Business

Top 3 Ways to Push Through the Road Block

More times than not, I find myself not fully engaged. Whether it’s hiding myself away from the world (I.e. chain reading…literally starting another the minute I finish one) or avoiding doing tasks that need completing. This is my automatic. Meaning when I’m feeling overwhelmed, depressed, tired, bored, etc….I hibernate. Unfortunately that can last weeks at times. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m doing it.

Trust me, I’m working on not withdrawing into my cocoon…it’s a main topic of discussions with my therapist. We talk about recognizing that is my state of mind and giving it a time limit. Because it’s totally OK to hunker down and hide for a day. My problem is it can last weeks.

I especially hate that I let my hibernation, affect my business and my health. But this is a business blog so we will focus there…not saying your health doesn’t affect your business…

So what do I do to push through that block?

Make Lists

While I may shut down at times, my mind may be going a million different directions. Right now, I’m coming off of the Art & Garden Festival and moving into doing a few craft festivals for the holidays. So my mind is doing a post mortem on the Festival: what went wrong? what went right? what do I want to do differently? However my mind is also in November (shutter) on a craft show and now I’m thinking about what to make, how to display, how much to make, etc.

What clears my head are lists. A list for just about anything. It can be a to do list, an inventory list, a shopping list, whatever it is that will clear the clutter. Maybe a list format isn’t for you. Maybe your a more brainstorming or mind mapping type person. Maybe journaling is better for you. You do you…just get it out of your head.

Do One Thing

So now that your list or brainstorm is done…do one thing on the list. You’ll be surprised how doing just one task, no matter how small, will kick start you again. There is nothing more satisfying than checking an item off your list. Confession time…I’ve been known to write something on a list that I’ve already done just so I can check it off. Even if you skipped the list making part, just doing one task will get you past that block.

Organize

I like my ducks in a row…sometimes to a fault…but when I’m unorganized I don’t think as well. I’m not one of those creative people who thrive in chaos…not judging at all. As anyone who has ever worked with me knows…don’t touch my freakin’ pencils. I want be on the phone and blindly reach for a pencil knowing exactly where it is. Don’t move anything on my desk either, it’s where I want it, you don’t sit here so don’t move it.

A lot of time when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed is when I’m not organized. Taking some time to put things away where they belong, doing my filing, or…going back to step one…making a list.

So that’s my three things that get me past my blocks. Get me moving forward. Get me out of hibernation. Word of warning though, do not get so bogged down in writing lists or organizing that you use it as a tool to procrastinate your end goal.

What gets you past your road blocks? I would love to learn some tips from you!

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Events, Flower Designs

Review of My First Show

As you know, from all my posts of late, I set up a booth at my hometown’s Art & Garden Festival. It was a lot of prep work, long hours, and hot weather…and extremely fun.

The first question I’m asked is “How did it go?” And that is hard to tell…I have mixed feelings.

I barely sold anything. And even though I offered to hold items until the end of the show, not many wanted to buy fresh flowers especially on such a hot day. So that was disappointing.

However, I got a lot of business cards and postcards into people’s hands. People I hadn’t ever met and do not follow my social media accounts. So that was a big plus and pretty much my main goal.

I also gained some potential business contacts of which I’m excited about. Even if they don’t pan out…at least I know that something I created was appreciated.

Janis, my booth mate, and I were asked to participate in a craft show in November because we had very unique items. A huge positive to the day.

What did I learn? Well…pardon the expression…but a shit ton. I learned you can never be too organized. Even with the trial run through the previous weekend, we still scrambled through some of the set up.

Also, know your product. I had a beautiful arrangement at the front of the booth that was very unique but I could not tell people what one of the flowers were (it’s not a commonly used one) and I struggled until I was lucky enough to have my grower come through the booth. So I asked her and wrote it down! After that I confidently told everyone that asked.

The white airy flower to the right of the pic is called Agrostemma.

I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of doing. Faced the unknown of running a booth and put myself out there like I have never done before. Yay, me! Look at me…adulting again!

The best part was meeting people and talking with them about anything. People in my community that I see as I drive around town and some that I’ve never seen before. People from all walks of life. Watching the diversity of my town…it may not be a huge diversity but it’s there if you are paying attention.

The third question I’ve been getting: “Will I do this again?” Yes, but in a different way. What that way will be I’m not sure yet. I still have a little work to do. Gather thoughts and ideas. But yes, I will be there next year…so be sure to look for me.

As always, the love and support of friends and family was wonderful and I am forever grateful for it. It’s easier to make the decisions to step outside my comfort zone knowing there is a support system there for me. I love you all. ❤️

Please follow me on social media:
Facebook: @marmaladeskyfloraldesign
Instagram: @marmalade_sky_floral_designs
Website: marmaladeskyfloral.com
Email: marmaladeskyfloral@gmail.com

May your day be filled with flowers!

Business, Flower Designs

Planning vs. Movement

Ya’ll will probably get tired of me talking about this book Atomic Habits by James Clear, but when I’m still thinking about a book days even weeks later I know it’s spoken to me. It’s Saturday morning at 6:30 am and I woke with the idea to write this blog post. This is not something I do. Mornings are quiet time for me to drink coffee and read. So for me to hop up, make my bed, get my mug of broth (ever since my cold last week coffee tastes disgusting and broth is heaven), and sit down to start writing…that is a big deal.

What do I mean by planning vs. movement? Planning is the preparation to do something and it can be and feel like movement…until it’s not. Planning can be used to procrastinate. And as my mother can attest…I am the queen of procrastination. When Mr. Clear said this, my brain went “Ding Ding Ding Ding…we have a winner!” And that’s when situations and little habits I have came flooding to me. What I thought I was doing was moving forward when in fact I was just procrastination planning. I knew on some level that I wasn’t following through on my plans. Lack of execution, I thought.

Not to say some planning isn’t movement because sometimes you have to plan to move forward for a project. You should write a business plan for example…but that is movement in and of itself because it’s actually helping you in your business.

Here’s my example of procrastination planning…I want to do an audit of my finances. Ok let me rephrase that…I need to do an audit of my finances. I don’t really want to cuz it’s not my jam…but it needs to be done. So I’ve told myself, when I get my desk all cleaned up I’ll sit down and do it. Guess what is still a mess. Because if I cleaned my desk, I’d have to do the financial audit.

I also think I need to “pretty” something up before doing it. So if I need to make a note that is on the wall by my door that tells me to walk everyday…it becomes a full blown craft project…in my head…that I need fancy appear, stickers, a fancy font and a laminating machine. So guess what…the note doesn’t get written and I don’t walk.

You think I’m joking and I’m not…these are two things I do. I know I do them. I own it.

So now to take this epiphany and make it work for me. I am still in the early stages and I’m sure I haven’t unearthed all of my procrastination planning but at least I’m now aware of it.

Guess what I’m doing this weekend? No not cleaning my desk…nope I’m doing a financial audit. Wish me luck!

Business, Flower Designs, Uncategorized

Commitments – the follow up

I really can’t believe a month has gone by and that we are heading into the final months of the year.  Crazy.

Journal 1My month of commitments to myself was a struggle at times.  Mostly with setting aside the time commitments.  At the same time, it was extremely rewarding in other areas.   Sometimes the simplest task that was completed would bring the most reward because it was something I had avoided or put off.

The biggest struggle for me was on the business side.  After working an 8-hour day, the last thing I wanted to do was to think about work again.  The 4 hours a week I set aside was too ambitious.   Trying to keep to the days and times I had allocated was extremely hard to do.  I needed rethink my commitment…augment it in some way.   I never quite got anything concrete down.  However, because I recognized my struggle, thoughts of the business were forefront in my mind more so than ever.  Lists were made, marketing plans in place, and increased social media presence.  I didn’t abandon it completely.  I just did things in littler chunks of time.  Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how to fit all this into my schedule in bigger chunks.  Where there is a will, there is a way, though, and I am hopeful to get this working smoothly.

Journal 2As for the personal side…well that just went splendidly.  Every morning I sat down for 20 minutes and wrote in my journal reflecting on the previous day and looking forward to the day ahead.   Within my journaling, I would make a daily commitment to myself.  Sometimes it was the same commitment day after day because I wanted it to become a habit.   One day I was running late and I only had 12 minutes to write.  I got in such a dither about it.  Such a silly thing to be worked up over but nonetheless, I was quite upset.  Once I got myself controlled, I made a commitment to make up the time later that night.  And guess what?  I did!  By taking 20 minutes each day I learned and gained so much.

  1. A better understanding on how I sometimes go blindly through the day without being present. Ask me at the end of the day how it was, who I saw, or what I did, I would struggle to recall. Because I wasn’t present in the moment.
  2. By reflecting on the previous day and the way I felt, I could change up the current day.
  3. There were several times I would say “no” to something during the day because that morning I had made a commitment.  I set goals that push me further yet are easily attainable.
  4. I always wrote the next day’s date on the top of the next page.  This would just reinforce that I was going to write again the following day.

All-in-all, I think this was a very successful journey and I will definitely continue to make commitments to myself…and keeping them.

If you made a commitment to yourself this month, I would love to hear about it.  We can all learn from each other.

Now…we need some flowers to look at.

Fall Flowers

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!

Business, Uncategorized

Commitments

The very word “commitment” can be either scary or a comfort.  It can be both hard and easy to do.  It can be a burden or self-fulfilling.  With just one word, so many feelings arise usually based on whether you are doing the committing or are the receiver of a commitment.

Now you may think I’m talking about marriage since I’m a florist, but I’m speaking about a broader scope and more precisely about commitments to one self.  It is easier for us to make and keep commitments to others.  It’s completely different when we do so for ourselves.   Just think about it…what is a New Year’s resolution but a commitment to yourself?  Also one that is easily broken…usually within the first month.  We are quick to push our own needs, wants, & desires aside for another, whether that be a child, spouse, good friend…or sometimes in my case a good book.

Straw Flowers 1

This is not a new concept to me.  I know I put some of my own commitments on the back burner if I really don’t want to be bothered by them.   It’s probably my number one topic with my therapist.  So what made me sit down and write this blog post about this subject and not flowers?  Simply stated, my best friend.

The other night I was having dinner with my bestie from high school.  Literally we met in 9th grade and had every class together.  We were bound to be best friends or enemies…luckily friendship won out.  Anyway…that was many, many, many, moons ago.  Here we are in our late 40s and both of us are working on changing our careers.  She has the most gorgeous voice and sings with operas and philharmonics. Jealous!  However, she’s cut back on that and is focusing on her first love…writing.  Something I know she will excel at because she is a super talented writer.  Again, jealous!!

Straw Flowers 2

So, as I was saying, we were sitting after dinner (finishing our wine) and she said how she had writer’s block and that she sat staring at the computer for two hours the day before.  She has been struggling with a certain part of her novel, which she had abandoned for a while and wrote some short stories, and that just yesterday morning she finally realized that part of the book would have to be scrapped and reworked.  She was thrilled with that, because it finally gave her some movement on the project.   This led us into discussing the fact that she commits (there’s that word again) to writing two hours every day.   So for two hours every day she sits in front of her computer and writes…or as in the case the other day…staring at a blinking cursor.

This is what I pulled from our conversation.  Her commitment to herself and her writing is to put aside two hours every day…no matter if it’s productive or not.  Had she not sat with writer’s block the day before, she may not have given herself the OK to scrap part of the story that isn’t working. Therefore, the novel would be at a standstill.  I bet if I spoke with her today her two hours were probably really productive.

I like that her commitment was a bit vague.  I think sometimes we get a little too detailed (at least I do) and then when one thing goes wrong we scrap the whole idea.  Her commitment to write for 2 hours every day is an easily reached goal.  She could have committed to writing 25 pages every day. Totally unreasonable and tightens the parameters of her commitment, which would lead to feeling like a failure or have her abandoning the entire novel not just a section of it.

Straw Flowers 4

OK, so what does that mean for me? As I’ve already stated, I know this is an issue for me and I’ve been working on it and things have been better.  I know I have to find things that support my commitments and in some ways makes them easier for me to deal with on a daily or weekly basis.   Calendars are a big help for me.  If it is on the calendar, then it’s a little harder for me to push is aside.  Take for example about 3 months ago, I signed up for a new gym (mind you I’m still paying for 2 that I don’t go to).  Not only do I just really like this gym but also I can sit down for the week using an app and schedule all my work out sessions with the trainer and they link to my calendar.  Now when someone asks me to do something on that day, I know that I’ve already committed to a training session.   I’ve tried using a calendar for my working out on my own…but it hasn’t worked well.   I won’t cancel a training session because I don’t want to inconvenience the trainer, but there is no one I’m inconveniencing if I don’t go for a walk…well except myself.  BOOM! There we have what I’ve been writing about all along.  It is easier to say “no” to myself then to someone else.

Now…to apply my AHA moment.  What should it be?  I want to make a commitment to help with my career and one a bit more personal.

Business:  I’m going to set aside 2 hours twice a week to work on building the business.  That could be social media, advertising, strategy, floral designs etc.  Prior to this, I had committed an undisclosed amount of time on Tuesday evenings for social media (mostly blog writing).  As you can tell from my lack of posts that this just didn’t work.

Personal:  I’m going to take 20 minutes every morning just to focus on me (with no electronics), to think about what I can do for myself every day that is healthy for my body and my mind.  What will I eat for that day that is healthy and good for me?  When will I fit in some exercise?  Am I just so exhausted that I’ll need to schedule a nap after work?  Maybe it’s that time of month and I know I’ll be on the “see food” diet that day so I better stock up on pretzels & chocolate.  The point of that 20 minutes is to have “me” time.

That is a total of 6 1/2 hours per week I’ve just committed.   Since this is almost the beginning of September, I’ll commit to you, dear reader, that I will write a follow up blog at the end of September that will let you know of my progress.  And by committing to you, guess what?  I’ve supported my own commitments.  Yay!

Have you made a commitment to yourself that has or hasn’t worked?  Want to make a commitment to yourself but just haven’t done it?  I would love to hear about it!

Straw Flowers 3

PS: I wrote this blog last week, but wanted to run it by my friend first, so I am about a week into my commitments. So far things are going really well and I’m really enjoying my 20 minutes to myself more than I thought I would.  The photos above were part of the time I spent on business matters. 

May your day be filled with beautiful flowers!