When you’re like, “I’m sure I could have handmade mugs ready for your event on May 1” … and then you learn how to make handmade mugs & have them ready to go for an event on May 1.
That may be my favorite entrepreneurial moment to date. Mostly because it captures so much. “Well, I don’t actually know how to do this thing. But I’m sure I could figure it out.” And then making it happen.
In this case, the credit goes 100% to Joyce & Gayle at Flamingo Clay Studio. Because I showed up at their door saying, “Hi, I’m Keely. I think everything you’re doing here is great. Question for you: could I go from not knowing how to make mugs to having an order ready for a customer by May 1? Also, PS: I’m going to be out of town for two weeks.”
And, angels that they are, they said yes. With the friendly caveat of “Look, if it turns out that you suck at this, there’s always the option of us making the mugs. If you say ‘yes, I can make this happen,’ we’ll make sure you can make it happen.” And they did. Working extra hours with me & all.
I’m learning that that’s how this works: take wild leaps of faith, don’t be afraid to ask for help & always give credit where it’s due.
Here’s the flip side, though: recognize that you can’t do everything at once.
I thought that I would be returning from Ecuador, running a crowdfunding campaign to launch handmade mugs, then creating opportunities for women getting out of treatment who need jobs that won’t jeopardize their recovery.
Other people thought it was a cool idea too. Unless those people had ever run a business. In which case, they laughed themselves silly.
“So, you’re 8 months into this business, working a ton of hours, not yet breaking even & you’re going to launch this new thing that won’t just require an additional 60 hours worth of work a week, but a substantial amount of money that you don’t have yet. Ha. Ha ha.”
So the big handmade mugs launch is on hold while I focus on the existing product line. But this is going to happen. Together, you, me & a whole lotta mugs are going to create jobs & opportunities for people who need them. Until then, we’ll keep focusing on busting stigma around mental health & making sure no one is ashamed to seek help when they need it.