Friday, 17 January 2014

You're not H&M.

Being a micropreneur means most of the time that one needs to be a ton of different things all at once. You might be the business owner, but having no-one to work for you means you have to be everything from a shop keeper to a marketing guru, the window cleaner, the customer service department, the web developer, the wholesale person, the blogger, the cook, the designer and the cashier. To name a few.

It can be daunting. It *is* daunting.
Robert Wall at the Untitled Minimalism writes brilliantly of one way too look at this dauntedness in his latest post of The three little pigs of DIY.  Sometimes is pays off and saves time and money, not to mention stress to spend a little on someone who can get the job done better, and with ease.

I'm currently doing Sandra Pawula's course of Living with Ease and a comment in the group this morning made me think about my need to get everything done as best I can (which is not a bad idea at all, if you've only got so many things to do that you're still sane after sorting them all out), get it done myself, and get involved in a million things at once.

We do create our own stresses most of the time. There's obviously stuff that we can't seem to control, like illness or accidents (and even those are debatable), but I believe most of the stress for the average person comes simply from spending the 24 hours that they've been provided with in a day. There's too much on our plates and it's hard to let go of anything. I notice this at the shop all the time. I'm too busy or tired to get everything done that I've thought of doing, and there's more around the corner. So one might be tempted to work harder, be more involved, tire oneself and fall ill eventually.
I didn't want to fall ill. I've seen it happen too many times around me.

Looking back at the year that has just ended I've been able to pinpoint three separate, but connected things that I've learned in the course of the year gone. And I notice, that whenever a stressful day is beginning, I can bring my mind back to those three things, and I remember my place and my worth much better, feel much more at ease.

They are:

1. I am one person.
One person can only do so many things in a given 24 hour period. I am not a 100 000 people corporation with a work force to solve the world hunger. I am one person, with plenty of energy, but one person's energy. The work load I can safely put solely on myself is therefore not a load that a 100 000 people work place can bear.

2. I am me.
I know a good few things and can learn a whole lot more if and when needed. But I cannot be an expert in every thing in the world (and this is where Robert's post comes in handy), and I should never expect that from myself or beat myself over it.

3. I am not H&M.
I run a wee dance wear shop, and often catch myself from wondering how brilliantly and easily things seem to go at the local H&M. I'm not a fan of their fashion and hardly ever shop there, but they are everywhere, so they're easy to spot and follow. Their cashiers have these great machines to work with, they have cleaners at the shop, there's time to fold the clothes back nicely and then five minutes later go and fold them over again. They have great marketing campaigns and some pretty amazingly quickly changing stock. There's sales and the company is booming. And I forget they are a billion dollar corporation with hundreds of thousands of people - professional people - working for them all around the world. And I am *me*, I am *one person*, and my company speaks of my values and it has a size of it's own. Which is never going to be H&M -size. I would never want my shop to turn into a billion dollar corporation. So my glimmering goal should never be to be H&M. Ever.

Knowing those three little facts makes me think of the 24 hours I have in a day again. *I've* set the standard for working at the shop. I come up with everything there is to do. Therefore I should really be the one who has the responsibility to measure the work load I put upon myself and stick to a load that stays on the healthy side. It might mean I never get a beeping machine at the cashier like they have at H&M. And it might mean my advertisements are never the size of a house. It might mean there's not going to be another brand new set of leotards every two weeks, and the shop will probably never be open 24-7. But it doesn't make me eligible for beating myself up, or overworking so I'll fall ill. There's got to be a standard for myself - a work load I can bear.

How will your next 24 hours look like?
Are you struggling with things you know nothing about and don't really want to know anything about? Is there something you can delegate to a professional - or someone you can ask for help? And is there enough space in your next 24 hours for *you*?


Tanssiinan Anne said...

My own 24 hours will consist of a busy day at the shop - Saturdays usually are, and we have an extra special day tomorrow, a flea market day, which means that possibly a Lot of people are going to wander through the doors tomorrow. Before the flea market at the shop there's a dance class I'm teaching at the gym. That wasn't supposed to be there, but the day ended up being the same for the shops's flea market day and the gym's Super Day. Hopefully it'll bring some good energy to the morning and keep my mind off the flea market until it's really time to dig into it. But tonight it's home night with our 7 year old. I might warm the sauna for us and bake bread rolls for the evening meal. That should be fun and relaxing. And after work tomorrow I have my two full days off, the weekend. So there's plenty to concentrate in, but enough possibilities for calm. And I'm *not* going to concentrate on anything extra shop-related until the beginning of next week ;)

Christine Li said...

Wow, this is an awesome post and manifesto. -Christine

Dar A said...

Oh, yes! It's as if you've read my mind as I gear up & prepare myself for a new blog. I love that you've found compassion to be you & knowing your reality. May we all find that compassion towards ourselves... ;-)

Tanssiinan Anne said...

Thanks Christine! It seems like every time I doubt something about the running of the shop, these three reminders seem to pop up and fit as an reminder to every doubt and every question. They bring on a sense of sanity :)

Tanssiinan Anne said...

Dar, mind reading has been on my mind lately, too. It seems like many people are thinking along the same lines - trying to set visions and boundaries, finding safe ways to work with themselves and sort out the messy and stressy lives that last year has left behind. Thanks for your comment, and fantastic, that it resonates with what you're going through with your blog-to-be!

Sandra Pawula said...

"We do create our own stresses most of the time." - This is such a profound realization, Anne-Marika. Until we really see and own that, it's hard to truly disarm our stress. I also especially like your recognition that you are one person with one set of skills. This is beautifully articulated.

Tanssiinan Anne said...

Thank you Sandra <3

Wise Up said...

This post really made me think about my stressed life and how to manage it. Thanks! :)