It’s nearing the end of May and the season is vibrating with life here on the northern hemisphere. I walk barefoot out into the garden in the evening to pick a few mint leaves for tea. It’s light still, the honeybees and wild bees are still busying themselves in the big chestnut tree. It’s intense, being alive these days.
In the studio, I’m preparing for the next shop opening, which is just a few days away. In an attempt to balance the most intense work period at the university library, I decided to do stitch markers and silver pieces for this one. And you know, sometimes running your own business is a breeze; you take hold of whatever loose thread you see and just follow it to wherever it leads you. Other times it’s slow and unsteady and nothing seems to work out. This shop opening falls in the latter category - I’ve been low and restless at the same time and doubting every little thing from the shapes I make to the business model I’m currently working with.
And that sounds serious, doesn’t it? Business model. But I don’t have one. I’m not interested in the business part of all this, of maximising my profit or working out a long term strategy. And you can hear the “inspirational” quotes, see the memes - “A dream is a goal with a deadline” - “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible” - “A goal without a plan is just a wish”… right? And I think it, maybe on some subconscious level, has been stressing me out. Am I not doing this business thing the right way? Should I worry more about not having a clue what I’ll be doing next year? And if you’ve been around for a while you know the answer to the last question is a big fat no. You should never worry more, about anything. Sometimes it’s just near impossible to say these things to yourself. So I write them here, and we can remember them together.
Maybe I am doing all this backwards. A thought turns into a shape turns into a collection turns into… it’s not something I can break down and do step by step. It’s wild. It can’t be confined or defined by “goals”. But to tell the truth, I’m actually not interested in goals either. I don’t set goals for myself. Never. And that’s okay for you too, should you need to hear it. I get things done anyway. Every time I think I need a goal I realise it has more to do with me not being grounded and present in what I have or where I am or, strangely enough, what I want. It always backfires. I start competing, measuring, comparing, putting all my focus and energy on what’s outside me, and outside of my control. And you know what makes us unhappy? Competing, measuring, comparing and putting our focus on stuff we can’t change.
And I know, I know. Goals work well for many people. Especially for entrepreneurs. Can I say that again - especially for entrepreneurs… but I’m here too. I run this business by no model but my ethical and personal convictions. Everything is temporary except the do no harm-principle which extends to everything from choice of materials to language. And who knows, maybe you too would like to have a business? And maybe you too feel intimidated by the image of the entrepreneur, thinking that’s not me, can never be me? And if so, let’s build things together. Let’s help each other figure things out one by one. Let’s burn the marketing strategy books and read the philosophical ones instead. We don’t have to go by these rules. There are others. It’s no harm first. Then, it’s play.