Have you ever heard of the Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”?
Although I’ve never seen the play, the title always gives me a chuckle as I pause for reflection. I know there are many entrepreneurs out there who want to get rich quick or pave a quick path to success. In fact, I have a running joke at home that my idea for a get rich quick scheme is to write a book on how to get rich quick! 🙂
But in reality, most successful business people aka solo-preneurs or mom-preneurs or what-have-you only succeed because of tons of hard work, tenacity, and perseverance. Today’s soap box is a reflection and also a reminder that it takes time, patience and grit to get where you want to be. It’s basically more musings on an earlier post I wrote titled, “The only one standing in my way is me.” (Incidentally that one was written just after quilt market, too!)
I’ve mentioned before on this blog that the summer of 2012 is when I decided I wanted to go professional with my quilting: start entering national shows, writing for publication, and teaching nationally, etc. Along the way there have been heart-breaks, disappointments, and failures along with the successes. I read once on a well-known designer’s blog (sorry – I forget who) that people thought the blogger was an overnight success, but in reality it took 5 years of daily blogging to get noticed. 5 YEARS! So that number has always stuck with me along with the idea of having a 5 year plan.
So far I’m 3 years into my 5 year plan and it feels like things are finally starting to happen. It’s exciting but scary all at the same time, but I promised way back then that I would take my readers along for the ride! Every day I worry that I will mess up or make some huge mistake that I can’t recover from, but then I just hold to the idea that hard work will pay off in the end.
This is the only sneak peek I care share now, of some opportunities that coincided with Spring Quilt Market. It was a case of good timing, preparation, and flexibility.
One of my favorite phrases is “good luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation” and I truly believe that! I have had some great opportunities come my way, which I will share with you as I can. One thing I have learned time and time again this year is that as long as I produce good quality work and meet my deadlines, more doors will open up. Yes, you have to be knowledgeable in your field, but even the biggest divas in the world won’t be given a second or third chance if they fail to produce!
I’ve looked up to many in the quilting industry for guidance and advice; in turn, I’ve been able to mentor a few close friends in order to pay it forward for the help I’ve been given. So this is just more encouragement to any of you out there that want to engage in the business of quilting, or follow in any other creative endeavors. Don’t fall into the trap of self-doubt or “why me?” syndrome. Instead, I encourage you to embrace the idea of “why not me?”
I will leave you with this challenge: think of your biggest pie-in-the-sky dream and take steps NOW to make it happen. If you’d like to share what that is – I’d love to know! If it’s more personal, write it on a note to yourself and remind yourself to look at it every day.
And now, go make something happen!
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11 thoughts on “Christa’s Soap Box – How to Succeed in Business (With Lots and Lots of Trying)”
Congratulations! I love seeing your successes grow. It is so exciting!
I’ve just finished my first year blogging, Ig’ing and quilting. I have to say that making a 5 year plan helps so much. A couple of important things are: Folks need to know that their plan should be flexible because as they learn and grow, their goals may change (more steps than you thought, like something you came across better than your original intent, parenthood, successes happening quicker than anticipated and you’re not up to speed yet), and that every step forward each day, counts, no matter how big or small, towards your goals. Don’t look at other folks seeming ease of success and think that everything you’re doing doesn’t count. XX!
Christa, I love how you are willing to share honestly the ups and downs of business and life. With all the social media today, it’s so easy to think that life is just a 100% fun ride for everyone else. Thank you, too, for reminding me (at 67) that a long range plan is a really great idea–I confess to needing a kick in the seat of my pants from time to time to keep from just letting time go by!
Yay! I’m so glad you found it helpful 🙂
Great post and inspiration!
Thanks for this post, Christa! I really needed that today. I’ve got my summer plan worked out. I might need some more cheering on from you but I think I’ve got it!
Last year I read a book called ‘The Handmade Marketplace’ by Kari Chapin. It helped me to think through my goals and the steps to achieving them. So my blog began (and I love it), twitter came and went (uggh!), Facebook I’m persevering with (though it’s still not making much sense to me) and so far my sales have not increased one jot! But I am enjoying being part of the patchwork and quilting blogging world. Thanks for your timely post 🙂
I needed to read this today. I’m reaching for some goals (again, after failing the first time) and just want to be full time. Right. Now. I’m going to reframe to a 5 year plan and I’m sure it will make me a lot more pleasant to be around in the meantime LOL>
So true. I do have big dreams, way bigger than they were just a few years ago, but there just isn’t enough time right now to work towards turning them into reality. Hopefully I’ll start makign progress soon. Being patient is so hard. 🙂
Good advice for any enterprising mind.
Sent from my iPad
I hear you. I just have to keep working. Sometimes I feel the steps are too small and I am not getting anywhere fast enough. I suppose I should be grateful for those small steps at least they are in the right direction and as long as I keep working on my website and blog I will get there in the end. We should see it as an adventure not a destination we are in engaging in. Well done Christa you are so inspiring in what you do.
You are so right in all you have said. I often wonder where some bloggers get the time to do all they do and be a wife, mother and run a household. I would also add that it helps to keep in mind that the disappointments are “not personal, just business” and keep on going! Christa, you are one of those bloggers I am in awe of! You deserve all of your success.