gift shows beginning this weekend, two of them being the NY Gift Show and the Boston Gift Show. I have a solid private label account that has bi-monthly scheduled deliveries and students are beginning to sign up for classes. My marketing plan is complete and it's the most concise one I've ever put together.
But still, I worry.
This year will be my greatest challenge in trusting the process. It will be my chance to be truly mature and patient. To observe my business objectively, not personally. This sounds so easy. It isn't. And those of you with entrepreneurial experience understand the unpredictability. There are always reasons to panic, to lose your optimism. Sometimes just one negative comment in a sea of praise can take the air out of your otherwise happy sails. In the end, I am thankful for the ups and the downs. It's an incredible journey. Success is great and failure isn't really bad. It just means you need to steer yourself in a different direction.