Reading is a constant thing in my life… from blogs, posts, journals, to books… I want to get as much insight into life as i can. And especially I want to fuel this fire in my belly for our business.
Images in Bloom was born out of a hard time… in the midst of the “Great Recession” (which seems like it was a great depression if you ask me.) And i learned some amazing facts about starting a business in an economic down cycle… the majority of the most successful businesses we know of began in the ravages of economic decline. And they survived.
Business, like anything in life, requires a commitment, determination to spend time, efforts and resources to build it. But building is not enough… when the lean times come you have to be able to draw something from deep inside to go on. Here are a few things we a re learning:
1. Surround yourself with other people who want to grow, want to stay focused, have a passion for their business, and share that enterpreneurial spirit.
2. Become an expert – when we began making soap we knew very little about the process or the ingredients. That is no longer true… Steve has a firm grip on the various oils, essential oils, botanicals, etc.. and he is able to quickly adapt a soap formula. When i first began dying silk it was trial and error – but now I know I am one of only a hand full of artists in the region doing the technique known as Kumo Shibori – and as far as i have seen, I am the only one that utilizes the dye, colors, and patterns in the manner i do. I am reading, studying, and constantly learning. I want to be that expert.
3. Never slow down – while this 55 year old body sometimes wants that hour more of sleep, this 4 year old enterpreneur knows i cant stop… Never stop working on the buisness, the products, the contacts, the networking, and even this blog. To slow down is to loose ground on the market! When our business is really successful we will have time to enjoy slowing down a bit.
4. Know myself – Know your limits, your strengths, your capabilities, and know what is beyond you…. By knowing myself i know how much I can handle, and when to step back. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses will help as we begin to hire a team of workers… playing to hiring people who will complement and enhance the efforts!
5. Know how to handle failure – I heard a quote once that any business has 20-30 failures before there is a success… while we have not experienced that ratio, we have encountered some times when our best layed plan fell flat, the product we thought would be a Hero turned out to be a Zero! Or that shopkeeper was less than honest, and ripped us off badly. The lesson is learned, and we move on, dust our feet of the bad experience, debrief and learn what we can for future reference.
These 5 points can be true of anything in life, from family, faith, work in a career, or building a business. Point number 5 is the biggest test of our character – some people cant handle failure, and i totally get that. But when it occurs in life we have only what we a re given, and we have to make it work. (you know the quote is coming, right?) Yes, here goes: