Friday, January 28, 2011

a new work philosophy

NOTE: if you have read part of this before I am sorry, I didn't meant to hit publish, but I guess I did and walked away (I thought i just saved to finish later)!

My friend Chef Anahita Naderi recently posted this story on Facebook:
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village...
A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long." they answered in unison.

"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children,
and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard (a consultant?) and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat."

"And after that?"

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.

You can then leave this little village and move to
Mexico City, Los Angeles , or even New York City !

From there you can direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years." replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting," answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings enjoying your friends."

"With all due respect sir, but that's exactly what we are doing now. So what's the point wasting twenty-five years?" asked the Mexicans.

And the moral of this story is:
Know where you're going in may already be there.
So what does this mean about little ole me??

As many who are close to me know, I work like a dog-never stopping. Maybe it's in the genes, maybe it was because I am an only child, maybe I am simply a task person. Point is: I love to work and have projects/goals/things to work on all the time...I am not going to fight it, in fact I embrace it-A LOT.
Things are always happening, but in the few years, the projects have taken up so much that I find myself working 14-20 hour days/7 days/months at a time-very little time for "siestas" and such.
I have 3 main things that i love to do right now: run my shop, do Patchwork with Nicole and work on my preserving adventures/classes/product and by shear luck-all of them work really well together (in fact make each other stronger)!!
...but something has to give or I am going to start missing out on some of the things I also like to do (like have people over, garden, spend time with Marge, this blog, ceramics, travel...).
In trying to pay attention to those needs and one of my resolutions but also having everything I love I decided last month to do something about it: I pulled a Honey I Shrunk the Store and moved back into the original space where I started my business.
Over the past weeks, we have been getting a boat-load of calls and emails, mostly along the lines of, "WHAT happened ?!?!" or, "Did you close???!!!"...well no we didn't, still here and still doing everything the same (albeit no clothing or baby items-leave that to the fabulous Belly Sprout). If you had to boil it down to a few things...
1. I am doing WAY too many things: I teach classes and lecture (at my shop and beyond almost every week), I co-run an arts/crafts fair that is doing more every year (that I sell at), volunteer my time, have a life in addition to...
2. my love of food found an outlet: I found something that incorporates a little of what I have always wanted to be (educator/foodie/cooking/small-indie biz/out-doors/MAKING STUFF/people/celebrating local) in my new biz Backyard In A Jar-my preserving biz that I really want to make a go of this year. I have to try.
3. 5 year itch and stretch: I have had my shop for 5 years (yeah I know!!) after this time, I better KNOW what works and what doesn't. What works is knowing EXACTLY what sells and what doesn't. Guess what? I need less space to sell it and I can use every square inch to yield more use than a larger space...seems obvious to me (and less energy, cleaning, upkeep...)

(a more open counter with classes and store info right in front!)

4. focus woman! If I want to stick to my resolutions and do all the things I want to do, there needs to be simplicity...when I look at myself, my home, food, belongings, BLOG, the environment I have to think:: SMALL and EFFICIENT...if there is too much waste then eliminate it-right??
When this- #4 (and 1-3) finally dawned upon me in November, I had that feeling of the whole slap your head deal-except I wanted to do it for real, like really f-ing hard. Why wait and really make a resolution to be better no matter what a reality!  Personally, I have never felt better!

(back to basics: it just FEELS cozier!)


Maggy-Creator of Deco Aurora said...

I just discovered that you have internships at your store. I'm on that like white on rice. Looking forward to talking with you more about this.

AugustArden said...

Im with you sista!! Cozier and Way Easier to Maintain!!! To the rest of the year! xo

Rebel Girl said...

I LOVE this post.

GreenAndGreener said...

I love this post too AND we really need to get together. The parallels are uncanny. -alegre