Growing a business without business skills. Apparently it can be done.

Wowza, has it been a busy month…

and it is just going to get busier and busier up until Christmas. This year is looking to be a landmark year for Noctiluna kidswear. We are doing more and bigger shows, and I have been printing non-stop, so that we will (hopefully) have enough inventory for them. Word is, that we may also be in a local gift shop or two by the holidays. Fingers crossed for that.

While this is all great, really great news, it’s also got me feeling a little sick in the stomach. There I was just happily coasting along with my teeny tiny business, sticking to the stuff I know best and avoiding the rest. All of a sudden I have the opportunity to grow a little, which means stepping out of my comfort zone – it’s downright intimidating!

Growth means getting better at stuff that I have been dreading for years. Growth means doing inventory, keeping accounts, analyzing statistics successfully, communicating on time with other humans, and of course, screenprinting a whole lot more! I’ve got the last part covered, there’s steam coming off my squeegee, but I’m facing a very steep and very terrifying learning curve with all the other stuff! I mean, the thought of interviewing a prospective employee makes me shiver with horror, and my eyes go blurry after looking at numbers for longer than half an hour. Art school never taught me any of these skills. Quite frankly, I’m a little taken aback:

“You mean I have to actually do business stuff? I thought designing and selling kids’ clothing would be all ice cream, hopscotch, and watercolors – not a crash course at Wharton!”

Yup. It’s time to grow up (just a little) and grow a pair. Fear is a large part of who I am professionally, I let my brain blow things out of proportion, and little stumbling blocks can paralyse me indefinitely. I have been forcing myself to let go of some of that fear.

With the help of my very practical and relatively fearless husband, I have started to teach myself new skills that involve more than just printing cool stuff.

I have been working weekends and nights to get things done for the upcoming shows, and I have been dipping into the Halloween candy more often than I should, but I can literally feel myself becoming more methodical, productive, and proactive. It’s a slow road, but that’s okay. I think slow progress is the best kind of progress for me, new skills and work methods need time to sink in and make sense to me, and the more they do, the less intimidating this is.
Oh, and British Art schools – you rock, but if you haven’t started adding a business skills component to your courses yet, DO IT!

 

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