Behind the Scenes: Eveolution
During the beginning phases of Hint Jewelry, I created a visual map of the women who I wanted serve through my business. Since I gravitate towards archetypes, it was easy for me to imagine each woman as a particular Greek goddess. Each woman favors certain characteristics that these mythical woman represent, so I used the Greek pantheon as a way to understand all the facets of being a woman. During my research I came across this fun book called Goddess at Home: Divine Interiors Inspired by Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hera, Hestia, and Persephone. It's a book on interior decorating, but what I loved most was the room designs gave me visual blueprint for what certain female personality types would want adorning their life.
The Goddess at Home book also offers some famous personalities as examples of these particular archetypes, and this key information was how I was introduced to the work of Faith Popcorn and the Brain Reserve. When I read her name for the first time, I'm sure I giggled, because anyone with the last name popcorn must be a hoot to be around! However, what spurred my curiosity on was that she was an Athena archetype, a powerful woman of great intellect -- an architect of higher knowledge. Come to find out Faith Popcorn is a trend guru, and since I have some squeamishness around the word "marketing," I decided to check out her web site and educate myself.
I actually had a lot of fun watching the video clips from her TrendBank. With titles like Clanning, Cocooning, Pleasure Revenge, SOS Save our Society, etc., I'm betting you'll be into them too. I saw parts of myself in these trends, and this experience allows me to read advertising with a whole new sense of clarity. Like hey, I now know what fear Wal-Mart is tapping into while try to sell the latest gizmo. From watching TrendBank I've become the cop behind the glass watching big business try to manipulate wants and desires instead of being in the room without a clue.
So I watched Faith Popcorn's videos, took notes, digested, and then filed everything away for later. Nevertheless, with all my neat and tidy self-education there were a few nagging trends that caused me to feel a tad bit uncomfortable with myself and the most noticeable one was called Eveolution.
One of the first workshops on business that I took, the smarmy teacher at the front of the class looked at all of us and said, "entrepreneurs have a hard time letting go over their baby and this always works to their detriment." Ouch! Okay, I heard what he said, and logically his viewpoint appeared sound, so how I was I going to prevent this from happening? Again, I filed it away for later.
Like me, if you are an entrepreneur, one of the reasons for going into business for yourself is because you like to be your own boss. I wanted so desperately to be in charge. In the past, I had experienced organizations and leadership who didn't fully understand my boundless creative energy and how it needed to be used instead of locked in closet. One of my constant problems at work wasn't that I couldn't come up ideas, but rather that I couldn't get others to allow me to take on all the creative projects that my imagination envisioned. Being in business for myself was like a dam breaking and finally I could successfully complete work. Boy was that satisfying!!! Haha! It was also a little wonderfully self-indulgent :)
I don't regret this period of my business, for Hint Jewelry offered me a way to heal a lot of disappointments that I experienced in other jobs. I needed a year to give creative freedom to myself so as to move past the ME getting in the way of serving people through my business. This is where Eveolution comes in. Gosh, did I resist this concept when I heard it. In a nutshell, Faith Popcorn is saying that women have a tremendous impact on business. Women want a relational model. They want to be a part of your business and help build it. I'll be honest, a couple years ago the last thing I wanted was another woman telling me what to do and how to do it. Remember I had just come from a long stint with female authority figures who would rather keep me locked away like Cinderella cleaning up the ashes instead of happily spinning a thousand ideas into reality. I had a lot of healing to do before I could trust another person's input and see another woman as someone who would treat me with mutual respect. See right there I was afraid of letting go of my baby business! So silly, yet it happened so subconsciously.
To me one of the teachings that came out of this experience is be aware of what your business is about. If it's a source of healing, then let it be. When you're ready to let go of it and allow your business to evolve into something entirely different it will. This change for Hint Jewelry happened without me being fully aware that I was making this transition from holding all the cards to letting Eveolution into my business.
It came about from simply wanting to know. I wanted to know what chains women wanted me to purchase. What clasps do they prefer? Do they like silver or gold? Antiqued metal? Big or small? Long or short? I created a sort of a la carte menu called Your Story, where women could build their own personalized necklaces. From this new listing in my Etsy shop, women built my business alongside me like a team. Educating me on what works and what doesn't. The feeling of success I gained from Your Story and Eveolution was ten times more pleasurable because I knew that what I designed is what women really wanted.
Here are some things I've taken away from the experience:
1. Be honest about your business and what you're wanting it to be. Let it be what you need it to be in that moment, and allow yourself the freedom to grow and change with it.
2. Healing yourself first might allow you to serve others better in the long run. Give yourself space for self care.
3. Take note of the stuff that makes you uncomfortable because this is probably an area of learning you are wanting. There's nothing wrong with shelving it until your ready.
4. Consider ways of inviting people into the process of building of your business. Let women show you how they can best be served.
For more insights on running on online jewelry business see my whole Behind the Scenes blog series.