Ok, I'm going to try to bring the Motivational Monday posts back as there are some nuggets that I hope to share with you.
I think I can confidently say that almost everyone who runs an online business thinks about giving up, no matter how successful they are.
I know I do: I thought about it this weekend.
While helping my husband clean up the house, which had gotten quite out of hand, thoughts of being an unproductive good-for-nothing rushed through my head.
"All I do all day is knit and sit at the computer and I can't even keep the house clean".
"What's the point of all this anyway? I'm just a freeloader, I should get a real job and contribute to this household".
"My husband probably thinks I'm just wasting my time on this silly venture, and while I'm sitting around all day, he's at work making real money".
I expressed my thoughts to my husband later that night. He sat me down and told me that one, I work my butt off, much, much harder than he does, and two, he would do anything to support me, in fact, he felt like it was his life mission to do so because he saw so much potential in me and wanted to see my dreams come to fruition (what a catch this guy!).
This week I've been working on the Brand Story Challenge, a 10-day challenge set by Jennifer Kem, a Master Brander who helps brands "Get Seen, Get Heard and Get Paid". When my friend Chelsea Fitch of KnitFitch participated in the first round of the challenge (and won the grand prize!) and gushed to me how amazing it was, I had to give it a go.
The very first prompt of the challenge was uncovering my "why". Why do I do what I do? What's my purpose? It had to be more than "I like to design patterns". I had to go deep and really look inside myself to pull out why I wanted to design and help aspiring designers in the first place. I knew why I was so passionate about my work, I just never could articulate it.
This is why I am so grateful I'm participating in this challenge because I think I found how to articulate my brand's mission and focus into a single sentence (gotta have that elevator pitch!):
Aroha Knits is about enriching, encouraging and empowering creatives through knitting.
In detail, these three E's are...
- Enriching the knitting community by creating accessible, stylish and modern pieces of knitwear that reflect and drawn upon my cultural heritage that many can enjoy, whether they are process or project knitters.
- Encouraging Maori (and other Polynesian communities) to take up this craft as there is a space for their talents and culture.
- Empowering aspiring designers to share their creations informed through stories and culture by providing motivation and education.
So after I had my talk with my husband, I looked back to my answer for the day one prompt and it really ignited the spark in me again.
Running an online business, even self-publishing designs, requires you to be in it for the long-run. It requires passion, motivation, knowing the right questions to ask, knowing where to look and having a deep knowledge of yourself and your mission.
So that you can find your "why", here are some questions to get you started.
- When did you first get into knitwear design?
- What do you believe about your designs?
- What do you want other people to believe about your designs?
- What are you inspired by?
- What are you passionate about?
Please share your "why" in the comments so I can read them! I'll be choosing one commenter at random to win any one copy to win a pattern of their choice (so leave your Rav ID too!).
Do so by finishing the prompt:
My "why" for design is...
Write down your answer somewhere, on a sticky note, in your journal or on your computer files. Make sure it is easy to access to so that you when you feel like quitting, pull it out so you can remind yourself why got into this game in the first place.