It’s been 4 months now.
I’m 1/3 of the way through my first year.
It’s been 127 days since I started.
I can package it many different ways, but no matter how I state it, the clock is ticking, the days are flying by and my savings are shrinking.
It’s hard to believe actually that this much time has passed since I started working for myself.
A lot of things have changed and uncertainty and surprise seem to be my constant companions.
I am not where I had hoped to be, at least not as I had originally pictured it, but I have made some positive strides - none bigger than starting to think beyond my original plan.
July and August were very good months for sales and got me started with a lot of momentum. After that though, things began to drag. I had this idea that if I had time to make more diploma frames and kept adding them to my shop the sales would continue to grow.
That hasn't really happened.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about my approach to this and what my goal actually is (was). I've come to realize that my goal is not to sell diploma frames. My goal is to earn a living, working for myself, doing something I enjoy.
Coming to that realization has opened me up to a much larger pool of options.
While I will continue to sell diploma frames, I plan to add a large selection of picture frames and will soon begin to use pre-cut molding in addition to milling my own. I've signed on with a wholesale picture frame molding company that provides me hundreds of choices and opportunities to increase revenue, while becoming more efficient.
Not only will that help me increase what I offer in the way of frames I make, I will soon start to “retail” the pre-cut molding through my DIY picture framing web site, so DIYers can buy nice molding at a reasonable price to make their own frames.
I have just taken on a large project with a local chapel to make hymn book holders for their pews. Working for the Lord has to help, right?
And of course, I've been gearing up for the holiday crafts shows. I have a table at the St. Greg's show November 28-29 and the Heim Middle School show December 6-7.
Whether these things help or not, we'll see, but I know the odds increase as more things are tried.
One thing I said at the beginning is that faith has to play a big part in this. I truly believed that one way or another, things would happen and opportunities would present themselves. I wasn't sure how, and until I was forced to think beyond my original plan, I didn't realize just how many opportunities are missed if you don’t open your mind.
So, until the next installment, I will continue to keep my eyes and ears open for the opportunities that are hiding, in plain sight, all around us every day. I hope you do as well.