This post was adapted from one of my subscriber e-letters that was sent on January 13th 2018. If you would like to subscribe to future updates please click here.
It has taken a while to get back into the swing of things after Christmas. I’m not the kind of person to go into January armed with planners, highlighter pens and a heap of hopes and dreams. I’m a realist and after over 5 years in business I am aware that January is usually one of my busiest months so I don’t add any extra pressure onto myself. I respond very badly to failure and if I don’t complete a to do list, I consider it a failure even though I know that is ridiculous. I’m very much self aware of this aspect of my personality and now just accept it rather that fighting with myself and setting my standards too high.
It is a bit heartbreaking to realise that I’m not a planner as my love for stationery runs deep! I even have a business selling stationery but I will literally find any other task to do rather than making commitments and planning for the future. In an ideal world I would be an optimist but I was reminded once again last night that I do expect the worst to happen at all times. The interesting take away from that realisation is that it doesn’t make me stressed or anxious, in fact it means I’m more prepared than I realise when things don’t go the way they should.
I have to remind myself daily that I run Fernbank Studio whilst having a chronic illness; which is not something I talk about publicly. I’m not telling you this for sympathy but to give you permission to accept your limitations whatever they might be. You might have family commitments, relationship or health issues and all these take up precious time and head space. If you also have a small business then do not feel guilty about not completing all those mammoth tasks you wrote on the 1st January. I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals as I think most people are more efficient when they have something to work towards but just take it back a step and feel satisfied at what you do achieve.
I was recently reminded that it was 2 years since I was an Etsy Mentor for the Resolution programme. It was a wonderful experience and really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was given the opportunity to mentor hundreds of brand new Etsy sellers which was pretty amazing and I’m still not sure how I managed it. Imposter syndrome well and truly struck me as I didn’t believe I was good enough for such a gig, and honestly I still feel the same two years on. I don’t think it ever leaves you. I’m not an Etsy mentor anymore but I’d really love to hear if you have an Etsy shop and if there is anything that you struggle with running it. I’m going to start thinking about ways that I can help and support small business owners, especially with running their online empires. It is still very much a tiny seed in my head but helping others has always been a key focus of what I do so this seems like a really practical way to share my experience and expertise.
I feel like I can justify going out and buying that brand new diary now that I have these new ideas to plan out but I know full well that it will be left blank and gather dust in a drawer so maybe I will just window shop and stick to my usual method of diving straight into a project and hoping for the best.