Find/Keep the Fun in business: Since I wear many different hats, no two days are ever the same, so I value the variety of scope and versatility that being self-employed affords me. My calendar might look like a juggling act, but it's really more like "never a dull moment". And let's face it, for most of my work -- writing assignments, seminar prep, podcast, blog, social media -- I am corresponding with or visiting retailers in their stores and talking about shopping. Who wouldn't find that job fun?
Opportunities/Optimism: Retail Details blog started out simply to share visual merchandising inspirations and continued the positivity with magazine articles, seminars, retail tips on social media via Facebook and Instagram, now adding the podcast as a means for independent retailers to share tips and inspirations with other retailers, so optimism has been a core part of my business model since day one. However in my daily interactions with retailers, I encounter many that are struggling and unwilling to make the changes necessary to be successful in retail these days. On the flip side, there are plenty of store owners embracing independent retail and their communities and connecting with vendors and reps that "get it". We can all be inspired by their enthusiasm and optimism. I plan to keep helping them and others by sharing their stories!
Confidence: If confidence comes from accomplishments and achieving goals, I guess I'm there. I turn 60 this year and I barely even have anything left to check off on my bucket list. Except the biz bucket list: to build up the podcast listenership, so I continue to get sponsors. I am so very fortunate and grateful. I recall a few key moments in my early professional life when someone said or did something kind for me, so I try to go out of my way to encourage young business people. And I always put in a good word for someone and make connections when I can because I believe strongly in personal connections. I mention that here because it can be such a confidence booster to hear someone say something like "Hi Joanna. Becky told me I should meet you, as I need some really unique illustrations soon."
deal with the Unexpected: Some people think when you work for yourself, you have control of everything, but many times the exact opposite is true. We have clients that are the "boss" or writing deadlines that get bumped or moved up or last minute changes from a speaking engagement venue or a podcast guest with laryngitis. My best advice to anyone is that no matter what you are working on always try to have a backup plan and start early, leaving as little as possible until the last minute. It's easier said than done, but even a reluctantly executed plan B is likely better than a hastily improvised panic mode solution.
Simplify ( workload, life, etc...) : Since the birth of my grandson, I implemented a 'people first' policy. Before scheduling any trips or business meetings, I check my daughter's calendar for scheduled family activities. It's amazing how many activities are on a 1 year old's calendar and I plan to be there for as many as possible. Finding balance after living and breathing my "brand" for ten+ years is an adjustment, but it's a good thing and I'm trying.