Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Never Knows...

Well, I was right about it not being another 7 months before returning to my blog.  It was 11 months!

Life has a way of rearranging our plans. Geez, I think that should be the name of this blog.  Life Rearranged. It seems to be a reocurring theme in my life.   hmmmm.....

Anyway, to proceed with my tale of woe...I had done most of the background work with my almost business and was getting ready to launch my website, when my husband was laid off work. He had been with his company for exactly 30 years, to the day. We are on the high side of 50 and with retirement looming, things got a bit scary. We went into a sort of shut down mode with spending while we regrouped. I am not sure we have totally regrouped yet, but at least the initial pulling up of the bootstraps has been done. I couldn't see my way to spend any more on a new, unproven start up business. There would have been material fees and craft show fees, etc.  Fear of the unknown ruled.

Fortunately, I was offered some temporary work for the organization I 'retired' from. I have put everything on hold since then, choosing to take the known income path, rather than the unknown.  I can't even begin to relate some of the ups and downs of the last year, suffice it to say there have been many, both financial and emotional, for both of us. 

This January/February I had some decisions to make...it was time to decide about renewals on web services and things of that nature.  There is an office sort of full with project ideas and projects in process. In the early months of this experience, I didn't venture at all into my office. I didn't want to, couldn't bring myself to, go in there. When I finally did, it was rather eerie.  Everything was as I had left it, mid-project, months earlier.   I have thought long and hard, and decided 'what the heck.' What's one more year and a couple hundred dollars (she said sarcastically). It buys me a little more time to see if I can follow an old dream, even a little bit.   So, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, or the next day, or the next.

I only know that there is a little hope. And sometimes, that is really all we need. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Stay Tuned! 
  Coyote Laughing is coming soon.

 Just as in nature, there is always something going on behind the scenes. This has been true for this adventure, as well.  After leaving my job, my time schedule has taken many and varied paths, leaving computer and blogging time scarce. I have written a great deal though and someday, I might do a quick highlighted tour of the journey over the last 7 months.

True, there have been some times of loooonnng dormancy, but there have also been times of frenzied growth.  I am still here and getting closer to realizing the ideas that began back in 2010 when I began this blog. My new website, www.coyotelaughing.com will be up and running soon and I am gearing up for the spring/summer art fair/craft show season. 

I do know that it will not be another 7 months until I am back here at Coffee Time.  See you soon.







Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Did It-My Own Cafepress store

Well, after much frustration, it is done.  I invite you to visit my work in progress,  my new online shop for photography gifts and stationary at www.cafepress.com/CoyoteLaughing. I am still learning and have made some mistakes, which I am sure is a normal thing to do.  But, it has begun.  My first series of items is called, Summer Pleasures.  I still have a few more things to add so that I can offer some mix and match items. 

It sure took a long time to get rolling, but now I think I have the hang of it.  I made the error of creating many of my first items in the 'create and buy' section. This was a mistake. When you open the store, you may not be able to transfer items that have already been created.  Fortunately, I did not open a Basic shop (you can't transfer from 'create and buy' to a Basic shop) and I was able to eventually transfer the items I already made. It took a little help from the help center at Cafepress. I must say they were prompt and quite helpful.  Thank goodness!

In addition to adding items without text to my Summer Pleasures Collection, I have a few other collections in the works; Sunsets, Butterflies, Flowers-Wild and Garden Variety, and eventually some travel sets.  And somewhere in there, I intend to get my new blog up and running. Realistically, that might not happen until early August and I have some time off coming as I transition out of full time work to self-employed. But it WILL happen.

With only two weeks left at my full time job, I am right on schedule.  Actually, I sort of wish I had begun this part of the process earlier, but what can I say. Life happens!

So, please checkout my online store and let me know what you think.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Progress Continues

Just a quick post tonight.  I have made it through most spring and summer photos and have a back up drive and I am developing a sort of system in keeping up with this.  I would still like to figure out my online back up system, too. 

I have a few designs on CafePress, but did not get my store opened up yet.  It takes time to figure out which photos to use and what, if any, affects I want to use...or if any text.  I will definately post when the store gets open. 

As I continue work with the pictures, I may take another try at entering a couple photos into the National Wildlife Federation annual photo contest.  I did it last year, too.  Even if nothing comes of it, it is good practice. 

What a great day today has been. Began the morning with work on photos, did some yard work and gardening, picked some fresh spinach and lettuce from my garden for our summer salad, and now I am sitting outside enjoying a beautiful summer night and writing. 

So that's it. Short and sweet.  Happy summer!

Monday, June 13, 2011

WHOOHOOOO!

So, I figure I should write once in awhile to give an update.  I actually did it. I gave notice at my current job and will dive into the world of the self-employed mid-July.  I have been taking a few days off here and there and I can already see some looming issues.  Like, how hard it is to choose between working in my garden and sitting at my desk.  I need to find a way to move my desk outside. At least I can look at my garden and feel inspired.

I have been working on getting my photos organized and trying to choose which to keep in a work file and which to hang on to, well, just because.  I quickly realized that doing six years of photos is a daunting task.  So, after I went through and eliminated some duplicates and did a little reorganizing of years 2005 through the present, I began pulling those I wanted to work with for stationary, etc.  Even that was a big undertaking. I was trying to do too much all at once.  No surprise there!  I decided to just focus on summer photos that I would like to work with and get a few more things onto Cafe Press and Zazzle and open a couple online stores.  I have recently finally gotten around to creating a couple items as test runs and was please how they turned out.  My focus for now; flowers/plants, birds/butterflies, animals, landscapes.  Considering that this list includes most of my photos aside, from family, it is still a big task.  Add to that, labeling and tagging everything....and well you get the idea. 

Still, I am so excited. As the time comes closer to my end date at work, I feel as though I can finally let my creativity flow.  I have kept it stopped up like a cork in a bottle because it was too frustrating to get started a little and then have to shelf things while I worked.

So, there you have it. Not there yet, but getting closer.  Major steps have been taken and progress is underway.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Decision Made

The last time I wrote, I was trying to make a huge decision about whether to quite my full time job now, or try to wait another year.  My decision has been made.  I plan to be leaving my full time job by no later than mid-summer.  There are still a few details to work out as I figure out my exit timeline with my current employer. 
I feel both intense relief, excitement,... and fear.

I have no doubt it is the right decision for me, personally.  I am fearful about the financial aspect of this decision

I have to keep reminding myself I have thoroughly thought it through and have a sound plan. I also remind myself that there are valid reasons of physical and family need that have led me to this choice and that my "dream" business will hopefully provide a chance to have an income and attend to those needs.

So that's it for now. Spring is a very busy time of year at work and I am not sure how much time I will have to write or pursue my dream. Still, I know that time is coming and I am quietly laying a foundation for myself. 

And the picture today is my garden cup.  I spent a wonderful couple hours in my garden today with my husband and daughter.  It has been two years since I have been able to do much gardening and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even with some physical limitations and twinges from my ankle.  I am looking forward to spending time in my garden writing this summer, too.   Happy May Day.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So Many Decisions...So Many Viewpoints

There are a bazillion people out there on the web, on the shelves in bookstores, and even in person who can tell you the "right way" to do just about anything. And, for them, they may indeed be right. But what about for you, for me? Are they still right?That would be impossible since many of the viewpoints are contrary to each other. They can't all be right, or can they?

You might get lucky and find someone who "speaks" to you and you follow their advice step by step to success and happiness. If so, I think you are one of the lucky ones. More often than not, the ensuing result from seeking answers, may just lead to being overwhelmed with information and getting stuck. You do little or nothing for fear of doing it "wrong." Or, you may get to the point where you have heard enough.  Enough is enough.  It is time to filter through all the advice, then do whatever you think is right for you at the time with the best information you have been able to gather.

Will you always make the right decision?  Probably not. But, hopefully it is better than doing nothing and watching your dreams fade away.  You might even surprise yourself and make a great decision.  However, you will never know if don't do something.

Here are just a few of the questions I have asked myself that have led me to research, and research overload.

-What type of independent business could I do that would be viable?
-Should I do many little businesses or try to lump what I want to do under one umbrella? What would be the unifying mission/theme?
-How would I advertise?  web, blog, newspaper, Facebook.....?
-Blogger, Wordpress, GoDaddy.....?
-One blog or mulitple, webpage?
-What categories?
-Do I have enough useful content to blog?
-What design should I use?
-Should I take graphic design classes?   html classes? 
-How important is design choice?
-Should I do affiliates? How many? What type?
-Should I begin slowly and add on, or wait until I have it all figured out?
-What do I want my pages of whatever I do, to look like?....feel like?
-Should I just up and quite my regular job, go part time somewhere, tough it out as I create this business....?
-How much money should I put aside?
-Am I nuts doing this now?  Should I wait another year or two?

Frankly, I am exhausted just writing that list!  Of course, I found a variety of answers. Some echoed other sources, some were totally opposite from the others. Most were equally well thought out, made good points, and had their own merit. My task then, has been to figure out which answers make sense for me and my circumstances. I believe I have figured out most of it. I have one large hurdle left.

I wish I had a crystal ball because this last hurdle is a doozy.  My major remaining hurdle is deciding whether to quit my full time job now or trying to stick with it for another year. My reasons for needing to leave full time employment are many and go far beyond my wanting to create a new business. In fact, this business was my answer to the need for leaving my full time job and still needing an income. There are many options in between full time and nothing and I am considering them all.  In the meantime, I have limited foward momentum because I don't want to set something up and then not have the time to follow through.

The truth in all of this is that I have discovered that most of the answers I have found from an overwhelming number of people and resources are right...for somebody. In the end, it all boils down to one thing....what is right for me.  Stay tuned.