Monday, April 16, 2007

Mind Games

Any time I take on a new challenge in my life there is always some excitement, ....and a bit of trepidation. There is some aspect of the challenge that scares or intimidates me in some way. It may not be any big thing in the scheme of things. But it is probably something I have not done before, and do not really know where to begin.

Doing a wholesale show across the country has had a boatload of those issues. This is my first wholesale show...I understand the differences from a retail show in theory, but there are all those niggling details in the execution. Samples, catalogs or handouts, order forms.......the list seems nearly endless. Then there is the shipping. I tried to avoid too much complication in my life and will rent the bigger stuff. But there is still lots of things that need to be shipped across country, and too many options, deadlines, etc.

I am waking up in the morning and finding myself weighing the options of a palletized or unpalletized shipment. Which things should I ship frieght, or regular ground, and which things should go to the advance warehouse and which should go to the convention center, and which should go to my hotel? Not the way anyone ones to wake up....

How did I get myself into this quandary? I simply did not let myself think about these details upfront. I put those in the "later" box. But, the bill is coming due....later is here and I have not choice but to fret and worry, and finally, decide and act. Was that foolish for me to take this approach? I guess some people may look at my head in the sand solution as the wrong way to go. I just have learned this is my way of taking on big scary tasks.

If I had to have all the answers right up front, with all the i's dotted and t's crossed, then I would probably be frozen in place. Unable to move from the safety and security of the known.

Instead, I try and focus on the thing that is motivating me to take this risk, and rack up thousands of dollars on my Visa bill. In this case, doing a wholesales show with a company I know and trust. I have had enough experience with wholesale to know that I should be able to recover my costs, at the bare minimum, but probably build the wholesale side of my business to a more vibrant base. The financial risk seems manageable. It is a chance to show my work to buyers in person....and in person is always better than a picture. And there is the added bonus of meeting some of the other artists and gallery owners I have gotten to know through the internet, or over the phone. These were the things that made me say "Yes!" to this opportunity.

I do not ignore the issues of shipping and catalogs and order forms (..oh my!). I just choice to not worry about them to the point of letting them hold me back from an opportunity. For most of my adult life I have tried to have the perspective that I don't want to look back on my life with a long list of "What if's". These issues I am dealing with right now are a real pain,...especially without the in-house expert that always existed in the corporate world. I have to figure it out.

I go to the forums on-line where other artists with experience in shows across the country reassure me with the fact that I have witnessed them doing shows from long distances and managing it. Or doing their first shows,....and actually going on to do another! I try to stay away from the discussions that are filled with worry and anxiety. I have enough of my own, thank you, and I find I just find the anxiety to be contagious. I give myself the "big girl" speech. It goes something like this," You are a big girl. You can do this. Plenty of people do this all the time. You are smart and capable. You can do this." Then I suck it up, and go figure out a few more details.

Today, if all goes according to plan, I will be shipping out two containers by UPS frieght to Las Vegas, and perhaps a few boxes by UPS ground. They may go out tomorrow. Then I can breath a sigh of relief and cross my fingers and hope it gets where it is supposed to, on time and in one piece. And if it doesn't,....I will figure that out then. In the meantime, I have more samples to make, and some new designs to play with. Now, that's what I'm talking about!


Loretta said...

I do that same thing with the "self parenting". It helps...a little. I'm sure you'll do great.Before you know it you'll be back with your family saying "wow it's great to be home". And I can't wait to hear all about your success. Chin up. xxoo Loretta

PS: When you get around to it, how about an entry on planning your production schedule?!

Judy said...

Thanks for the comment Loretta. You are right. Before I know it, it will all be over, and I will have a wholesale show under my belt...and that production schedule will be come more critical! Thanks for the topic suggestion.