Yes . . . You read the title of this post correctly!
I recently had the amazing privilege of sitting down for a chat with Marian Parsons, THE Miss Mustard Seed herself!
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that this really is a dream come true. I have been a HUGE Miss Mustard Seed fan for years now, in fact, her blog was what inspired me to start my blog!
And just about everything I know how to do with furniture I learned, initially, from her online tutorials.
I even convinced myself I was capable of reupholstering an old french sofa after watching her walk through the process herself–let’s say it’s easier said than done!
I did get the chance to meet her (and several other amazing bloggers) several years ago at a Haven Conference, and shared more about that on a blog post here.
While that was amazing, I couldn’t really say that I knew her, like in a “she-remembers-I-exist” sort of way.
So how did this amazing opportunity to talk one-on-one come about?
Well, I won a contest! In our Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailer group there is a monthly contest for us retailers, and the prize for the past few months has been a 30-minute consult with Marian herself.
And in April, I won! Yep, my name was pulled out of the hat (literally).
Ya’ll, I never win anything. Like ever. Never.
I almost fell out of my chair when I watched her unfold the little paper that had my name on it!
So, that’s how I wound up sitting in my bedroom (the one place in my house where I can shut the door and have some quiet), with my phone on a tripod, having a FaceTime chat with Marian Parsons earlier this week.
Let me say that she is as delightful as she seems. Friendly, down-to-earth, open, and kind-hearted.
She is also a super smart business lady.
I was excited to be able to pick her brain about several burning questions I have about my business, and she walked through each of them with me, offering her insights and encouragement.
One of the things we talked about was this blog, and how over the past year or so it hasn’t been the creative outlet for me that it once was.
I shared with her how when I sit down to write a post, my head is empty.
I don’t feel like I have anything to say, and so days, and even weeks go by without posting anything new.
We talked about social media, and about how the quest to have “shareable” and “pinnable” blog posts can easily begin to rule how and what you write about.
That has definitely been my experience–as I tried to grow this blog and utilize the amazing power of social media to help grow my audience, I somehow lost myself and my creativity in the process.
Feeling like you’re spread too thin
We also talked about how I feel spread thin–doing too many things and none of them particularly well.
She asked me to look at all the aspects of my business–the blog, the antique booths, the workshops, the paints, and my online shop–and determine which of them really stirs my heart the most.
If could pick any one of them to be the main thing I do, which would it be?
I couldn’t give her an answer!
I honestly didn’t know, and still don’t really know now several days later. That’s how tired my head is.
So it was a realization that I have been running Lost & Found for awhile on autopilot.
Adding more and more and saying “yes” to all the opportunities because, well, they were all good!
And while that can work for a little while, eventually it starts to fall apart. I don’t think anybody can truly “do it all,” at least not forever.
I walked away from our conversation feeling a little sad, but hopeful at the same time, if that makes sense at all.
I felt sad because I had allowed myself to really be honest and voice out loud what I’ve been keeping buried inside for months now–the truth that I’m exhausted.
But then also hopeful because I do believe with some strategic thinking and decisions, I can see a path forward.
I’m not saying there are any radical changes coming . . . So don’t be concerned!
But I am going to be doing some thinking and asking myself and my family some questions about what we really want Lost & Found to be.
And how can we start moving more in that direction in a way that’s healthy?
I’m so incredibly grateful
I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m complaining. Please know that’s not my heart.
This business has been our family’s lifeline for 6 months now as my husband has been out of work and now starting his own business.
I am so incredibly grateful, every single day, for all of the opportunities I’ve had and for my readers, customers, and partners that continue to work with Lost & Found.
This experience has all been good, very very good. What I’m hoping to do though is to make it even better.
And on a practical note, I walked away from my conversation with Marian realizing that I’ve been overthinking this whole blog thing way too much.
Yes–I need to be posting quality makeovers, tutorials, and how-to’s–but I also need to make sure I am connecting with my readers.
Just sharing about what’s going on in our little corner of the world.
Not everyone will be interested in that content, but I know there are some of you who are. And I’m grateful for and humbled by that.
How about you…are you feeling spread too thin?
If any of you are feeling the same thing with your own small businesses–like you’re spread too thin–I encourage you to take some time and think through what all is on your plate.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I love the most?
- What brings the most/least financial return?
- What is the most burdensome?
- If I could wave a magic wand and change one thing about my business right now, what would that be?
I think it’s good, from time to time, to evaluate where we are and make decisions about how to move forward.
Autopiloting is helpful, but sometimes you really need a live body in the captain’s chair to make this thing work.
Our family will be taking some time next week to step away and visit extended family.
So you will see me back again after that! I have a backload of furniture makeovers to share with you–at least three of them!
Thanks for being a part of this community–everyone have a wonderful week!