October 6, 2013

Getting Down to Business

In an effort to take more control of my life and my own happiness, I have been trying to do things that are my version of pushing myself just a bit.  Last week I went walking with a newish friend and agreed to continue on every Friday that I have free (her only day off).  Another friend sent me a message saying she had a good time when she and her daughter came for a visit before her daughter left for college, inviting me to get together again so that I could teach her how to use the sewing machine she received from her father.  Right up my alley!

Beyond trying to expand my social circle and try new things, I am committed to set up an Etsy shop.  I should note that I started to type that I was going to "try" to set up the shop, but backspaced and corrected myself.  It's time I stop talking and start doing.

Etsy has a lot of helpful information in terms of a sellers handbook and tons of blog entries about all aspects of setting up an online shop/business.  I have just started reading and am already intimidated!  One of the topics addressed is that of market need.  I read, "No market need = no need to market your product" and I instantly think, "Oh no!  What NEED is there for art dolls?"  Now what?  Then there's the advice to ask customers what they like about my product or think about what I'd say when someone asks, "What do you sell?"  My answers, at least today, are 1) no one needs an art doll, 2) I have no customers to ask why they like my product and 3) I don't sell anything yet.  Again, now what?

I watch shows like Shark Tank where people take their ideas and have their products manufactured and wonder how they do it.  I can't be the only person that has no idea where to start.  More Winnie-the-Pooh "think, think, think" time.

I've donated a few art dolls to the Boys & Girls holiday auction.  While my husband bought them, I know there were others that indicated an interest and asked if I was going to contribute another piece again.  There's got to be a way to find those people and inquire.  Bad manners?  Or desperate move.  This is going to take more nerve than I feel I have, but I have to try something to figure out the business end of things like my target market, figure out who is my competition and figure out how to market.  The business end of it sounds so boring and scary at the same time.

Baby steps!

October 2, 2013

I have become "that old woman"

I try really hard not to watch much television, a habit that could easily become out of control since I am home alone so much.  There are a few programs that make me laugh, so I give myself permission to have those programs on while I do other things.  Yesterday I was listening to Wendy Williams.  She has a segment called "Ask Wendy," where audience members ask her for advice on personal matters.  A young lady in the audience remarked that she is dating a man that wants her to stay home and "put on a few pounds," and does not want her socializing with her friends.  Wendy's immediate response was that "sitting around the house is for old women!"  OMG.  I have become that old woman.  My big adventure today was a ten minute round trip to pick up my husband's shirts at the dry cleaner.  I cleaned off my studio desk, I checked in on Facebook a lot (shoot me now and make me stop!) and piddled around with the contents of my desk drawers, tidying up, gathering the few loose quilting pins and putting them on the magnetic pin holder.

Doesn't this all sound like the most exciting life ever???

I talk big about making friends and getting out, but I don't.  Trying to figure out why is the issue I really have to focus on.  Why don't I take a quilting class and improve my skills?  Why don't I follow up on the threat to join one of those "find a friend, already!" groups?  At this age, am I still so afraid of failing or looking stupid that I'll sit home alone, talk to the cats - again - and reorganize my magazines and quilt patterns?  This is SO DEPRESSING!  I have the time to be creative, and I'm just throwing it away.

What next?  Scoop the cat's litterbox.  Make dinner, watch birds, read a book.  I don't want to be that old woman.  I'm back to feeling like Winnie the Pooh - "think, think, think......"