Yesterday I browsed “Crafting an MBA“, one of my favorite blogs that promotes business thinking for designers and makers. In this thought provoking articleMegan Aumann talks about “selling your soul” and making a “stop doing” list. Her main points are:
- What do you need to say NO to in order to focus on the work that you really need to be doing?
- What is holding you back from doing the real work that gets you hot (and/or makes you money)?
For me, her article is not only about stopping things that you hate doing. But also about streamlining your life, purging unnecessary things, removing junk that doesn’t move your xxx (business, skills, soul, inner wellbeing, body of work etc.) forward.
I found these ideas really hit a point with me, as there are several things in my life (not only as a beadmaker and business owner, but also in my personal life) that I should “stop doing” and say “no” to.
As a result, I wrote a “stop doing” list for myself. And decided to right away start with the points that are fast & easy to implement, yet have a fairly high priority. First thing on my list: Stop making made-to-order beads.
Maybe you’re a bead maker or jewelry maker yourself, and you know exactly why this is important to me. But maybe you’re one of my customers and you’re disappointed to read this and wonder why I would do this.
First and foremost, I feel that making made-to-order beads sucks the creativity out of my work. It takes away my love for torching, because I use the torch to express my creativity, follow my mood, to forget about bad things happening and just dive into colors and designs to let my imagination take me where it wants to go.
If I can’t do this, if I can’t be creative and work with whatever comes to my mind, and I’m unhappy. Every custom order miraculously scares away the Muse and I start procrastinating. Which makes me feel really bad about my business skills & time management.
That’s why I removed today all of the products from my website that are made to order (except for spacers). And would you believe it, deep inside of me I feel already the positive effect!
Of course I’m still open for requests to redo some of my designs. But instead of accepting a paid custom order, I would rather love to add the requested designs to my idea journal – which means it might take a couple of days or even a week until I start making them. And there will be no obligation for my customer to take the beads, which will reduce the pressure for me to make them look exactly like the original designs.
How about you?
Do you have things that hold you back or take the joy out of your business/life that should be on a “stop doing” list?
At the end of this post a bit of eye candy, a new set called “Glazed Mist”: