Sometimes in life, I think it is a good idea to stop and think for a moment on philosophical questions that resonates in my heart. I have come across a couple of things that I would like to ponder.
(1) What does make me get up in the early morning?
I have been getting up early in the morning to do yoga for about fifteen years. But it does not mean I am a competent yoga practitioner. I have lots of poses that I cannot do and am not that flexible, either. Rather, I do my practice at my own pace, making a little bit of extra effort each time. But in the last twelve months or so, I have been dedicated to do the practice frequently. I am using The Yoga of Awakening DVD Series by Seane Corn.
Seane shared her thoughts in one of the dvds. She said “I have found over the years that when my yoga practice is off, I get reactive easily and my tension will come up which influences my choices. I practise yoga to release the tension and remind myself to make healthy, open and loving choices in conflicts and challenges in life. Yoga also reminds me to stay patient and accepting of situations as they are. Each day, I use this body-mind practice to empower myself and cultivate confidence.” What she said resonated me because I had similar experiences before.
Since I have discovered and started Seane’s yoga practice, I have felt a shift inside me. I notice that my stress level is much lower, I am less judgemental about myself and yoga makes a big difference in my overall attitude.
Everyday, I get up early because I know that Seane’s teaching takes me to a better spiritual and physical state through movement and breaths. Every time I finish the program, I always feel serenity and stillness inside.
(2) Which to choose, fail or never try?
Over the last seven years or so, I started learning fashion design, dressmaking, various types of pattern making and draping skills. My creations were interesting and I had positive comments about the pieces from other people when I was wearing them on the street. Because of that, gradually my desire for selling clothes built up. That was the reason I started my previous online business some years ago. I was not able to build a website by myself at that time so I decided to use a web designer to create it. Also I invested more money for industrial sewing machines and other equipments for the business.
I assumed that once I got my website ready, that would generate traffic and could lead to sales. But my assumption was wrong and I realised that I was immature with respect to running an online business. Before I had my site, I had not learned any business skills such as marketing, advertising, finances, social medias and others. Once I started, I realised how important it was to learn those skills before starting a business. I was overwhelmed because there was so much to learn and I was not sure whether I could cope with it.
In order to be successful, I needed to put my brand’s name out there. But I did not have a lot of extra budget for outside advertising. I knew ads would sell things but they were expensive. From time to time I invested smaller amount of money for promoting my business on social medias. I tried to use free sources such as Pinterest, Instagram and others. I had to spend a lot of time doing the things that were required in order to get my site’s name on higher presence on the Internet. And as I was doing business related things in front of the computer, I wondered “when on earth would I have time to design and create my clothes?”.
I kept spending more time on business activities in front of the computer rather than making clothes. But despite the effort, I could not spread my brand out there much and I slowly became disheartened and lost passion for making garments.
I sometimes wondered whether to spend more money for outside advertising such as magazines, but always fear came in and whispered to me “what if I did not sell anything even though I would invest for advertising?”.
Many months passed. One day, an event organiser came along and we decided to have an artist retreat and a choir event at our property. Those were the only times people actually saw and touched my products. Fortunately, I sold several items at the events.
What I learned was that selling products through online was pretty difficult. There are millions of competitors in the world online. Starting an online business sounds maybe easy and quick for some people, but there are a lot of things to do behind the scenes. Online presence takes time. It takes five to ten years or even more. Online business owners need a lot of patience and endurance to get through the tough periods.
I was managing the business by myself and that was a problem. I realised that it was always advantageous to have team members whom I could trust and build up a business together.
In the end, I decided to close my online business because I could not make profits. I learned a lot and I think of that experience as a journey of self improvement. At some point, I blamed myself because I could not make it work.
Nevertheless, I never regretted what I tried. I think of it as a lesson. Studying about online businesses forced me to read the subject a lot, listened to podcasts about business, motivation and consistency. I gained some skills in photography, computing and I trained myself how to write better. So the business I had was a stepping stone for the future development.
I guess the biggest failure of all is never trying. So I was glad that I tried something I was afraid of. I was courageous at least. That gave me a certain amount of confidence.