Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Movies, Cars & Ice Cream

So I just started the process to register my new business, Academy for Self Education. This will be the third business I start in about the same years. The only thing that's going through my head right now is, "what am I doing." Sometimes I feel like this is it, this is the business I've been waiting for my whole life and other times, like today, I'm wondering if it will go anywhere at all.

I think of movies where a character is starting a business like, The Social Network or Sunshine Cleaning and I envy their passion and excitement. I was standing at the County Clerks office today and realized that I don't feel excitement at all and maybe just a little passion. Is that enough?

It seems like everything I try to start just misses by *that much*. I'm sure it's just in my head but I'm pretty sure I definitely do not have the gold touch.

Although another thought did occur to me in line at the County Clerks office: I try to do so many different things for my business. I try to be the marketer, designer, content creator, workshop leader, graphic designer, accountant, executive assistant and owner all at the same time. And I guess this all wouldn't be entirely so bad but I try to be perfect at every one of those jobs too.

I think the hardest thing for an entrepreneur to do is ask for help. I know that I want to do everything. I think that if I don't have my print on everything then the business somehow isn't mine at all. But that's crazy now that I say it out loud. I think in order to be more satisfied and, in turn, more successful I'm going to need to break down and ask for help.

One of the things that would make me satisfied, aside from succeeding at my business venture, is to own a new car. An SUV to be precise. I know, how un-environmental. My current car is a sky blue Hyundai Accent. It's not very professional looking. Plus I plan to have a lot of classes and travel the country giving seminars and talks and I'm pretty sure my sky blue wouldn't be able to handle it.

I also realized yesterday that I need to start setting goals for myself and for my business. This sounds like one of those no-brainer moments, right? If you want to accomplish anything you have to set goals for yourself. But this is how off track I've gotten over the past couple years. I stopped setting goals and just followed what others said.

For example, my first business was the easiest to start. It was called Buttons & Rainbows and I sold handmade children's accessories like bracelets and bookmarks. My goal was turn every day items into creative inspiration for children. I don't remember struggling as much as I am now. I just created the business, made the items and sold them (or at least tried too). I even had a fashion show and used area kids as my models. Then a career counselor suggested to me that if teaching children creativity was what I wanted to do then I should give workshops on creativity. In one month I scrapped Buttons & Rainbows and developed Sara Ortiz Workshops.

I think that was the first time I started to have doubts about my ideas. I don't remember where the idea came from to start Buttons & Rainbows. I know I'm not the only one who had the idea to create handmade children's accessories but I wonder if I've ever done something because I truly believed in it. After all, that's what makes great businesses.

And that's what makes Sane & Satisfied all the more important to me. I've got to get out of the habit of doing things just because or when others accept them. That's probably why Buttons & Rainbows was so easy for me to start. It was my first business and I hadn't read every business and marketing book under the sun by then. It was just me and my creativity.

I think that the Academy for Self Education is something I can truly believe in. It encompasses most every philosophy I have about life, learning, politics and improving yourself and your life. Sane & Satisfied is what I hope to become through the process of building my business and learning from my journey.

I'm glad I figured that out. Now time for some ice cream.

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