Some dreams are like firecrackers; exciting, colorful and over very quickly. Others are like water simmered for tea. You patiently (or not so patiently as in my case) run the water and set it on the stove (bear with me I like old-fashioned tea) waiting for it to heat and reach that not quite boiling stage. As you wait you have a pretty good idea of what you want, right? You have a picture in your head of what the end result will be. Perhaps you measure dried leaves into a pot or plunk a tea bag into a favorite mug. Whichever you choose (dear God not instant I beg you) you have a reasonable idea of what you want and a plan on how to achieve those results. Maybe this is the first time you have made tea and you aren’t confident. Perhaps you are a seasoned tea person and know exactly what to expect.
I like firecracker dreams, they can be fun. For the most part though I like my dreams like my tea, well planned, aged to a degree and executed with thought, planning and a bit of respect.
This week I launched a dream of mine that has almost been one year in the making. I started my own business. I went through a few firecracker ideas: Candy Shop, Organic Herb Farm and incidentally a tea shop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Something fell through with all of them. Then I bought my first loom. A very cheap, soft-wood loom that survived I think two and a half projects. It didn’t matter, I was hooked. Then I began to knit, and it dawned on me I wanted my own yarn. If I made my own yarn I could pick my ingredients so to speak. I could have a dye-free, organic skein in exactly the right thickness (weight for those in the know) for whatever my heart desired to create. Then and there an idea was born. I think the name came next. A combination of a nickname my little brothers call me and the bits of this and that was summed up perfectly for me: Sissy’s Spinnings. Then the blog. Oh so many started… Oh so few met maturity. I’m not even sure this one has, but I enjoy writing it. Over the last few months I have purchased tools that not only help me do my “job” but also have a beauty all their own. I learned skills and tricks to make projects easier and I will continue to do so. I have had a few failures too… Oh goodness the first fleece. I am sure everyone has a story like this a moment so laughable in its foolishness. The first fleece I bought in a bag from a woman who admitted she didn’t know what to do with it. It was filthy and it smelled like wet sheep and other things. So with my bits of knowledge I rushed home (actually it was my boyfriend’s driveway) and began washing my fleece. Outside. With a hose. In summer. On a tailgate. I bet you can guess what happened but I will come out and admit: I ruined that fleece. I had a giant, stinky, dirty, felted mess. I threw it away and then I hit the books. I learned that not only do you not agitate wool (Unless you actually want felt. Aha.) but you never, never, never use cold water. (Oops) And the smelly part? Oh, right. You don’t buy fleece from just anyone and you skirt it if the shearing guy didn’t do it for you. Skirting is best explained as cutting off the bottom 3 inches of a fleece to remove (as nicely put as I can) all that “organic matter.” Ahem, let’s face it, you do it to cut down on the amount of sheep poop you have to wash out. I’ll pop in a side note here; most spinners I find use cleaned and carded roving. Ha! squeamish? I think so.
Now having been through some trials (and some successes) I decided I was ready to launch my business into the outside world. I sold my first product in two hours and haven’t sold a thing since. That is ok though, I am busy working on new products to introduce, acquiring new skills, beating a logo into submission and trying not to panic.
I am having those moments of: What if it doesn’t work? Did I add enough of this? Should I have steeped it longer? Much the same sentiments I have when making a cup of tea. When I don’t plunk a bag into a microwavable cup, that is. I’d like to savor this experience like a decent cup of tea and see where the journey leads me.
It all comes back to a question that a friend asked of me. One that I also ask myself daily: What have you done for your business today?
So I will ask you, changing the wording a bit;
What have you done for your dreams today?