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Am I a Late Bloomer?

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Technically speaking, I think I may just be a late bloomer. Traditionally I have always behind the times when if comes to technology. While mobile phones were easily available when I was 18, I refused to get one until I was 22 because I didn’t like the idea that people could contact me when ever they wanted, yuck – that sounded like harassment to me. I am all about contacting you when I want, but definitely not the other way around. To the annoyance of my friends, I refused this fun techno world and even when I got my first mobile phone I literally needed coaching on how to send a txt and often had it turned off anyway. I’m still a bit like that even today. I rarely even buy off the net even though I live in a small village and the internet provides me with much more variety and even delivers to my door – sounds like a dream!

I love to make things, that’s what brings me joy in this crazy fast paced, whizzing by world. The internet has never seemed tangible enough for me to consider creating something in. That big scary space was unfathomable. You can’t hold it, bend it, fold it, paint it, well, that’s what I used to believe. I am quickly learning that you can do all of these things in this intangible world. My skill set just needs to catch up, pronto!

I’m not much of a talker either. Networking for me is a bit of a dirty word. I used to dream of being this crazy reclusive artist, who when I had a show, would send my alter ego along. She was my best friend, a drama student and would be the perfect artist (infact she is a great artist herself) but the thought of having to talk to all those people about what I’ve made, scared and continues to scare me. Do I really have anything interesting to say? Are people really interested? After a decade of teaching secondary school students, I have learned how to communicate to small-ish groups and would even stretch to say that I can even communicate ideas successfully. But this blogging world, online business, selling via the web etc – is a whole new game and I’m never quite sure what the rules are cause they seem to change so freakin fast.

When asked, on day 9 of the 30 Day Challenge by Natalie Sisson, whose online business I admire and why, I get a bit stuck. Newness to this online business world doesn’t fill me with wonder and awe, but rather skepticism (character flaw) and trepidation. How do I know who to trust? A lot of people sound good online but how do I now whether they are trustworthy and good at what they do or are they just good at marketing and speaking the right lingo?

The first person I let into my new online world was Mari Carles @heartmadeblog.com. I like her honesty, whackiness and how she often says out loud what I am thinking or feeling.
ohmyhandmade.com creative community and Clare Yuille of indieretailacademy.com have both and continue to provide me with support and a community of like minded people. For me, these sites are of like minded people, who offer straight up, honest advice and support. They don’t pretend to be anything they are not and I am not intimidated or overwhelmed by their coolness but rather invited to be a part of it. Of course Natalie Sisson of suitcaseentrepreneur.com is a favourite, for the above reasons and her lifestyle inspiration too.

Day 3 – When should you start your online business?

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What’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?

I could waffle on about what freedom means to me but I personally believe that freedom comes with responsibilities. Now, this might go against the ethos of the word, but for me, freedom, while an integral human right, can never be at the expense of others. Freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to choose your own religion, freedom to bear arms, ALL come with responsibility! It is not acceptable to persecute others because they do not follow your chosen religion, nor is it acceptable to use your weapons to intimidate or harm others – so, you can see,  these freedoms have their own responsibilities.

Political rant over. When I consider what freedom in business means to me, there are also inherent responsibilities. I’m not necessarily thinking about the obvious legal obligations, but more than that, I am considering the obligations I feel to do the best that I can, that if my business is a representation of myself then I need to ensure that it is as honest and genuine as possible. But this is where I get stuck. These responsibilities, real, or as I fear imagined, overwhelm and paralyse me. Of course, I want to be genuine and do the best I possibly can. BUT, being at the beginning of this journey into business and creativity, I often feel that my best is nowhere near good enough. I was a good teacher. After a decade of teaching I could walk into a classroom and felt that I knew what I was doing but now, in this current state of flux, I have no idea what I am doing. How can I do my best if I don’t exactly know what it is that I am doing?

Mental health rant over. The question asks what my definition of freedom in business is. The first idea (after my mental health rant obviously) is that freedom is business is the ability to make money doing what I love. At the moment, I love making paper flowers, re-decorating and designing my abode and pieces of furniture and D.I.Y (I LOVE D.I.Y and power tools!). I am good at making the flowers, have made a few thousand so far so this has honed my skills and I am completing an online course on interior design to grow my knowledge and experience. The business stuff though, the numbers, selling, techie, social networking, (networking of any kind) actually all terrify me. Therefore, my dreamed of freedom in business is currently burdened with all of this stuff that I have little to no experience in.

Do not we all dream of having a business that generates the $$ to fund our adventures? Most of my adult life, I had steady income which I used to travel the world and do what ever it was that I fancied at the time. Presently, I have been without steady income for the past 2 years, a large chunk of that time was on the sickness benefit due to depression that debilitated my ability to teach and, in my minds eye, to earn a living. Depression took away my dreams and replaced them with fears. I am starting to dream again, small dreams, small adventures. The adventure at the moment is staying off anti-depressants and living a simple healthy and happy life. My dog, Butler, seen below, is a big part of this adventure.

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The other adventure I dream of is living a life that excites me, brings me joy and connects me with people and places I love. Adventure always meant far off lands but, while I know I will again travel, I am having a hell of an adventure living at home in NZ. Now does not feel like the right time to start an online business but this adventure in itself is proving positive and inspiring.

 

My seriously good Opshop treasure

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