Many ideas for the next blog post have come and gone, piling up in my pocket notebook like shouts heard dimly across a room. I will probably never explore them, because the thing I have been focused on lately has been growth.
I realized the other week that the time had come to start scheduling more carving into each day. I started out the year with a goal of making $35-50 a day of spoons and blanks, and lately I seem to be hitting somewhere between that and $75, depending. I now have a two month long waiting list, and I anticipate closing this year's books sometime in August, to give me time to fulfill all my commitments before pivoting to the Christmas tree farm.
I've been thinking a lot about how to grow my business, and the most obvious place to start was to push myself to make more each day. So I bought a new monthly planner and rewrote the two months of work, booking at least $100 a day, with a lighter day on Mondays when I go help my grandmother for a few hours. This has really started to squeeze the rest of my obligations, taking care of the house, the dogs, the editing I do and generally keeping things running on an even keel.
I don't want to put myself in a position of imbalance, but the reason I pushed to do this was because I realized that no one was going to do it for me. If more and more work comes in, but I just schedule it out in the future more, then I'm not actually making more, right? I just have more work lined up.
The way to earn more money is to do more with each day. That can be by charging more for my work (which I do increase prices every October), or it can be by demanding more of myself.
That's the thing about being my own boss. No one is going to make me do it but me. And no one is going to figure out that truth that I won't actually make more until I do more, but me. So this is the next step. Push through the summer seeing if I can do a solid seven hours of carving each day and still meet all my other commitments. And see if I am happy.
I seem to have plateaued in the time it takes me to make spoons, because even though I get more efficient, I also tend to expect a higher standard from myself. So the next step is to figure out where the other avenues of growth lie, beyond increasing my time and increasing my prices. We shall see what I do.
One thing is for sure. No one is going to make me do it but me.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.