The Business of Business

Posted on July 25, 2016


My customer, Sue Tracy of Indiana, asked me to talk about: commitment, follow through, success, failure and the value of muscling though?

As a soap maker, all I really ever want to do is create. I love making soap and I am exceptionally good at it. But selling soap? That’s a whole ‘nuther enchilada. I’ve been in business since 2010 and I know that making the best soap is not the reason. That’s part of the reason. The other factor is that I work diligently on the business end of my business. Because if no one buys what I make then what I have is actually a very expensive hobby, not a business. If you ‘re an artist, a Maker, it’s a fact that you are going to have to create opportunities to market and sell that thing that you make in order to build a sustainable business.

Commitment is central to success. When things get tough and they always do, commitment is the only thing that carries me some days. I just have to do the work. Sounds simple, right? It’s not. There is a fantastic book that I read, and re-read when I am in a slump: Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. Commitment requires courage, self confidence and a strong desire to make things work. My motivation to stay committed comes from remembering why I was ever passionate about the task or idea to begin with. It’s easy to get lost in the minutia of a task and unless the task is looked upon as part of the greater good, the whole, it can feel overwhelming. Commitment keeps me on task.

Follow-through is generally the boring part of any task or project. I dislike it quite a lot because I am impatient and I am a procrastinator, so follow-through is not easy for me. I’d prefer to do the task, check it off of my list, and then forget about it and move on to the next thing. Life might work that way, but the business world does not. I know that without follow-through, all of my hard work up front is in jeopardy or lost. Especially in this age cyber communication. There is always someone waiting in the wings ready to grab the ball if I drop it.

Success? What is success? That’s such a personal thing, it’s an opinion. For me? Success lies in finding purpose and balance. In all things. Success is doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons.

Failure? Failure is a state of mind. There is no such thing as failing unless I allow a  mistake to define me or stand in my way of moving forward. Failure means that I have let someone elses standards or values matter more than my own.

The value of muscling through? That’s the prize. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel that turned out not to be a train.

XO, Lisa