For those of our blog readers that work in offices on salaries, I envy you. Apart from the routine jargon and associated games of having to jump up and down when it comes time to assess your KPI's and whatever other bullshit the corporation throws in front of you, I think it would be nice to be able to turn up to an office and know that you specialise in your job, and the guy on the other side of the floor does his. Given that I work on my own, probably the use of the word 'guy' is no longer welcomed in your world and I ought to switch out to 'person'. I envy you. Not always though.
To run a small business is to wear many hats. I am the designer, the cutter, sometimes the seamtress (is there a male equivalent), the janitor, accounts receivable, accounts payable, new business development, the finance director, the chairman, business ethics, IT, human resources and, most importantly, the buck stops with me.
If I don't meet my deadlines, I have nobody else to blame. If I run late to work there are no excuses, I miss out on sales. If I don't answer my emails I can't blame it on the IT department. This is an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I will get ten enquiries in one day and drop off 100 units of black stock to one customer, 25 to another and pack and send another 20 to the States. A good day. Then there are days where you just sit and wait and find things to do to pass time because you know that between Donald Trump's first week as President, the Australian Open finals, the rise of nationalism across the globe, Justin Trudeau's attention grabbing headlines, cycling, cricket, parents getting their kids ready to go back to school and about one thousand other tiny little things that are happening in the world right now, people just switch off.
Years ago I watched a superb documentary that showed the way animals responded to drought on the Serengeti in Africa when the rivers ran dry. My favourite was the crocodile, whose response, after millions of years of evolution, was to slow his heart beat right down, crawl into a patch of moist mud and do nothing but wait for the rain. If water is the bringer of life to all nature then cash is the bringer of all life to business. Without it we are all crocodiles waiting for rain.
And so, pondering on all this yesterday I spent the afternoon trying to take my mind off customers and cash flow and all of that which causes me great anxiety and might well put me into a mental hospital if you took it all to heart. Instead I did something which I've been wanting to do for a long time, still lifes of our bow ties with flowers using silk as a backdrop.
Last week I attended a Canon workshop at their HQ in Sydney to learn and understand macro lens photography and in doing so I picked up some wonderfully handy tips on how to better shoot out bow ties. I am very happy with the results and the most wonderful thing was that it took my mind off the trials and tribulations of a small business.
I hope you like them and incidentally they make quite lovely wallpapers for your phone.