I think it's telling that I questioned whether I even had time to do a week of reflection this year.
On the other hand, this is the first year that I haven't had to put heating oil on my credit card. My business is in the black! This is largely due to two factors; I've blogged about both before:
- A new pricing equation, that starts with how much money I need, divided by how much I can make, to arrive at a per pound price.
- Work more. Work all the time! like this:
That is only a slight exaggeration. It's so nice to be profitable, however slightly, that I hesitate to change anything, but common sense tells me this is not sustainable. That is a blog post for another day, however.
I did make a change to the way I work in 2014, as well: I shifted the balance of my working hours between long-term business activities - blogging, research, networking, social media, and experimentation - and short term ones - teaching, making, and sales events. In short, I spend more time making stuff and trying to sell it, and - surprise! - I make and sell more stuff. I would never delete teaching from the equation, because so much of my joy in clay is sharing what I know; but though I could probably find more teaching opportunities pretty easily, I don't want to shift the balance any further in that direction.
One thing that I am still dead set against is trying to produce what I think will sell: as I've said before, that only results in pots that even I don't like, and I am no better at selling bad pots than good ones. But I do allow myself to sit with a good idea longer. Whereas before when I made mugs, say, I'd make a dozen of the same shape, and then decorate them all differently, now I decorate all twelve the same; then make another twelve for my next decorating idea. I trust the process - and the kiln - to produce variation. I make more pots this way, and I explore ideas more fully.
|A board of pots following a single design scheme|
Next up for the Week of Reflection: 2015 goal setting!