Enjoy Your Life! Build Your Business! Have Your Way!
I recently made a big decision regarding my soap business. I've enjoyed the last few years just experimenting with just design, trying to define what I wanted most to do. I've loved the process. I have had some success with private parties, some web sales, and a handful of really loyal customers.
Several months ago I found myself in an unexpected divorce. It really shattered the world as I knew it. I just didn't see it coming. For a time, I couldn't even look at my soap room, much less do anything. I wondered if I'd just have a garage sale and blow it all up. But I didn't.
Now, a few months out, I'm adjusting and loving my core business which has always been as an investment advisor. I love that business like no other. (and have done it 17 years). But what I also noticed was that as I re-structure my personal life...the thing that has absolutely contributed to my stability and my mental health was my soap business. On the weekends, I gradually opened up my soap room again and started to dabble...one of my great joys. Then I found myself working 12 hours straight..completely focused in the moment, creating, developing, figuring stuff out. I realized my soap business is the Zen of my life: the one thing that so captures my mind, my imagination, my creative spirit and my joy that it takes me away. Not a moment in those times do I grieve, obsess about "what if" or anything of the sort. The pure joy of trying to develop something that would delight another human being.
As luck would have it....one of my dearest friends has a wholesale beauty supply business. She has always encouraged me...having a vision of what my products could do in the salon industry, and a vision much much bigger than my own. But as I thought it through...it felt better and better.
So I just started. I realized I don't have the time or focus to retail at all. But jumping in with both feet to help someone else be successful....now I was on to something. I changed my business to wholesale only, and catering to the salon/stylist trade. My goal is to help them create a completely unique profit center, and give their customers one more good reason to visit them. It feels exactly right.....I can help other entrepreneurs, change up my designs perpetually, and focus on one niche.
I see the light at the end of my personal struggles and a new vision for my core business and my soap business. I see a million reasons to be happy.
Please visit my new website...feel free to leave a comment if you like!
Hi there, Grace.
"I see a million reasons to be happy." I see a million reasons you should be happy. The first reason is you. The second is you have a lot of hope, a lot of opportunity, and a vision and drive for moving forward that says it all!
I am so glad you found a change in business that you feel fits better into your life and market, and one that brings you joy (we need to be happy doing what we do). We all take big leaps of faith with business transformations (I am going through one myself, unannounced). Change can be necessary, but scary all the same. We definitely do not go anywhere without taking risk. My wish is that your story encourages others to realize they do not have to stick with their original gameplan! Change really is good!
Your website is beautiful! I love it! I wanted to let you know that I did click on the wholesale only button and received the need to sign in message (as I should have). But, I wasn't able to get back to your website. I had to clear completely out of the screen.
Best wishes! I look forward to hearing about your new journey!
I love what you said about Grace's story encouraging others that they don't have to stick to their original game plan. That's so true and such a good reminder, especially for people who may be having to change things around for the very first time. Thank you for sharing that!
Mary thank you so much for your encouragement...and I agree.....we don't have to stick with our original gameplan. I think too often I saw a change as a failure of sorts...but that is just a perception, and based on nothing. When crisis strikes, a change can be so good...and can lead us to a place of more joy and more peace.
One of the other big things I've gotten out of this is to NOT make a decision while in deep crisis. Just let it sit awhile, see what emerges. Had I been impulsive and sold off all my stuff...I would have missed the great blessing that this little business is in my life. It has been a great teacher.
Thanks again for your kind comments, and I will fix that web thing!
Congratulations! What a wonderful comeback story. You Do have a million reasons to be happy.
I've often wondered if I would just want to go wholesale only. I retire, next year, and I am contemplating exactly how I want to handle this. I think wholesale would be easier but when I think about reducing product 50%, it makes me nervous. Also, I would only want to work on a cash basis. I mean, that is how WE pay for our supplies, right? I know that is not how many retailers would like to work, but that is the only way I would do it, to eliminate headaches...so I have a lot to think about. I think you have made a really good decision and I wish you the very best
all things to consider Habie....and at the end of the day, for me, I had to just get up really close to what I wanted and didn't want. The thought of processing 2 soaps and shipping, (or whatever) just stopped making any sense to me at all. I think another thing is that I had to give a lot of thought to a wholesale policy...which could still change as I find chinks in what I'm doing.
I have every confidence you'll find just the right combination of things that allow you to retire with dignity and a lot of fun!
What an uplifting post, Grace!
Out of sadness and trauma, rebirth always happens. Often not recognized for what the changes in our life actually represent, we close the door on so many of the boxes we have shut away in our mind. Each associated with what once was and no longer pleasant to look at, we often trash the lot without a second thought for things that can bring us pleasure and happiness again.
Sometimes, it's good to wait until your world stops spinning before deciding which way up things are. Keep counting all those reasons to be happy, and you'll see them grow in number by the day.
Wishing you well, and smiling from ear to ear for you, Grace.
Reach out. Make friends. Let's lift each other.
Thanks for your encouraging words Susan...it is much appreciated!. It is true...we have to be careful with emotional impulses...I find in pretty much every case, if I can just wait, sleep on it, until I have a true, clear insight, it's best to just not do anything. If I can wait for the insight....I can't recall a time in life that it led me the wrong way.
Thanks again for your kind words!
I just want to say WAY TO GO! You came, you saw, you conquered...with a little fox-holing in the midst to regroup and re-establish. Isn't that the way of the successful entrepreneuer??!!!!! As business owners, we have to get out of our emotions more often than not to be able to see the bigger picture and the path we should take to greater things. You have done that beautifully and with much grace (no pun intended).
I SALUTE YOU! You are a true example of what is good in the process of growth and the road to choosing to be happy and finding happiness from within.
Wow..thank you Ginger for your very kind words. I gain so much inspiration for all the Indies...as we think through, work through, muddle through our business trajectory.
I think the good folks who contribute their thoughts and methods on IBN are so invaluable...I've learned so much from you, and so many others and I appreciate you, sincerely.
Thank you again!
There is another part to this story....I had TWO major surgeries at the same time my personal life was imploding. Enough life change to make one question absolutely everything. What I've taken out of major physical trauma, emotional trauma and financial trauma (all in one quarter) is that sometimes the best we can do is just wait, relax and breathe. The Universe has a way of gently guiding us to decisions we need to make, if we can just remain calm, and listen. Listen and do nothing until we have a clear impulse to turn right or left. Once we get that impulse...act decisively, and with confidence. This is the biggest gift I've gotten out of multiple traumas piling on. Just resist the urge to react, until we can act with clarity.
Thanks to all of you who have offered such encouraging words. None of us are immune to life's challenges...and one of our greatest blessings is to lift someone else up. I sincerely appreciate your kind thoughts and words.
Now let's go expect something wonderful in 2012!
Thanks so much Grace for your heartfelt and inspiring story. You're so right about "resisting the urge to react until we can act with clarity." I wish I had done that before registering for a trade show in October, a show that, while reputable, didn't offer my "target" customer or nearly as many guests as had been projected. So, it has been a real lesson in learning to be patient, to reflect, and to wait for guidance. I think our journey requires us to be spiritually grounded and to plant a lot of seeds before we see some of them taking root.
I wish you all the best with your new wholesale distribution channel and thank you again for your valuable insights.
Grace - In spite of the trials endured, you shared an inspiring and motivating story. It is wonderful to emerge from "chaos" and find your niche. I can so relate to your experience. I am thrilled for you!