Unfortunately, I can't be one of those people who boast about being super organised and on top of life, because I would totally be lying. I also can't pretend to know what i'm doing with a lot of stuff I do. I seem to get by though, but I do have the odd person asking me "how have you made it this far in life, without hurting yourself?". I guess that's down to how unorganised I am as a person really. I live my life setting constant reminders on my phone, failing to take note of business expenses, forgetting birthdays, not having the courage to progress (in life and business) and letting Future Lauren deal with problems that I don't want to. So this year, I decided to change all of that.
The first thing I did was browse for yet another notebook to add to my collection (yes, I know, I have a problem). I had seen several people on Instagram and Pinterest create Bullet Journals, a notebook filled with super organised and well thought out sections, and I couldn't wait to get started on creating my own. I figured that this would be the first step I needed to start kicking the crap out of this year. Armed with my wonderful new vintage vinyl notebook, handmade by the even more wonderful Gemma of Melodies, I began my first pages into my Bullet Journal...
First stop: decoration! I'm sorry, but a true procrastinator can't dive in at the deep end, they need time to progress. I have no other excuses to make, I just wanted to colour in, test my calligraphy pens and play with washi tape. So this is exactly what I did. I planned out all of the things I wanted to track over the next few months, like my weight loss goals, budgets/spends and all the anime/manga we are currently watching/reading (it sounds silly, but just knowing where you are with little things like this, definitely makes me feel better). Having anything laid out in front of you, and not on lists on your phone really does make a difference. It was nice to see my yearly plans, and so far, I've kept up with checking and filling in my BuJo. I honestly didn't think i'd make it to March! I also took this "decoration time" to move around and decorate my entire office, just so I could put off the inevitable organising of my life as a whole. Just by stripping back the awful wallpaper, and replacing with a very light pink paint, it has given a new lease of life to my little room. I still haven't finished moving everything around, but at least my desk is back to being pretty!
At the start of the year, I also gave myself a couple of resolutions. I've never done this before, because I give up waaaay to easily, but this year was going to be different. I knew that to grow my business, I had to kick everything up a gear! I have to physically expand my selling channels and also branch out more with social media. I had never had the confidence to sell my work to other businesses or websites, so I decided to do some research and find some stockists! I started by Instagram stalking my favourite small businesses and seeing where they sell their items, and came across two shops in particular that stood out from the rest. Down a cobbled street in Sheffield lies the awesome Bird's Yard, and in the Grand Arcade in Leeds, the wonderful Our Handmade Collective. I decided to be very brave and approach both shops to see if they would accept my Thriftbox items, and to my surprise, both said yes! So now I am the proud provider of stock to both of these amazing shops, along with some of my all time favourite designers :)
It is so difficult to make new friends as an outgoing introvert, and unfortunately for me, this is who I am! The close circle of friends I do have, I adore. But I find it so hard to let anybody else into that tiny circle. So I knew that I had to let some of my guard down to grown within the crafty community. I started making myself post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter more, and going out of my way to comment on fellow businesses posts, rather than just "liking" them. By joining a couple of Instagram chats, I started to chat more with people all over the small business world. I found that I enjoyed conversing, sharing stories and experiences with these wonderful people. I also found that it made me want to socialise more, and to go so far to meet up with them in the real world (scary stuff!). I really do think that this little push has boosted my confidence with others out there that are also in the same position!
I'm hoping that the rest of the year sees the same sort of productivity and motivation as the start of the year! I would love to be reading this in January 2018 (2 stone lighter) and to be proud of what I have pushed myself to achieve the past year. I want to see my comfort zones being expanded and my product lists to grow! Who knows, I might even try and do Thriftbox full time... but I better not get ahead of myself there! So here is to pulling your finger out and finally taking charge of your life, friends and business :) Fingers crossed that 2017 becomes a brill year to me and my small business, and to all you others out there!
Crafter. Anime Lover. Cat Lady. Ghibli Enthusiast. Hufflepuff.