Motivation. It’s a big deal.
When my business first started (you know, 4 months ago-ish), I wasn’t convinced I could make it a thing. I mean, I knew I could. Aaron told me so. But in my mind, I think ‘success’ wasn’t defined and, therefore, felt unreachable.
My sister-in-law, Angela, had been listening to a podcast called ‘Business Boutique.‘ Christy Wright’s goal is to “Equip women to make money doing what they love.” It’s been really inspiring and useful. She and her guests talk about their journeys into business and give advice and how-to’s in many aspects of business.
Aaron, my husband, then discovered The Potters Cast , a podcast that interviews potters about their work, lives, and pottery as a business. I have LOVED listening to people who love clay. I have loved discovering new artists and hearing their stories. They come from so many different backgrounds and educations. They love discovering things. They love creativity. They’re inventive. They’re curious. It’s SO refreshing!
With all of these thoughts in my ears, I’ve been trying to think through these questions:
What is my goal with pottery? In business? Why am I doing it?
What does ‘success’ look like? In business? In everyday life?
In light of these questions, here a few of my thoughts:
Earn money for an organization I love. One thing I know about myself is that I am not good at doing things when advertising myself and making money for myself is the goal.
I have always worked so that I have enough.
My life is different than it used to be. I’m really thankful to have a husband who has a job that provides everything we need. It’s a totally different place than I have ever been.
So. I wanted my business to benefit others, not just our family.
So far, it’s given me the chance to hire babysitters. It’s gotten new people into my studio to create. It’s gotten me out into the city to interact with other people in small businesses.
It’s also helped me raise money and awareness for Destiny Rescue. This organization is working incredibly hard to prevent, rescue, and rehabilitate women who have been involved in sex trafficking. I decided before the business began that I wanted to donate 10% of all sales, not profits, to them to aid in their efforts. Check out their site. Get involved. Care about people who are living lives that you can’t even comprehend. Let it grip your heart.
Keep challenging myself. I’m not good at maintaining. I love a challenge. I love feeling like I’m discovering new things and getting better. Pottery, clay, glaze, firing. All of these give me challenges to learn from and grow in. Just ask the 6-8 large pots and bowls that have blown up in the kiln and the glazes that have run off mugs and onto my kiln shelves. I have a LOT to learn.
Then you add in the business side.
I have a lot to learn.
Donating at least $5,000 in the first 5 years of business to Destiny Rescue. Being able to make 25 mugs in 3 hours. Doing pottery full time. Being able to pay for childcare from pottery sales. Having evenings and weekends for family and friends. Not giving up when nothing works for a month. Making communion sets for the celebration of the Bible being translated into the Kasua language. Being able to make whatever I want on the pottery wheel. Making enough through sales to buy more wheels and a bigger kiln so that I can teach more people on the pottery wheel.
Most of these things have not happened yet. These are goals. I want my business to bring joy to people. I want my Art Education degree to help people learn that they can always get better even if they thought they weren’t artists. I want my business to build healthy, friendly, and inviting relationships and community.
Success looks like leading through relationships. It looks like caring for my family well. It looks like caring for every person who walks into my life. It looks like honoring God in any circumstance.
I’m still learning.