I am working to start an online career. I am 4 weeks into my dogged pursuit of this goal, almost 10 months into the attempted pursuit. Innumerable years of dreaming and denying this idea are behind me. I currently work a split shift job, and in between my shifts I work on this project for two hours a day. It is hard. I struggle to find focus, encouragement, and discipline.
I have begun listening to small business and creatives podcasts on my drives to and from work. This is so helpful, in educating myself and in getting motivated to work. My favorite podcast of the moment is Elise Gets Crafty. Another great one is She Percolates. All these ladies educate me and keep me going. I have been reading Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist, and Show Your Work) and I also bought the ebook Building a Business by Elise Blaha Cripe & Maggie Whitley (which is amazing, and totally worth $12). I cannot believe it has only been four weeks of this dedicated work. I struggle to keep working. I have new ideas every week that threaten to throw me completely off track (assuming of course I know where the track is).
I have been scouring the internet for someone's beginning story. I am listening to lots of people's success, many have been at it for 3 years or even 10. Perhaps in the great abyss that is the internet, I just can't find the other people who have been at it for just 4 weeks. But I decided that if nothing else I will write my own story. I am leaving this as a record for myself, when I can no longer remember what it was like to start (so much faith is hidden in that phrase!), and also as a way for people to follow along. As encouragement and honesty for other people just starting out, or wanting to start out. We can do this!
I am starting this journey. I have 41 Instagram followers on my branded account. Most of those are my real life friends. I have made 1 sale via an email request. I have 3 items listen in my Etsy shop, and no sales yet. This is the beginning. No one knows I exist as a brand. I am still deciding what to dedicate my self to. I have made some resin pendants and earrings, and still dream in that direction. But most of my energy is going into developing a line of stained glass jewelry.
I have 2 work areas. I have a desk that is mostly covered in clutter. Where I do my computer work (such as writing this letter), and I have a basement work table where I work on stained glass projects. I am calling this series letters from the basement, because making is the heart of this business I hope to build. As hard as it is to make myself go down there and get to work, I always love it and wish I didn't have to stop and go back to my day job.
These letters are going to be my space to just record how things are going, and be a little more behind the scenes than I can be other places. I hope that someone reading this, in the future I struggle to imagine, is feeling empowered to just start (whatever your dream project is). Even if we fail, we will have learned so much.