The goal of my current project, Uncommon Clothier, is to learn how to sew (and to become really good at it, obviously). Six months into this project and I've realized I’m learning way more than just sewing.
This time around, I’m learning a hell of a lot about myself. I’ve allowed a rough couple months to derail my plans and enthusiasm for my project. After finally returning to it in the last couple weeks, I’ve decided to share a few things I’ve learned throughout this project. Who knows - maybe there’s something here you can take away from this and apply in your own world?
This is crucial for me and something that I’ve completely shrugged off in the past. I need structure and I need to create that for myself. Even if it’s just one day a week dedicated to sewing, I need to hold tight to that commitment. Previously, when a lesson was cancelled for whatever reason, I would skip sewing completely that week. Now, if that happens, I stick to it and do a small project on my own. It keeps me focused and I feel like I'm making some progress.
I need to make a big banner for my workspace that reads NO EXCUSES. Why? Because I've had the realization lately that I might be really good at making excuses. The founders of Death to the Stock Photo recently told us a bit about how they got the company off the ground, and these particular words really stuck with me: "There are, of course, tons of hurdles you face along the way. Those can be great excuses if you let them be." This was a real eye-opener for me. Looking back, I've definitely viewed a lot of the challenges or hiccups I've encountered as excuses and that's a really terrifying thought.
These days, I remind myself of this: in learning new things, you will meet resistance, and that's ok - as long as you don't let it stop you. Accept that resistance, don't turn it into an excuse, and just keep pushing on.
Done vs. Perfect
I recently discovered The Private Life of a Girl blog (I highly recommend it, especially if you're a small business owner) and went down many rabbit holes exploring each category and reading just about everything published on the site. I found an article titled 7 Tips For A Happier Work-Life Balance and I focused on #2: Done Is Better Than Perfect.
I am definitely the type of person who gets caught up in things being perfect. I want to be the best, yet struggle to put in the time. Of course, this train of thought makes no sense, but how can I, and others like me, stop fretting over perfection so much? We can start by just doing the damn thing. Whatever it is you're trying to do, whether it's cutting out a pattern or writing that one piece of copy, just get it done. However bad you think it may be: a) it's probably not and b) at least it’s there, it’s done, and it's a starting point to be improved upon.
Baby Steps + Little Victories
Yes, it's great when you finish a project. But, you know what's also great? All the baby steps you took and little victories you accomplished to get to that finished product. We're less inclined to feel good about those things, and rarely do we share them with the world. But why? I'm working to celebrate when I perfectly finish a seam or put in a dart, not just when I have a final, wearable garment. I'm learning to love the process, rather than just the end result.
I have a few projects under my belt, but still have many more to go.
Feel like following along? You can find me on Instagram.