Saturday, June 23, 2012


last rep warp cut off and being serged in preparation for wet finishing sometime next week - still have to finish sewing the fringe on four sides samples...

There is a poster going round Face Book which says something to the effect that if you are working at home you are not considered to be working.

I agree.  I have faced that attitude more times than I can count since 1975 when I decided to become a self-employed home based business.

But people will only take you and your work as seriously as you take it yourself.

Scenario 1 - your best friend phones and needs some retail therapy as you are getting inventory ready for an up-coming show event.

Do you a) sigh inwardly knowing that your best friend needs you and decide to go ahead and head for the mall, with the realization that you will be working until midnight to make sure you can go ahead and load the van and head for the show the next day

b) get angry because your best friend knows that you have a show coming up

c) agree to meet at the mall suggesting that when you are done you both return to your place to finish trimming, tagging, pricing and boxing up your inventory (if she is truly your best friend, she will help)

Scenario 2 - a family member phones and says they are dropping their kids off so you can have some quality time for a week while they go to Costa Rica in spite of the fact you have a major exhibit you need to install and attend the show opening during that week.

Do you a) sigh inwardly and think fast about who owes you a favour so that you can get them to look after the kids while you do what's necessary

b) Get angry because they know you have an important show coming up

c)  Suggest that after the show is done you'd be happy to take the kids for a week

Scenario 3 - a family member is famous for her "I can get it for you wholesale" attitude and expects a big 'family' discount on your work which means she'll be supplying the entire town (because she counts everybody in town as her close personal friend for whom she will do favours - like getting stuff for wholesale)

Do you a) sigh inwardly and give her a discount knowing that you'll never sell another item for retail in your town again

b) Get angry because you can't afford to give everybody in town a discount via this family member

c) Smile politely and tell her that no one gets a discount - and yes, that includes her

Choosing a) will not get you taken seriously.

Choosing b) is destructive not only to your relationships but to you, too.  Remember that we will not be punished for our anger but by our anger.

Choosing c) may initially put you in the position of being called selfish, but if you politely stick to your guns, the people in your life will eventually have to take your work - and you - seriously.

Being self-employed usually means that there is no one but you and if you don't get the work done on time it won't get done and all you'll hear is the swooshing noise as the deadlines fly by.

In celebration of getting the last rep warp off the loom I beamed the next warp to go onto the Leclerc Fanny - the first of my production scarf warps for the coming fall sales.  If I don't get them woven now, they won't get fringe twisted, wet finished, trimmed, tagged and priced in time for the major shows we have booked starting in September....and the scarf warps will give me mental respite while I begin writing the text for A Good Yarn: Cotton.


wonderous woolerie said...

I love that questionaire - perfect and right on, thanks Laura!

denise/deBRAT said...

very well put! and I could not help but notice that you must be nearing the end of the cotton samples i am so eagerly awaiting in book form! I'm sorry to say i have fallen behind in reading your blog and the postings at yahoo groups.
enjoy your day - mine is very soggy! denise/deBrat in southern Tampa Bay Florida, well not the water mass but the land mass of Tampa Bay.

Benita said...

Man, you hit it on the head! My husband is an illustrator who works out of a studio at our house. He works 12-15 hours days, six and sometimes seven days a week (depending) and his Mom gets mad if he doesn't drop everything when she calls. She says she can tell if he is drawing while talking on the phone and she says no ones expects him to actually meet his deadlines. Well, maybe she doesn't but the client sure does!

But she knows he is at home and in her mind that means he is doing nothing.

Melissa said...

Great examples and with a positive solution to each problem. The flexibility of time is great, but you still have to get those eight hours into each day somehow...or considerably more than eight!