We measure success by the numbers but what do you do when the numbers don't add up?
Our lives are measured by the numbers. Soon after our born date we are assigned an official governmental number that identifies and tracks us for the rest of our lives. Our living locations are numbered, our years of education, our various statuses, our measures of wealth and health are numbered. If the numbers are high in wealth that's good if the numbers are high in certain areas of our health, that's bad and we work to get them back into the acceptable range.
We measure success by the numbers. This is true in sports when we praise our favorite sports teams for putting up high numbers. And this is especially true in business when a company is consistently in the black and profitable.
Upon trying to renew my volunteer registration, I discovered something else about numbers. I thought it would be simple to log into the system, update some of my information, and click 'submit.' After trying to do this several times, I was faced with several different error messages. Usually, you'll see them in red and thankfully they're specific to let you know what you need to correct. After several attempts at making all of the changes the screen suggested, and still not meeting with success, I needed help. I scrolled down to the bottom of the screen and clicked on the email address for the helpdesk. Because they were used to dealing with the system, they would know how it worked and the many ways in which it didn't. The appropriate person with the appropriate knowledge got my 'bat signal' and replied with a two-tiered solution.
The first involved me clicking a particular link then choosing the second option. After entering the information, she advised me to enter my driver's license number starting with the zeroes. As soon as I read this part, my memory zoomed back to the fact that in all of my attempts I had left out the zeroes because I thought that they didn't matter. Somehow, I knew that this was the solution, and it was. The next screen looked different than the ones I had seen before. It looked like success.
I officially began Quietgirlartful LLC back in September 2021 at zero. And here at the 2 years 3 months mark, as I review the metrics, I am wondering, when will the numbers add up? I heard someone say that if your business is not making enough money to stay profitable, then it's not a business, but a hobby. I have not put in these many months (now years) of time, effort and money to build infrastructure, technique and connections to birth a hobby.
While I have experienced some wins, they have been sporadic. In my research I see that trying to make a living from selling your artwork is a tough road. There are so many factors that affect your success and many of them you can't control. This doesn't mean, however, that they can't be overcome. I'm grateful for Artist friends who celebrate my wins and encourage me when the sales numbers are low to 'keep on painting.' And that's just what I will do.
In my last blogpost, I wrote:
Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
I am in the midst of this 'delay', yet I know that I have something to offer. Something that serves my purpose and adds value to this world. I will see my 'zero' days, weeks or even months as a signal that the seeds that I have planted are yet being nurtured underground and that growth is ever before me and possible. I'm hopeful that one day soon the numbers will add up.
TODAY, I hope that you will see your 'zero' phase as a sign that there's MORE.
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