The Business of Business

I’m launching a new business venture in about a week, selling jewelry and car diffusers that complement my essential oil business.  After the initial vendor fair launch, I’ll be expanding onto Etsy and including some other art pieces I’ve created. You would think it’s all the same concept, so no big deal, but frankly, I’m a nervous wreck about it.

With my oil business, I see verifiable positive results, in myself and others, and so there’s no question as to whether or not it’s a meaningful, purposeful venture.  Oooooohhh, the second guessing that comes with selling things that you’ve created yourself, though.

I’m generally a pretty confident person, especially at work.  I do what I know needs to be done, I’m comfortable setting the course for other people to get their jobs done, and I don’t {generally} worry that what I’m doing isn’t enough {let’s be honest, there’s a long week here and there that’ll make a gal wonder}.  I’ve been thinking about why, then, this new piece of my puzzle is freaking me out so much?  And I think it comes down to the function arts and crafts have played in my life so far.

When I was graduating high school, I decided to be a music education major.  I looooooved music.  So I spent the first two years of college trying to parlay that passion into a career.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that spending hours a day analyzing every little thing about music would suck the joy right out of it for me.  Not that music theory doesn’t interest me…it does…it’s like math for music, and I find the juxtaposition curious.  BUT…I find it interesting in the abstract, as a concept to be aware of…not as a constant filter for every sound I hear.

I burned out.  Bad.  Between that and the rapidly disintegrating music programs in high schools across the country, I decided to switch my major to business marketing.  (P.S. It would’ve been super helpful if my adviser at NIU had told me that a business marketing degree doesn’t qualify you for a single, solitary, thing, unless you ALSO get a communications degree…but alas…a story for another day).  So with the focus on business, I could enjoy my artistic/creative time again…although, music never has been quite the same since then.

Crafting and art and jewelry and music have been my escape route ever since.  When I’m having a bad day, I pull my cloak of crafty time firmly around me the second I get home from work and forget about everything else for a few hours until I’m feeling like myself again.  The prospect of letting people into that space…especially in a way that elicits judgement…makes me nervous.  What if everyone hates what I make?  What if I hate what I make and other people love it?  What if making it for other people sucks the joy out of it?  What if, what if, what if?

I ventured down this path once before, a few years ago, with an interest in selling jewelry.  I wasn’t in a headspace for it at the time…my life was in a bit of disarray and I couldn’t commit to the added stress (and paperwork…let’s be honest…there’s an inordinate amount of paperwork required to run a business…even a little bitty one).  My life is still in a bit of disarray now…a different bit, but still…I feel like I’m ready now.

So here we go…kickoff is a week from today.  I’m crossing my fingers that this will complement my interests and passions this time, instead of eroding them.  I think it will.  I just need to get over myself and leap!  🙂

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