For my first blog entry on Eden Street’s brand spanking new website, I thought it would be fitting to talk about beginnings. Today, I’m sharing some of the advice that helped pushed me to launch my stationery business after sitting on the idea for years.
The first nugget of wisdom I want to share with you came from my rawr-some friend and fellow biz lady, Cara Gonzalez aka Carawrrr. I used to ask myself, Will people like my products? Will my items sell? When I was starting Eden Street, Cara told me that not everyone was going to like my art, but there'd always be someone who would, and that the “right” customers would find their way to me, and vice versa. She was right, of course, and I'm very thankful for my growing Eden Street tribe. I appreciate every single one of you!
Author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) serves up a ton of advice in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. That title was a huge catalyst to the birth of Eden Street. I read it during a two-week holiday in Bali, during which I signed the contract for my very first bazaar! (Hi, Ella of 35 Abada!)
Within the first few pages of Big Magic, Liz Gilbert gets real about the fears that might be holding the reader back from living a creative life. She lists specific fears like ‘You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline’ and ‘You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point of pursuing it.’ I read that list and said "OMG, yes!!!" to each item. I should tell you now, too, that I used to have a fear of failure… or actually, not even failing. I had a fear of not excelling. But we'll unpack that another time.
Drawing on her own creative process and artistic journey, Liz writes about how to get over your creative fears and touches on other aspects of creativity, like why you should NOT quit your job right away (so you don’t give your art the burden of having to keep you alive) or that you should take your art seriously and not too seriously at the same time.
I cannot sum up the entire book, or what it has meant to me personally, in a single paragraph, but suffice it to say that after reading Big Magic, I thought, You know what? I’ll just launch my shop. So one day, I did! One day, I just knew that I wasn’t afraid anymore. And it wasn’t all because of a book. It was maybe 5% because of Big Magic, and 95% because of ME. (Tangential advice: Give yourself credit. Lots of it. Honor your own journey and recognize your own progress. If you’ve seen my sticker that says “Don’t give your power away,” this is one of the things I mean by it.)
The third piece of brilliant advice is something I actually read quite recently. It was part of life coach Aurora M. Suarez’s newsletter series called “The Best Advice from Life Coaches.”
“Imagine all the things you could create if you removed the motivation prerequisite and just took the first step,” life coach Helen McLaughlin wrote. “Sometimes—heck, oftentimes—motivation comes second to action. You start by doing, and the enthusiasm for doing builds in response.”
It’s exactly what it sounds like: We have this strong belief that we need to be motivated in order to start something, but actually, if we just get the ball rolling, then we’ll find the momentum and motivation to keep at it. When I read Helen’s essay, I heard a loud ‘ding-ding-ding!’ in my head. Since I began designing and printing postcards, all I’ve wanted to do is make more of them!
So there you go. I hope those bits of wisdom have been helpful. I don’t know what kind of project or business you want to launch, but I do know that I BELIEVE IN YOU, and that I’m cheering you on!
If you love Eden Street items (or even if you hate them), if you have suggestions for how my products can improve, if you want to talk about starting something (anything!), or if you just want to say hello, I would be thrilled to hear from you! Go on, say hi. You can also message me on Instagram, where I’m @micahsulit and, of course, @edenstreet.