Saturday, January 3, 2009

Sneak Peek

I got up nice and early this morning and headed straight for my workshop. I am bound and determined to get some of my new decoupage stuff listed tomorrow. That meant I had lots to do today, and I am happy to say that I did really well.

I had promised you a while ago that you would get a sneak peek at my new stuff, and if I don't do that today there will be no sneak peek because the stuff will be listed in MyOtherShop! I have a number of things done and still waiting for the finishing coat of spray. It looks like that will be tomorrow, but you can still see what they look like. So here you are!

Remember the funky little ducks I found at the resale shop? Well, Irv sanded all of them for me and I went to work. I painted the edge of the ducks and then I covered one side with one type of scrapbooking paper and the other side with a different paper. I figured that way people could turn them whichever way they want and match their decor. I worked very hard to make them look old and worn. Like I said yesterday, it is taking a lot more time to do all of this stuff than I thought. I want them to be really cool though, so it's worth it.

I love the little birdhouse. It was just an unfinished piece that I found at the craft store. It was the last one like that. I wish they had more of them. I really think they are cute. I didn't make this look old. I thought this paper was fine looking new.

The little purple flowered box doesn't have it's latch or hinges put back on yet, but I love this little box. I definitely will do more boxes. I can even line the inside with fabric once I get more comfortable doing them. I think this paper is so awesome, and this one I did give a worn look too.

The last thing is a picture frame, and this one I just started today. It still needs some sanding and more coats of goop, but you get the idea. It's my 60's look! Love the paper.

I have a feeling that a lot of these things I am making are going to have a hard time making it to my etsy shop. Everything is getting really good reviews here and I think so many of these would make super gifts for people I know. For now though, they have to go in my shop so I can get it open with a nice little assortment of products.

Still working on getting the rest of my Valentine's cards in my FourDogDay shop too. If I don't get going, Valentine's Day will be gone and I'll still be sitting here with a stack of Valentines!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Pages and Pages of Plans!

Each night when I go to bed, I take paper and pen with me and continue working on my Goal and Goal Plan for 2009. At this point, I have decided that I need to get up at 4:30 a.m. in order to run my business, my home and take care of myself. I said before that I am a morning person. Working out after my full time job seemed to be going okay for a little bit, and then I got busier and it got pushed aside and I quit working out. The frigid weather and the treacherous roads came and I stopped walking the dog. Not okay.

My thought is that if I pull myself out of my workshop around 9:00 p.m. I might get to sleep early enough to not cringe when the alarm goes off at 4:30. Doing so would allow me a short 20 minute workout before I have to get ready for work, plus time to check my shop and e-mail. I didn't like walking the dog in the pitch dark at 5:30 a.m. Not that we live in a scary neighborhood, but you can't see a darn thing. I like to enjoy my walks, and even though it was quiet and peaceful and I enjoyed that....I didn't enjoy it enough to do it every day. So, the walks are going to get moved to right after I get home. Hopefully that will work better.

I am also trying to figure out a way to also talk to my husband of 36 years for at least an hour or so a day instead of flying in the door yelling, "Hello, how was your day?" as I dash into my workshop. I think I need more structure and more balance in order to be successful in business and in my life. So....that was discovery number one.

Next, I set up some things I want to accomplish each month and I am through May I think. Things like getting my Valentine's Day cards listed in my etsy shop, opening MyOtherShop with my new decoupage line, moving my Fun and Fancy Plates over to MyOtherShop, getting on Artfire, designing new businesses cards, getting a website up and linked to etsy, Mother's Day cards, a vinyl sign for my back car window and Father's Day cards. I also have somewhat of an idea how much money I would like to be bringing in each month throughout the year, by my plan isn't so much money based as it is the things I need to do. I believe if I do the things I have planned, the sales will come.

I also plan to schedule my time on twitter and the forums. I just don't have an hour a day to spend chatting. I know it is helpful and can be useful, but I think if I schedule my time, and I know I only have so much time, I will make it more constructive. Again, I think balance is the key.

With that little duckies are turning out so cute and I am working on a great little birdhouse right now. I tried to buy one of many different things to make and put in MyOtherShop when I open it and then see what garners the most interest. I have sold a lot of different craft things over the years, but never decoupage. I'm not sure what to expect. I do know that being as picky as I am, the items are taking longer to complete than I had anticipated. I want some of the things to look old and worn, and meticulous sanding of paper edges takes time. Picky, picky me!

I promise that if I can get them sealed tomorrow I will get some pictures up this weekend.

Have you put your goals and your goal plan in writing yet? Have you started working toward your goal? If you have, good for you! If not....what are you waiting's January 2, 2009!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish you all a year of great health and tremendous happiness. May all of your goals for 2009 become a reality! Have a wonderful year everyone.

And to those of you who thought the numbers I wrote about in yesterday's post were my real goal figures, they weren't. I just used that number because it was big and round. I am still working on my exact numbers, but once I have things figured out....who knows...maybe that big round number will work! I need to do some factoring and dividing and multiplying and then I will be all set.

Thanks for the positive comments. Maybe that number isn't so unrealistic??

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conceive, Believe and Achieve

Conceive.....come up with a realistic goal for yourself
Believe........believe in yourself and never stop believing in yourself
Achieve.......follow your plan and you will achieve

One of the problems we seem to have when setting goals is that we are not specific enough. The goal I wrote build a highly success business is a nice start, but what is highly successful and what kind of business?

What would be realistic? Do I want to be making $100 a month, $500 a month or $5000 a month by the end of the year? Will I be selling cards, home decor, jewelry, soap?

How is this? By December 31, 2009 I will be be running a highly successful craft business selling paper goods and home decor. I will making a profit of $1000 per month. I will accomplish this by creating a quality, unique and useful product that I will market through a variety of on-line venues as well as face-to-face markets.

Notice that I didn't say anything about etsy, because my business won't be just through etsy. I will be selling through other venues so I don't want to limit myself. So be as specific as you can without limiting yourself.

To achieve a goal it has to be something you want...not something someone else wants for you. Be sure that it is also something that you have control over. For me to say I want to make $40 an hour at my full time job wouldn't work because someone else controls what I make and it is set in stone. I can't control that.

Next, you need to break your big goal down into smaller and smaller goals (tasks) and keep doing that until you get to a daily "to do" list. If my goal is to make $1000 a month in my business...where do I want to be in say 9 months, 6 months, 3 months and next month. Once I know where I want to be, then I go further and decide what I am going to do to get there.

Say I want to be making $200 a month by next month....what am I going to do to see that I get there?

Write it all down. It's nice to think things, but writing things down is better. It's also good to share your goals with others close to you...that keeps you accountable and gives you a little more support. To make that $200 I will make this many new products, I will hand out this many business cards, I will blog this many times to promote the products I'm making, I will hand out this many flyers, I will twitter for this long each day and spend this much time in the forums. I will add one new selling venue every how many months. Get the idea?

It can be whatever works for you, but you need a plan. Break it down by the month, the week, the day. The more defined it is, the easier it will be to follow and the the easier it will be to meet the little daily goals that will help you to reach your weekly, monthly, yearly goal.

Another thing a wise person told me is to do like the athletes do....visualize. See yourself already having achieved your goal. See yourself successful, or wealthy or thinner or happier or whatever your goal might be. Close your eyes often and visualize yourself as that person.

One other thing you can do that is really good is to write down your goal as a mission statement. "By December 31, 2009 I will be running a highly successful craft business that brings in $1000 profit each and every month," or whatever your goal is. Say it as a positive statement. Write it down and read it every day, many times...memorize it and repeat it to yourself often. Your brain has no way of knowing if the things you are thinking or saying are true or not.

Lastly, keep in mind that no plan is perfect. Things happens. If you find that your plan needs "adjusting" along the way, then by all means adjust it. The plan is there as your guide to help you along the way. It isn't written in concrete. Part of being successful is the ability to roll with the punches and change things that aren't working and need to be changed.

With a realistic goal, a detailed plan and a positive can't help but achieve your goal. I am working very hard on my plan right now. I want it to truly reflect what I want to accomplish this year. What are your goals for 2009 and what will you be doing to reach them?

The Art of Goalsetting....and Achievement

The only way to reach a goal is to set a goal, but anyone can set goals. I could write down a list a mile long of "goals". I want to do all kinds of things and I want to have all kinds of things, but those aren't really goals.

My real goals are to build a highly successful business, pay off all of my credit card debt and move to Colorado. I can write them down and I can look at them every day, but those goals will never be achieved without a concrete plan. The plan is what will take you through everything you need to do to reach your goal. If you aren't willing to formulate a plan, then you really don't want to reach that goal as much as you think you want to...perhaps you should call that one a wish or a dream. I have lots and lots of those too.

I have a dream that I am wealthy and retired and driving around the country with Irv and the dogs in our big motor home. We have no where we have to be and an endless flow of cash. Is that a goal of mine? No. Would I love to be able to do that? Yep. That isn't to say that you can't work toward your dreams and make them a reality, but then I prefer to call them goals with plans attached.

I am not good at achieving my goals but that's because I never really understood what it took to achieve your goals. I've always had goals, but rarely if ever reached them.

If you look back at my goals, they are to build a highly successful business, pay off all of my credit card debt and move to Colorado. They are in that order because I probably will not achieve the last two without achieving the first one, and that is to build a highly successful business.

My goal for this year....and I only have to build a highly successful business. That is my Step#1...coming up with a real goal. There are a lot of other things I would love to have or go on vacation this summer, fix up the house and yard, get healthier.....and I may add other goals down the road, but right now it's all business.

So, do you have a goal or two or three for the new year? If so, what is the first thing you will do achieve that goal? I would love to know how you get started.

Tomorrow I will talk about "THE PLAN".

Monday, December 29, 2008

Out With The Old....In With The New

Well, it's that time of year again.....time to say good-bye to 2008 and welcome in 2009. I always look at the new year as a new beginning. Kind of like an early spring. As I prepare to give 2008 a royal send off, I am thinking about what kind of year it has been. I know for many people it has been the worst ever. I think about those people a lot. We are fortunate to have our home, our health and our jobs. We can still put food on the table and pay the bills, so for us, compared to many, it has been a good year.

As far as accomplishments, I started my etsy business this year. That was huge for me. I can honestly say that getting back to making things has filled a tremendous void that I felt. It came at a wonderful time in my life.

Looking at the year ahead I can't help but be excited. I have big plans for my business. I already know that I will be making some major changes and branching out to other selling venues. I have learned so much from the experienced etsy sellers that I can't wait to get started. I really think this is close to the most excited I've ever been about a new year coming.

During this week I will be sharing a bit about goals and you have goals and dreams for the new year? If so, please share.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quack! Quack!

I can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. I have had such a nice time being off this past week. I did get some stuff done today though. This morning we went grocery shopping.....and man I hate the way the prices have gone up. We use to be able to get by spending $125 or less a week. Today was $140....again! I guess that is the "new" $125, because we can't seem to get back down to $125. There are only two of can we possibly spend that much?

Anyway, after shopping I took a ride over to one of the resale shops in search of treasures, and I found some. I was mainly looking for things to decoupage and things to use to decoupage the items I'm making. I hit the jackpot!

I found some old sheet music, a couple of books that have pictures and text I plan to use, an old wooden spoon, a horrible looking purple shelf and a bunch of wooden ducks!! I could hardly wait to get home to show everyone my great finds!

The purple shelf got some strange looks for sure. It's a mess. Not sure who painted it, but they missed spots in some areas and had paint running everywhere in other areas. I love stuff like that though. It will be really cool when I get it done.

The ducks are amazing! Just great little wooden guys that I will sand, paint and decoupage. They are just so darn cute!

I worked on some of the trays I started the other day. I am trying to give them a well worn look. I love this brown striped one. It's received rave reviews from the men in my house. I just have to seal it and it will be ready to go!

I also asked Irv if he could make some minor repairs on the shelf and the ducks. His reply was, "Not today". I said that was fine, but tomorrow would be great!! So, things are going well in the preparation for the reopening of MyOtherShop.

Oh, I also pulled out that file folder...the one with all of the receipts in it from FourDogDay....ugh....I figured out what I've made and what I've spent and I am still deeply in debt, but 2009 is definitely my year. I have a great business plan and some great products coming out and a great attitude. 2008 was a year of learning and trying to figure out what I could do for my business and what it could do for me. I think I have it kind of figured out.

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