Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Unclenching the Jaw


This year has been my tipping point. It is the year that I have gone from sleeping well at night to tossing and turning. The year that my jaw began to clench. I have my eye on a couple culprits:
  • My iPhone. I can pick it up at 2:00 a.m. and do a quick check of the emails or read up on the forum or check a twitter feed. I no longer come home at night and shut the door on the day's activities.
  • Social media. Social media is a game changer when it comes to running a small business, and the changes are largely positive. But it also keeps me awake at night as I try to unravel the consequences of social behaviors that I was never very good at to begin with. In my private universe, social media is confirmation that the cool kids and the cheerleaders won the nerd war. I no longer feel confident in my relationships with my customers.
  • The warehouse. Not only does paying rent on a physical space "up the ante" with regard to responsibilities, it also becomes space that needs filling, which means more products and more diverse creative projects. I no longer "know everything" about everything I sell.
  • The employees. Not them particularly, just the fact that they exist. That someone has to rise to the occasion on every occasion. I no longer get to hide in my work.
Recently, I moved my desk to a different part of the warehouse and brought my files with me. In cleaning out the cabinets I stumbled across a pile of old "to do" lists. I had to smile when I saw the exact same things on a five-year-old "to do" as were on last Monday's list. Poor little Kaila, plugging away week after week and still not able to cross that one off!

Next to the list was an old business plan and it was interesting to see how much of that plan I had actually realized and also how outdated it was when considering our current situation. A recent Wall Street Journal article on small business suggests that the first defense against stress is to develop a long-range vision and business plan and then to simply work the plan.

With that flicker of insight lighting the way ahead, I set the old business plan on the top of the pile on my desk, and began to write this blog post.

The beginnings, I hope, towards unclenching the jaw.

7 comments:

Siilike said...

Best of luck and keep going! If you stop doing what you do who will feed us, makeup-addicts and color junkies??
;)

Cara said...

Oh Kaila..i feel for you! Looking at your website I was just thinking how far you've come since I first started buying from you 3 years ago. Without you so many of us small business people wouldnt be where we are today. I know the forum has been a big headache but just remember that you cant please everyone.

Kaila Westerman, TKB Trading, LLC said...

Thanks, it's all part of the process of owning a business. In part I share these things so that people can understand the process. But I'm a tough little cookie. Still, always much appreciated to read "huzzah's" from my friends and customers.

Lynda said...

I am going through the same thing with my life. As I have hurt my back and feel doing hair will not be on my menu much longer. I started Pony Dust one year ago and am so happy to have found you. God Sent and love that even though you are so far from me I can count on my order to be here in 2 days.
Cheers to you and your accomplishments. Remember to keep it simple. I started reading a book you might like. The power of Less. It is a very good book and you can sneak a peek at it when you have time (easy read). You can pick it up on amazon.
I agree with the other comments, you can not please everyone, so please yourself.

Anonymous said...

I absoluty love that fact I can call your company and speek dierectly with you. I can't express to you how important that is to me. I am 24 married with a two year old girl and and a six mounth old boy; and tring make a name for myself in the mineral cosmetic world. You and your company has truley inspired me to start my own. Thank you. Even though your just picking up the phone and answering a queastion you have the power to empower.

Randi Carr said...

Oh Kaila! LOL I read this post and I can completely understand! I've actually been revising my business plan the last few weeks as well and every word you say is exactly the way I feel these days (and I got a BlackBerry recently and can totally relate to the iPhone). You are not alone there. And yes, it is all just part of running a business... :) Thanks for posting this :)

Randi Carr (Creations from Eden Inc)

Kaila Westerman, TKB Trading, LLC said...

Thanks Randi, just writing about it helped. : )