A customer was here this morning, also a small business woman, and we were talking about how hard it is to start up a business. As I said many times my first year, I’d make more money working at Costco. And it’s true. But somewhere along in the second year you can begin to finally pay yourself.
If you’re one of those people in the first year, hang in there if the math works. It takes time and every time you think you’ve gotten “there” a new “there” will appear. If it’s not, go to plan B.
But one thing I do that is priceless is something I just actually fell into. I read where this guy Banksy was giving his art away at a thrift store. He would sneak one of his paintings into the store and leave it on the shelf with some tiny pricetag on it. His work is $$$$.
Last winter I made a ton of JOY signs. It was a pinterest idea that I’d actually made two years before for myself before I got going on this “ride” … some customers wanted one too. Anyway, the signs were so simple and easy to make that I made dozens of color combos. And then I did a Banksy. I gave some away.
It started with a ride one night to dinner with my friend B. I took three along. We saw a woman getting off work at Hardee’s. We pulled alongside her and I handed a sign out the window to her. HER FACE WAS PRICELESS! “Operation Spread Joy” was on!
Next we went to a coffeeshop in downtown OP where we left off the sign, drove around the block and watched anonymously across the street as the customers in the coffeeshop gathered around it talking. And then we left one on a snowy park bench. And a bus bench on Metcalf.
It kept going. I think we gave away 10 signs.
After Christmas, my family went to the mountains in Colorado. We took along a few and left them in restaurants and rest stops along the way. IT WAS SO FUN.
So now I’m doing these small pebbles with a shimmering heart on them to take on this trip to DC. I plan to drop them all along the way… on a park bench, on a bus bench, for a server, just on the ground at the park. I might leave some in a small basket at the National Cathedral where the kids will sing.
With each one that I washed, dried and painted… it gave ME so much JOY to think about the person who might “find” it. For a time in my life, I looked for signs that everything would be OK. I hope that these rocks might be found by someone just looking for a sign.
And with that, it’s time to pack up for this adventure. I’m bringing four books to read, a toolbox full of rocks, and the airbed I’ll call home for many nights. I’ll open up the Etsy store when I return. Take care Barnstormers.