A goal without a plan is just a wish

I feel like the girl with no plan. Ever since deciding that I should return to work for someone else, I have felt as if my life is fragmented and broken. I haven’t been able to make headway on my business. The sewing machine hasn’t been turned on in days. I don’t have any fresh ideas for blog posts. Maybe I’m a little depressed. I’m not sure if it’s because my business isn’t doing as well as I would like. It could be because I’m not having any luck on the job front. It’s like I can’t find my path in life right now, and that really bothers me a lot.

Job Search

As you may remember, I started looking for a job outside of Houston a few weeks ago. At first, I got a lot of positive response. Maybe it wasn’t my skill set that was an issue. Could it be the location where I’m currently living? After a few interviews, though, I know that the problem is my skill set. I also don’t have the desire to do anything to improve that skill set outside of a job. In other words, I have no desire at all to return to school to get an accounting certification. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I don’t know that the certification would help.

As a result, yesterday I sat down and rewrote my resume in more of a functional format than chronological. I’m hoping that employers will look at it and consider me for jobs in the administrative field, or in an accounting clerk capacity. I started applying for those types of jobs yesterday, so we’ll see how it goes. At this point, I’m less worried about the pay scale than I am about getting a paycheck, if that makes sense. And so the job search continues.

My Business Endeavors

Part of the slow down in my business is my own making – I’m not currently doing any shows. Shows are less frequent in the summer in Houston, and the ones I did last year were poorly attended. Therefore, I made a decision to skip shows entirely this summer with an eye toward moving the business completely online. That hasn’t worked out as well as I would have hoped, and I think that come fall, I will probably return to doing shows.

According to what I’ve read, though, there are ways in which I can increase my online traffic, and thus, sales. I need to do more research in to it, but it appears to involve a lot of social media. I’ve never been a big one for social media in my business, but it looks like that’s going to have to change.

Sewing & Quilting

Sewing is my escape. It is what I do to keep me balanced and feeling good about myself and the world around me. So when I stop sewing, it is generally a sign that something is wrong. I have not sewn a single stitch in over a week, so I know that I need to get out of my head and stop dwelling on things I cannot change. I know that for some people, clinical depression is a real thing and they can’t “snap themselves out of it.” In my case, it’s not clinical depression. It’s a case of needing to stop living inside my head and engage and interact. I need a plan to keep me focused.

The Plan

Strategy is the key to success

Chris starts a new job this month (yay!). Until I find a job myself, I will be home most of the day by myself. This is actually a good thing because I tend to be much more productive when I’m alone. We will be going to bed earlier than we do currently, and getting up earlier. I don’t “do things” for Chris in the morning like cook breakfast or make his lunch. I do tend to keep a similar schedule, though, just because it’s easier for me. He will have to be at work at 7 am each morning, so he’ll get up and be out of the house by 6 am. That gives me time to wake up, dress, and clear my head. I will spend an hour or so first thing in the morning on job boards applying for positions.

Following the job search, the mornings will be devoted to the soap business. This is when I will make soap and lotion, come up with new recipes to try, and prep any shipments that I need to send out from the day before. I also will be doing marketing activities during this time.

After lunch, I will spend the afternoons working on the t-shirt and gift business. I need time to work on new designs, test them out, and make up samples. There’s going to be lots of social media here, too.

Getting Prepared

Making plans

We don’t have a firm start date for Chris’s new job yet, so I don’t have a “deadline” of any sort. I have decided, though, that I need to do some serious research on how to implement social media in my businesses. I need to make a plan on how I intend to use each of the social media outlets available to me. The research I’ve done so far suggests that I should plan to implement one outlet at a time. The idea is to master one outlet, then move on to another one. I’m just not sure how to do that yet, but I am going to figure it out.

I also intend to make a list of the things I want to accomplish in the first thirty days. Right now, I’m approaching this as if I cannot find a job (big stretch there), and the businesses will be my job. If that changes, I will adjust accordingly. For now, though, I think this will keep me focused on growing my business.

I ask myself constantly, “What happens if you don’t find a job?” It’s a real concern at my age, and I can’t continue to think that age is just a number. While that’s true in my personal life, it’s not so true in my professional life. I have screwed around with my businesses for too long now and I have to get serious about making them pay dividends. I guess this is where the rubber really does meet the road.