I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago, but it feels quite pertinent to post it now.
I've always been a inquisitive kid, you know the type - that one that ask's a million "but, why?" questions. My eldest is EXACTLY the same. "He's just like you, you know?", my husband likes to point out. Often when I'm doing battle with a tidal wave of questions before Mummies morning coffee has had a chance to kick in.
Call it inquisitive, call it stubborn or even bloody minded some might say (right hunny?!). I'm not one for doing as I'm told just because someone told me to do it. I'm happy to do something, or agree with advice if it makes sense - which, thankfully for the rest of the world it often does.
If you've read my previous post you'll know I've been on a mission figuring out how to re-open the business over here. The taxing and legal implications particularly are a bit different to the UK, so I want to make sure I understand my options as much as I can. After all, there's always more than one way to skin a cat... or sell a Varsity Jacket even!
I've been very lucky, and have been connected with some awesome people over here that have offered some great advice. I read an article recently where the writer was advised to always look at something from 3 different angles, and I guess I tend to try and look at challenges like that. There's always a different point of view, and no-one is necessarily entirely right or wrong, it just a different perspective. I guess once I've got my head around logistics I've been gathering different perspectives.
I managed to get into a spot of bother the other week - didn't take long did it?! By taking my time, and asking around for advice I think I may have offended someone I spoke to. I don't think they were happy I hadn't followed their advice. I think I've discovered a friendly conversation to answer your questions can turn sour if it then doesn't result in you using their services. I was politely told we 'probably weren't a good fit".
Using my 'alternative perspective' I do empathise with investing time to hopefully win business, but I also think that's a part and parcel of a lot of different businesses. When I've interviewed for Fashion Design jobs in the past I've pretty much always had to complete an unpaid design project. You may think this is a silly idea to invest so much time and money into something that might not amount to anything, but it's kind of become the norm in the fashion industry, unless perhaps you're someone like Stella Mcartney! Can't really see ole Stells heading down to London Graphics Centre for a bunch of Pantones and some layout paper can you?!
Since starting this business I've found I've been contacted by friends, or friends of friends that are starting their own small businesses. I'm a million (well hopefully less than a million!) miles from realising my ultimate vision for the Muklet brand, but to be fair I'm moving forward, and that's the right direction! I am by no means any kind of authority on small business advice or social media, but I can give you some tips I've picked up along the way, I can introduce you to some people, I can sign post you to a few things. In fact that's a big part of why I write this blog. It's not just a 'self satisfying cathartic brain dump' for me. It's a way for me to tell me story, and tell you about how I'm going about it.
I've met some people along the way that have chosen to use this kind of first hand small business insight and turn it into a business. Businesses that will guide you in social media, motivate you, empower you, connect you to people. There's a lot out there now, but there are some really good ones I would recommend looking into. For me right now, that's not my plan, I'll leave it to the experts! Enough people have helped, and continue to help me along the way with 'little nuggets' of information, and I want to be able to pay that forward, so if I can pop a little 'nugget' your way, I'll do what I can.
Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, it's been a bit of a crazy week this week with the 2016 USA elections right?! I'll attempt to avoid injecting my personal views on the matters in hand - I save that for Facebook (sorry long suffering friends!). With all the tempers and misinformation swirling I've tried to take the time to 'ask the questions'. I've tried to look deeper than the sound bites and memes. With such strong opposing views it's hard sometimes to separate the fact from fiction, so I've tried to draw my conclusions from what I can gather as fact. And as much as I don't want to look at it from a certain someone's perspective, I've attempted to look at the matters in hand from a different angle (epic fail!).
Elections, starting a business, entering the school system, navigating the healthcare system, there's been a lot to figure out, but we figured it out by asking lot of questions. That's something I want to pass onto our boys. And as much as I'm going to hate my husband wryly quoting this back to me, I don't necessarily always want them to do as their told (OMG what did I just say?!). See, I want them to have that confidence, that spunk to question what is asked of them, to question if they think something's right or wrong, or if there's a different way to solve a problem. If I raise completely obedient boys that always do as they're told I feel I'm taking away their braveness to inivate, to disrupt, to though provoke.
I will of course also remind them of the 'alternative perspective' approach. If they see no reason why they should go to bed on a Saturday night I shall offer the alternative perspective that Mummy may well provide donuts for breakfast the following morning if they can get their little disobedient butts washed, PJ'ed and in bed. You see asking questions, and occasionally doing what your told when you agree with the advice, is always a good idea.