Sometimes waving the white flag is less about being a failure at something and more about giving yourself permission to move forward with the things that drive you.
I’ll back up…
I juggle a lot of hats in my daily life. I am not ONLY a wife to one, a mother of 9 year old twins and a friend to many both local and across the country, but I also am an artist who ACTIVELY and REGULARLY participates in gallery events and art walks around the Greater Seattle Area…even selling work with somewhat regularity albiet not often enough to consider art my full time ‘day job’. www.ChemicalBanana.com is my online portfolio for anyone interested in checking out my work (more recent work can be seen on my Facebook page since I can’t seem to make time to bring my website current from works produced over the last six months so that is http://www.Facebook.com/KristolJonesArt).
I also have three childrens books and one parenting guide that I’ve written. One of the books is awaiting publication pending my making time to produce the illustrations the publisher would like to include in it and the other I am self-publishing on Amazon but first I have to finish editing the photos I’ve taken that are the key vehicle of the story.
As if that weren’t enough to keep my days occupied, since December I have been an independent rep for a company called Damsel in Defense. We sell stun guns, high grade pepper sprays (the kind with the UV Dye and gel based for less overspray and better staying power) and other personal protection products designed with women in mind.
Damsel in Defense is a GREAT company and the people who work for and with them believe in their mission to equip, empower and educate women in the ways of self preservation, protection and, to some degree, street smarts. I found Damsel while I was a vendor at an arts and crafts show/sale in November. With my thrice-stalked history and our beautiful niece getting ready to head off to college, I was drawn to the products and the company and within a week signed up to be a rep.
Those who know me know sales careers and I don’t go hand in hand. I told myself I didn’t see it as a sales job because I feel so strongly about making the products easily accessable to women. Had I had easy access to these products in my 20’s, I would have had a very different decade, which is ultimately why I jumped in.
My first few months, I was surprised how easily sales came. No, I wasn’t making much money, but at least I was doing slightly better than breaking even and my husband was proud of me for actually making the efforts. My last few events over the last few months have gotten progressively less productive to where I’m no longer breaking even. Last night I had a much advertised event in Seattle at a retail space for which I even bought a Facebook ad (not to mention about $50 worth of food). Over the course of the scheduled 2 hour event, not a single solitary person showed up. Not one.
Let’s recap what I know about last nights event… Acording to the fine folks at Facebook, my ad had a potential reach of over 3 million women between ages 18-65 in the Greater Seattle Area. Of those within the ‘potential reach’ zone, not a single one clicked on the event. Of the ninety people (that’s a 9-0) invited, with a six week head’s up about the event on the horizon, not a single one RSVP’d, nor did any of them share the ‘event’. And for those wondering, ‘NO’- there wasn’t anything major going on in town last night (rare on a Friday evening in the Summer).
If I am WISE, I will take the hint I’ve been suspecting since late spring and I will use the time I’ve been putting towards Damsel to focus on finishing one of the other projects that mean more to me such as the books or finally getting my artwork up on that store site that’s been awaiting my attention for over a year. Regardless, I am officially rejecting the overwhelming feeling I had after packing up last night and heading home of being a failure. I managed to equip many of the women I love with stun guns and pepper spray and even showed them how to use the products so, if they do need them some day, they won’t be afraid to use them. Now it’s time for me to move forward (or backward into my greater priorities) and not spend another ounce of energy in a direction that I hadn’t intended to give it in the first place.
Oh, and if you know anyone in need of stun guns or pepper spray- I am selling off my inventory at ROCK BOTTOM prices, so now would be the time to get yours while you can.