Every Day is a Promise!

Jewelry Hand-Crafted With You in Mind. That is what Every Day a Promise is all about. Creating lovely jewelry items that will be a delight to wear is my passion! Each piece is carefully made with great consideration given to style and wear. Why purchase commercial jewelry in the mall that everyone else is wearing when you can have something unique and hand-crafted? Make a statement with your style choices! Everything you see on my site is purchasable through my Etsy shop. I also do custom orders for weddings and other special occasions, and you can contact me here or on Etsy to make arrangements!

I am writing this blog in the hopes that it may, in some small way, help someone who is launching a small business, either on a local level or on the internet. While these observations are things that I have found to be true for me, I hold no degrees in marketing or business management. For professional support or legal advice I would urge anyone to seek out someone in your local area who has expertise and can advise you as to the correct approach you should take. This blog is merely my own observations based on my own limited business experience. I am loving every minute of it! I wish you great success in your future endeavors!
Tuesday
Apr102018

Create!

So, what are you doing with your day today? You have an entire day! Maybe you have a job to go to, errands to run, appointments to show up at, or maybe your day has managed to arrive without any pre-scheduled committments or responsiblilties! Whatever your situation, you have an entire day ahead of you. And it is precious. You see, we are not promised tomorrow. So we have today. What do we want to get out of this day? I'll tell you what I want to get! I want to live this day allowing myself to look for the blessings, to keep my eyes up and a smile on my face. I want to bless others and get some things accomplished. And I want to CREATE!

There is, inside of each of us, a God-given need to create. This is a gift from the Creator Himself! He who created the heavens and the earth has placed in each one of us a creative gift. We may not know what it is, but it is there, and the more you allow yourself to be open to trying to create something, the more likely you are to discover that gift. Creating doesn't have to mean painting a masterpiece, writing a hit song, or choreographing a fantastic dance routine. Creating can be as simple as typing a blog, choosing some wildflowers on a walk and arranging them in a vase on your table, changing furniture around and adding new pictures, colors, etc, throwing some new ingredients into a recipe to change it up... The list goes on and on. We tend to limit our ideas of creativity in such a big way.

And what about if your day is spent at your job, your school, appointments, all the things I mentioned earlier. How can you create then? Find new ways to do things better, more efficiently! In the waiting room sketch out your new floor plan on a piece of scrap paper for when you get home and can do it. Look over color samples so you can decide what shade of paint you want as you change up a room. Re-arrange your desk top to minimize clutter and have your most important things where you can easily grab them. Streamline your closet by color-coordinating how you hang your clothes so you can easily see where things are. All these are ways to create! Turn off the television and think of things to do without staring at the screen. Likewise the tablet, smart phone, and computer!

I love to play video games. They can be a big trap though, quite the time sucker. I used to tell my students that playing video games is nothing more than taking a walk through SOMEONE ELSE'S imagination! Think about it! Somebody CREATED that game, with all its levels and challenges! The same with books! Someone thought up that plot, those characters, those situations, researched the details and put it all together into a book that you can't put down! Wow! Somebody created that clothing style, that recipe, that song, that painting, that dance, that movie script, that tv show!

We live in a world that is crazy-creative! You have today! Maybe its busy, maybe you are just going to take it easy, but find a way to use this day to its fullest. Leave nothing on the table! When you go to bed tonight, be able to say that you lived every minute of this day and didn't waste it feeling sorry for yourself, blaming somebody else for your circumstances and decisions, sat around thinking of things to do and yet doing none of them, etc, etc and so forth. Life is TOO SHORT for that stuff that, a week from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, won't even be worth remembering. Make happy memories TODAY. CREATE happy memories by actually finding ways to use your God-given talents, in however small a way. That little burst of creativity will give you an unbelievable boost. Write it down! And then tomorrow, do something new to CREATE. Before you know it you will be besieged with ideas to the point that you will have to prioritize them! How do I know this? Well, my best example is my pastor's wife (who co-pastors with him). For various reasons, she has had to figure ways to stretch money around corners, not necessarily for lack of it, but also for excellent stewardship of what God has blessed them with. Through research (and BOY, can this girl research!) she has learned marketing skills, photography skills, writing skills, decorating, landscaping, building skills, and has put them all to incredible use, not just to benefit her family by authoring a beautiful and profitable blog, but to benefit the church, enabling it to bless our community. In fact, she has done so much creating that her mind is constantly churning out new ideas to the extent that she actually has to write them down and prioritize them! She believes that there is no end to the possibilties...She pushes people to find their creative niche and develop it.

Try something you have never tried before, or tried and maybe you were a bit critical of the result because you were comparing your product to someone else's. NEVER compare your work other than to find ways to improve it! After all, think about it! The people who are a whopping success with something are usually those who have found a different way of doing things. Their creations stand out among the others because they are DIFFERENT! They dared to step out of the box.

You have today! CREATE!

Tuesday
Mar132018

Time Suckers

I have time suckers. You know what they are. They are the things that seem to clutter up your day to the point that, when you finally find a minute to get something accomplished, you seem to be frozen in a "no-time-for-anything-" loop and so you really don't actually get much done. Stress builds up and then the guilt sets in. Where am I going with this blog entry? I am actually thinking about this as I type, because I am living in that exact bubble at the moment.

My time suckers are usually things I do to sort of escape from the crazy. I spend at least two days a week in pure bliss watching my granddaughter, who is 2 1/2 and very, very busy. Also very, very smart, so she loves to do things you would not expect a little munchkin her age to do. Those times are NOT time suckers! They are days or hours well used. It's what I do when she is not with me (or don't do) that is the problem.

My biggest time sucker is right here in my lap. Technology in any form totally absorbs me. Unlimited internet usage is a blessing...and a curse. I can easily spend an hour, or 5, typing, playing Words with Friends, reading FaceBook, posting nonsense about the virtues of coffee (indisputable!), texting friends, and so it goes. Time suckers, all of them. And I have some video games on my ipad which I frequent, as well as an XBox (thankfully its an old 360 so I am not tempted by the newer games). Add that all together and you find hours of time-sucking nonsense going on.

My most difficult task is to discipline myself to put down the technology and go do the things that need to be done, be they housework, laundry, groceries, pay bills, all necessary to the running of our home, or update Etsy, list a new item, take photos of unlisted jewelry, make or finish new pieces, work on new designs, etc all necessary to the running of my business. As you can see, its not like I have nothing to do!

The first step in overcoming time suckers is to acknowledge that they exist and that they are, in fact, a problem that you have. Here I am, doing just that. Reality check for me. The next step is to decide that you are going to make a change that will help alleviate this problem. I need to do that now. I have to think about what change I can make and work on making it. Cold turkey on tech will NOT work for me at all lol.

Next installment will document my attempt at progress on all this. Wait! In the immortal words of Yoda: "There is no try, only do". Ever forward!

Saturday
Mar032018

inroads

There are many ways to market one's wares from your home-based business. Particularly amazing is the internet that allows world-wide opportunities to promote your products and creations while working from a laptop sitting on your couch, as I am right now. I find the limits placed on my business are only placed there by my own inexperience with internet marketing, not by my creations themselves.

When I take my jewelry and accessories to local shows I am always so pleased and honored when someone purchases one of my creations, and at this point I am astonished that I have sold hundreds of items! Those sales have nearly all been local. Put me behind a table with my jewelry and accessories displayed in front of me and I can talk to people, learn about them, see what they pick up, notice their interests and styles, so very much information is available to me just by observing at a show and chatting with those who stop to browse.

Taking that experience to the internet is a challenge. The cyberworld is in between myself and the person browsing my wares, and I cannot converse with them, cannot help them try on the item or point out the lovely finish on the beads or the unusual design the piece has. I have limited contact with every buyer on the web. I need inroads to communicate what they need to know in order to make my product stand out. Because there are tons of stand-out products on the internet. Its what makes the item stand out the most that will attract the customer and encourage them to purchase. And I am picky. I don't want someone to purchase something just because they thing they may like it. I want them to buy it because they KNOW they will LOVE it.

What inroads are available? There is my website, where I am typing now, which makes it obvious that I am a struggling entepreneur learning as I go to build a smalll but successful home business in my retirement years. There is my Etsy shop, where the things I create are available on the world-wide web for purchase in the USA and a few select countries. There is Facebook, where Every Day a Promise has its own page and promotions. There is Instagram, where I post photos of upcoming listings etc. There is Twitter, where I can add listings for people to browse and see, and also there is Pintrest, where I can pin my items and promote them from there. WOW. That's a bunch of opportunities. All for free (except for the listing fees on Etsy). But how to use them to the max and make the best use of my time, which is limited to learn so very much, still make jewelry, still go to local shows (which are my bread and butter at the moment) and do all the things I am doing for my family as well, there is the issue, and it's a big one and it's daunting.

So I choose one of these inroads. I work hard on that one. I learn it well. I push it with all I have. I get it up and running so that I can just work it without having to pause and learn and pause and learn. I get that to a point where it nearly runs itself. THEN I start on another one. And I do the exact same thing. And so on until I have all these options working for me and I understand how they work and how I can best make them work for me.

What did this little blog entry accomplish today? While time is not cheap for me, and taking time to type all this out may have seemed at the outset a time waster, taking time to type this out has cleared the cobwebs out of my head and given me a game plan for my interweb business. And it is a good one. As a former teacher, I know that plans are ultimately important. I still have a planner, even in retirement. It's a discipline to use it now because technically no one will hold me accountable if I don't, but using it will make ME hold MYSELF accountable. Nothing feels as great as checking off an objective that you have wished to accomplish and knowing that you are moving on to the next step or stage.

Inroads. Ways to get somewhere. Where do you want to go? What is your objective? What outcomes do you want when you look back on this effort? Plan your trip. Choose a road. Take that road as far as possible, and then see where you are, re-assess where your priorities are now that you have reached that point, choose another road toward your updated goals and go for it!