Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do You Know What Works?

What works, works!

Remember the adage, “Do it right the first time”?  I do, too.
But, doing something ‘right’ isn’t always the most effective way because the best and most effective way may be, simply, what works.  The “right” way may be more theoretical, expensive, complicated or take longer – and by the time you get done with all that, you’ve lost sight of what you wanted to accomplish in the first place.

In other words, what works, works!

An example of how I used this approach to help my Etsy shop is photos:  having the best possible photos for Hand Painted Petals is important to me.  And, taking terrific photos means planning, right?  And, so if you’re like me, you plan for a marathon session where the phone doesn’t ring, you don’t have a headache and, mostly, you’ve memorized hundreds of ideas for “taking great photos.”  Meanwhile, items pile up while awaiting great photos, not producing sales or income and mocking you at every sheepish glance.  When the pile begins to take over the living room, though, it’s time to reassess.

Instead of trying to take the very best photos known to humankind, what if you tried to take the best photos you can at this time, with the knowledge and materials you have and in a reasonable amount of time?  You can always go back and improve or correct them, correct? 

I believe that rethinking my “wait for the best” approach helped reduce my reluctance to take photos.  Ironically, giving myself permission to not produce the perfect photo has resulted in better photos because I’m more relaxed about the process.  I can better use the ideas I receive from my Etsy teams and from Handmadeology, Etsy and other sites when I’m not programmed for failure to produce the “right” photo.

Selling online is certainly a challenge.  We must indulge our creative side, yet manage our time vigilantly.  My frustration level really peaks (my husband might say “uncorked” is more accurate) when I have to redo something:  it’s moving my business backward! 

I find my frustration level is related to my procrastination level:  the longer I put things off while “planning” and “researching”, the more frustrated I get by not making forward progress in my shop.  When I’m frustrated, I can’t be creative and somehow the paintbrushes know when I’m frustrated.  Not that I’m paranoid, but they conspire against me.
It really makes more sense to focus on forward progress – doing what works.

Now, I could continue with additional examples and cite outside sources to create an impressive blog post.  Or, I could simply post as-is because . . . this simpler post will also work to get my point across to you.  And, you’ll be able to get back to your work, hopefully less frustrated and more fired up to
Do what works.

Yours in creating effectively,