I have heard people say many times that whatever it is you want to be doing you should be working at it every day and you will eventually get where you want to be. I find this frustrating as hell because it assumes that you don’t have bills to pay and that to pay the bills you have to do other stuff too because it’s an amazing fact that money doesn’t flock to whoever is doing what they truly want to be doing with their lives. Money doesn’t know when you’re doing what you’ve always wanted to be doing. Bills still come due. It’s also a fact that you can toil away at your dreams for your whole life and never get where you want to be. It’s also a fact that working jobs that aren’t what you really want to be doing can tire some people out to the point of sapping them of all will to work on the things they really want. People like me.
I got a really bad haircut yesterday. I haven’t had one in 8 months because the last one I got was dreadful too. Both haircuts I’ve gotten this year made me cry. I’ve also been working really hard at keeping positive for my whole family while we’re in an employment crisis. I didn’t get called back for a job I really wanted that I should have heard back from yesterday. Keeping the barking dogs of anxiety and depression at bay is exhausting and extremely difficult for me. It requires that I not really pay attention to anything closely. I took a real dive yesterday. I’m still feeling the effects today. To be honest, I’ll feel it for days but after writing this I’m going to pretend I’m 95% better so no one worries about me or is dragged down by me. It’s how many of us function in a world that we don’t function well in. We pretend. My friend Sonya wrote a brilliant post “Depression and the Writer” about what depression feels like yesterday and talks about this. I think everyone would benefit from reading it.
What I want to be making a living at (a REAL living, meaning it pays the bills) is writing novels and making potions. Ultimately I just want to write. But selling novels is a notoriously hard road to build so if I have to sell something else, do something else to make money, I want to sell my apothecary goods because I’m damn good at making healing and luxurious body care. Being in business for yourself with body care products is just as difficult a road to build as selling novels.
I know, I just know that if I could get my stuff visible I could make a decent living doing this. I don’t want to sell my stuff wholesale because doing small batch as I do isn’t as viable that way. My label would be seen, yes, but then I’d have to make twice as much product for half the profit. I want to be direct to consumer. That’s what I want. Small batch high quality body care.
This is what I want. Now, how to make it happen? Marketing. I need to become savvy at marketing. Always the thing I’m not. Can I change that? Can I develop this savvy? It seems antithetical to who I am. How can I turn that around? Like, yesterday.
First step is to go and get my official resale license. Which means filing a fictitious business name first. Time to commit. Time to move. Time to DO IT.
Get myself included in the farmer’s market (might be a waiting list)
Research local bed and breakfasts and send them tiny sample packs that could be given to patrons (a mini kit including a single use of lip balm and wound salve for example).
Enter gift sets in raffles (suggestion of my friend Amelia who has a raffle for me to enter my stuff into)
Get my goods into subscription boxes of body care products (suggestion from my friend T’Hud)
Get my goods into the hands of a celebrity. If any of you know how to go about doing that, please tell me. (This is a suggestion from my friend Laurie F.)
Get my products reviewed by a body care website with high traffic. (This is a long game as it can take months for a site to review your stuff IF they even decide to do it)
Get an article in Willow and Sage (another even longer game because even IF I can get a submission accepted it can take a year to get printed – but this kind of attention can be a huge boost to business)
So, those are some good ideas, I think. But I need shorter turn around ideas to work on too.
I’m going to go eat some breakfast and head over to the office where I file for a fictitious business name. Then I’m going to get some supplies to photograph my Skin Polish so I can get that listed. Then I set up my photograph staging so that tomorrow morning I can get started taking pictures immediately. Next I develop sample packs – figuring out what to include and how to package.
The next thing after that is to make new business cards or post cards and then brochures to include with every sale.
Oh crap. I’m getting overwhelmed again. Deeeeep breaths. Steady on.