Thursday, August 9, 2012

What do you want?

I think the defining characteristic of my generation is not knowing what we want to be or where we're going. Maybe it's what makes shows like HBO's "Girls" so popular. People can really identify with that. In the show, all of these girls are in their midtwenties and someone asks at least once in every episode, "What do you want to be when you grow up."

Lately, I've been asking myself this question a lot. It's sort of a funny question to ask when I work from home and am doing pretty well at it. But I'm asking all the same.

I started to take a good hard look at my business in spring, but it was in June that I asked myself the really important question--one I hadn't asked since I started working on making it go two summers ago: What do I want to get out of this. It's an incredibly important question! Without knowing the answer to this, how do I really know how much effort I want to put in? What do I want to get out of my own labors? I guess it hadn't really occurred to me when I started that this would change. It should have. My goals were all built around working to get myself and my husband into a place of our own where we were comfortable. When I started, I had 5 things I wrote down that I knew I wanted to achieve and I gave myself a deadline of January (I set the goals in June, 2010):

1. The financial independence to not have to work outside of my own endeavors.
2. Location freedom
3. Sell at least 500 pieces
4. Establish a definite look for my work and my shop.
5. Begin making my brand truly recognizable.

In a lot of ways, I've achieved most of these things (#5 is still iffy). Still, I look at what I wanted then and I realize that it was all very short term. I had images of myself working a year later, but not of where I wanted to be several years later or even ten years down the road.

Right now, it's not just about setting long term goals. What it is about is figuring out what I truly want and setting those long term goals to help me meet that.

...I haven't got it yet.

I wish I was writing this from the vantage point of someone who has really figured it out and set goals and put them into action. I have set more short-term goals, but it's just not the same, is it?

So here's what I put forth to you: it's not about deciding "What you want to be when you grow up," that's such a broad question and I don't know that it needs to ever be answered, but decide what do you want to get out of whatever it is you're endeavoring to do now. What do you want to get out of working in an office building, running your home business, or taking classes?

Sit down and write out what you truly want. What do you see these current actions bringing you? Work through it and really figure out where you want this to carry you. That's the hard part. Once you have that, it's easy to figure out how to get there.

By Sarah-Lambert Cook


  1. I have been thinking about this very thing... especially since my business is growing and there's all sorts of changes going on in my life at the same time. I definitely need to start jotting down what it is that I want to accomplish in a more general sense and also a more specific sense as well. Right now, things are all cob-webby in my head (and there's also a lot of clutter in my house - doesn't help, haha).

    Thanks for bringing this up, Sarah-Lambert! Reading this entry gave me the extra push to take some time and really ponder where I want to take my business - so I can actually get closer to whatever that is. ;-)

  2. I also wanted to add that being in a place of not having everything figured out can be a very good one, plus it's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one. We are usually where we are to learn something new and grow in our business/lives. So in a way, just the fact that you're writing this blog about figuring out what you want, that is closer than someone who just doesn't give a care.

    1. That's a great point, Jocelyn. There is a lot of discovery to be made when in a place of not having things totally figured out--and that's a good thing! Looking forward to seeing where you take your biz! :D

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  4. For me, the what I want has always been the same ... happiness and freedom ... it is the constant questioning of if what I am doing is achieving those two that is always difficult. I have also found that reaching big numbers doesn't always qualify under those either, so it is a constant adjustment to having that balance.