This week my website crashed because I "missed" an invoice about my domain name, I sent links for my free book for Amazon.uk, not Amazon.com (meaning they only worked for peopel in Britain), I managed to set the smoke alarm off by cooking noodles (don't ask!), had major issues with Pay-pal, and am still wondering where the money for the next tank of heating oil will come from.
My life is a series of failures, from which I
pick myself up and keep walking. Yet when I look at the larger picture of my business & life- it really isn't so bad.
Failure happens (again, and again)
I have learnt that growing a business is a series of failures, and the only way to deal with this is to learn and move on. I have read this so many times, but I never quite realized the truth until I was building my business. I have run events where the venue cost more than I made, I have got my advertising costs wrong and ended with a shock, I've made spelling mistakes, timing mistakes, lost emails & watched my website crash due to my error.
I have cried a lot, shouted a fair amount, and felt like giving up many, many times.
But I am still here! I am still learning, still working, still growing my business.
I have a feeling there will be a lot more failures along the way- the good news is that moving on from failure gets (just a little) easier each and every time.
Skill in Tarot is not enough
The Tarot reading bit is easy. I still love it, still get a real thrill each time I connect and help some one find their path forward.
But I am doing this to pay for my children, and so I need business skills too. I am learning about advertising, web building, S.E.O, writing emails, tax, networking, publishing, selling, running events, costing....
Sometimes my mind feels like it's going to burst with all the learning I have done. And I am aware I have only just scratched the surface!
Adjusting to the needs of my students
This has been a massive learning curve.
The first tarot workshops I ran (which were 3 hours) I taught. In a clear didactic teacher style, for the entire 3 hours.
I had read how other tarot teachers "facilitated" their students, and helped them to develop their skills- but I felt far too nervous for that. Luckily I had amazing students who asked if they could actually have a go at the tarot (!) and once I stepped into that supporting, hands on teacher type role I never looked back- so much easier for students & teacher alike.
On the other hand I have (stupidly) moved times, adapted things to meet the needs of students, only to have them realise they can't commit anyway. I am then left with a course or venue I am not committed too, having to advertise something my heart isn't in.
My decisions are now balanced; what works for my regular students, and equally, what works for me.
Hopefully this keeps me fresh & confident at the same time.
Not pacing myself.
O.K so I am still failing (massively) at this.
I am aware that I work better when I have one day off a week. But I do love my work & have a (slightly) addictive personality- so I probably spend far, far too many hours learning, writing, and generally working than is best for me, or my family.
Like many people that are setting up a self -employed business I suffer from anxiety about the security and profitability of my business, and would rather learn a little more about business than sit worrying.
Allowing stupid things to swallow my time
I am learning about the difference between "time fillers" and "productive time".
The best advice I have come across is to do one job, and focus on doing it well- rather than flitting from job to job. Sitting once a day to answer emails well, setting aside time to enjoy tarot talking on face-book forums, having a schedule for my blogging and writing- sitting down to write a blog until it is finished- rather than starting when I know I will be interrupted or short of time.
This is still a work in progress.
Being honest when things go wrong
I have found honesty to be by far the best policy, especially when it comes to my business and technical limitations.
With launching of my new book I happily sent links to people saying they could get a copy of my new book, not realizing that in America you can only buy a kindle book from the American Amazon site.
I have found that offering to look into the problem (I didn't have a clue!) and being honest about how I am learning about the process (whether that is pay-pal, Skype, my website, or Amazon!) is the best way to deal with technical "blips"
Not expecting myself to be perfect
I am learning that I am good enough, and leaning all the time when it comes to business, tarot, and life itself.
I don't see that changing anytime soon!
In case you missed the links to my latest e-book (free until the 22nd) or was annoyed to find a link sending you to an Amazon shop in the U.K- where you couldn't buy it (sorry, my fault), here are some links
Do you live in America? Follow this link
Do you live in Britain? Follow this link
Do you live in Australia? Follow this link