I think every year I start January announcing my plan to grow the business and try to find the illusive 'balance' between work and life...
The truth is that I don't really think there is ever a perfect balance. Instead it's about prioritising and listening to what is being asked of you.
Sounds all very ominous, doesn't it? Like I'm about to give you some big news.
Don't worry I'm not going anywhere and there's nothing really changing for you... not really, anyway!
For the first 10 years of my business I have needed to nurture it and pour my soul into it and last year was no different... I attended lots of shows, grew on-line presence and ventured further into knitwear design.
As a result, while 2015 was very good to me and the business... I left it feeling exhausted... more exhausted than I have ever been at the end of a business year.
With this realisation in mind, I set about planning 2016 much more carefully... something I haven't always seemed to be able to do before.
I have time tables and plans... colour coded and everything people!
The upshot is, my friends that I am 40 later this year and so while I aim to maintain my business and celebrate it's achievements I also want to take a year to indulge 'me' a little... well as much as you can working full-time.
So this year I plan to;
- Do less Shows - by this actually what has happened is that P-Lush is now de-funked and Proper Woolly is a bi-annual show currently and so I will not be replacing them as I originally planned. Maybe 2017 I will apply for Unravel, Yarndale and Edinburgh Wool Festival instead. I do have a few extra smaller shows/workshops in the works, but I aim to stick to a scattering of shows across the year, instead of 2-3 per month in some cases.
- Increase my e-book and e-pattern business - this I hope will bring me in some pennies while I take some holiday this year... yes I said it, holiday! Last year I worked through several planned holidays, which was beyond stupid really... this year I plan to take all of them.
- Holidays - see above. I have 4 weeks planned and will add them to my events list for you. I'm under strict supervision from Darrin this year, so when I'm off, even my phone will be off.
- A month dye-free - over Christmas and the first few weeks of this new year I didn't dye a thing. Partly as I was on holiday and partly as I was ill. Before I went on holiday I did my best to fill up the shop with in stock hand dyed fibres and yarns and this has tided you over well I think... My plan is to do the same this coming year and so I will fill this area of the site before that time, so that you have plenty to keep you going while I take a break. The truth is that dyeing 20kg per week is hard work and my body needs a break every so often.
- Trying a few new products - I started offering Project bags... did you see them? I'm hoping to add more print options and maybe some other products to help you create your projects... so keep an eye out!
- Bigger Colour Club offers - Colour Club started with a bang this year (there si plenty left!) and I want to keep up the momentum, so I have planned bigger creative sessions for this project to offer you a wider exclusive range each quarter.
So that's it, six brief, but sizeable goals to work towards.
I can do it... I might need you to poke me if you don't think I'm sticking to them... you know I am a workaholic!
Seriously though... thank you for all of your continued support and challenging me to take a moment to rethink every so often.
I look forward to a wonderfully creative 2016 with you,