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Back in the Saddle

I’m finally done with physical therapy (although I should still be doing a lot of it at home, but I’ve admittedly cut back) and can now use what energy I have to start working on the business again. The new medicine I started a few weeks again has turned me into a narcoleptic insomniac, so I never know when I’m going to fall asleep and pretty much keep the hours of a vampire. *grin* It makes life interesting.

With the down time I did some heavy thinking about some recommendations I got from therapy. To work around my sick spells from my illness I should change the business model to more of a store front instead of a custom order model. I’ve always been big about giving the customer tons of options and making things to their preference. The Burger King of pampering, so to speak. *laugh* However, sometimes if I’m sick and get a fairly large order with nothing pre made that fits those preferences, I have some trouble. Thankfully I’m pretty used to rallying and getting things done, although it takes a few days longer than I prefer to make the customer wait. On the flip side of changing the business model I could have the same problem that I did my first year where I had so much unsold on hand that I had a hefty loss. It’s one of those scales that kind of bites either way it tilts.

After a lot of thinking I’ve decided to do a bit of both. I won’t go hog wild making and stocking product on my good days, but I’ll create a section of on hand special buys. Plus, everyone loves a special buy, even if it’s a little discount. I think having some pre made baskets with a little discount might do well with Christmas coming, too. I spent my first good day on a stocking/basket stuffer and made the first woodsy luffa soaps for this year. I realized during my long and slow thinking party (yeah, I’m no Sherlock, no matter how many versions of the character I watch and read. *laugh*) that I hadn’t made another batch of the luffa soaps in at least a year. Hubby likes them because he uses the soap with the men’s scrub and between the two he can get most of the embedded grime from working in the Goodyear Plant off. (Go ahead and picture it. I SO did a happy dance when I found a winning combination AND scents that he actually commented on instead of just grunting about. *grin* I secretly think he’s part caveman and part Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men sometimes. There’s a lot of grunting and grumpy looks, especially when he has to take part on “pansy” stuff like trying soaps. Lol.)

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I also decided that although I still want to do the promos for the Monsters Away Spray that I planned so long ago, but had to save up for, I don’t think it’s that big of a project to warrant it. It’s a little sad since I still really believe in the product, but that money will work better in some cool soaps, I think. I decided to funnel that money toward revisiting the Worms in Dirt soaps and am going to order the perfect mold that I found. I’m not sure if the soap worms will fit in the soaps as I originally planned with the lures in guest rounds, so I have two options I want to experiment with. I want to let my morbid side come out to play and I’m going to dice up the worm soap, and try that in a round. That has the potential of looking really gross, which might work well for some little kids. The other idea is to see if the soap worms can be used (and packaged) on their own, as is.

I’m excited to be able to get back in and I hope that the changes to the model will be successful. I know for certain that I don’t want to let this small business slowly sink to nothingness. Please cross your fingers for me for just a moment and please feel free to offer up any ideas or comments that you have! 🙂

A Living Thing

This post is more of a reflection than a rambling about my excitement or another stumble in my journey. My GoPayment (aka GP) app updated and when I was entering a charge today (well, yesterday if you’ve slept, but whatever) I discovered that a new feature is pictures. It sounds so trivial, but instead of strictly selecting the product codes for an order I can now add a picture for each product which is seriously handy with my system. It took at least an hour to get all of my codes, descriptions, and prices entered originally, so I’m definitely not knocking that work, but there are a few products with close enough names that I’ve made some mistakes and love anything that I can use in a double check system.

Anyway, my iPhone had died a few weeks back and although channeling my inner nerd helped bring me back from despair (thank you iCloud and ioS 4+ for allowing me to save directly to it all of this time), I still managed to not upload all of my business pics to my new phone. When I saw that I could use pics on GP, and face palmed a bit once I noticed I didn’t have the pics, I realized that most things would be on my site or blog and that I could just grab them there. I know, I know…it’d really have been quicker to just go drop my pics from my computer into my cloud, but that took a few hours to dawn on me and wouldn’t have allowed for my insomnia-fueled thoughts. *ahem* Soooo….I hit the sites and starting grabbing pics. The neat thing is that little bits kept jumping out at me and I found myself reading through things as if I hadn’t been the one to write them. (It’s true that an intriguing side effect of a few of my medications and my illness is to spontaneously seriously suck at remembering stuff, regardless of my former IQ, but it is really surprising to have no recollection of something. It’s kind of like the whole Jekyll and Hyde thing without all of the nasty story lines thankfully.) It makes for an interesting look at yourself and your creativity though.

I realized that my business (any business really, but I’m being totally self absorbed here, so we’ll stick with me and mine for now *grin*) is more like a living thing than I could have ever predicted or expected. The more attention I can give it, the more it thrives. The thought that I pour into all aspects shows as each part develops. The more that I “water the garden” with my energy, research, and vulnerabilities, the more it blossoms. When I was self employed as a medical billing consultant I was very proud of my accomplishments, but never had this awe of what could come from my hard work. It was simply something I was good at and I could sometimes help others through it. This business, this tiny business that started with a couple of soaps and a ziploc of bath salts, is completely about helping others in some way while also learning how to be creative again. Consulting was never a beautiful flower just waiting to be nurtured, growing with me as I made my way. It just existed. It certainly didn’t celebrate any of my creativity.

It’s a magical moment when a person can read months of experiences and smile because they can suddenly see how far they’ve come or become excited all over again about an idea. Being creative has helped me learn to not be so critical of myself and to let others see some of the vulnerabilities. It’s actually incredibly hard for me to admit to my failings, which helped me push myself so hard to excel at billing and to overcome some of my limitations. Sharing my experiences behind making the products has made me see that it’s okay to make mistakes and have bad days, while celebrating the amazing moments in the journey.

I never would have guessed that I’d spend hours researching EOs to help with Rosacea or oils that work as anti inflammatories, or the even more previous hours spent making perfectly imperfect creations. I never knew that growing a business could help me grow too. Because of you very wonderful and important people that have encouraged me with my venture I have learned that I can still have a good impact on others even when I’m stuck in a wheelchair or a walker. That means a whole lot more than a perfect looking soap.

I hope that everyone gets to experience a chance to stand back and see how far they’ve come, what they’ve learned, and cheer over their successes. Even more than that I hope that we all learn to love our imperfect selves. While we’re all being thoughtful we can also enjoy a relaxing bath and then lather up with a rich and healing lotion. I have a great connection with someone that can hook you up! 😉

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