You see, a year or so ago, I found myself bogged down by the question...what exactly is it that I do? Do I teach? Write? Design? Sell finished goods? Consult? Work with wire? Metal? Faux Bone? Leather? The questions kept pouring out and I beat myself up for having no focus.
My business school training kicked in and I decided to write myself a mission statement. I wish I had saved the lengthy paragraphs filled with shallow adjectives and lofty goals. We'd all get a laugh. But, through that process I decided that there was just too much going on. I needed to focus.
I stopped making anything, for well over a month, and accepted defeat for not being able to pick a focus. And then one night, I was having dinner with a friend and was asked, "what do you see yourself doing in 5 years." I verbally beat myself up some more for having no focus and went home vowing I would be able to answer that question.
The problem was that I couldn't imagine not doing all of these things. They all brought me great joy. Just because it made for an impossibly long and boring mission statement didn't mean it was wrong. In fact, I realized I had already started my mission statement the year before...
Those two words covered a lot of things for me. I was able to check off nearly everything on my list as fitting under these two words. All that was left was teaching, writing and consulting. I hoped I didn't do those things recklessly! I thought some more and the simplest answer seemed the most appropriate...
And there it was, my mission statement. "Create Recklessly, Teach Thoughtfully." Whenever I venture down a new path I ask myself if it supports my mission statement. When I have deviated from the path and have taken on projects that were neither, I found them hard to finish, and in the end, felt like I didn't do my best. I am not proud of it, but I know myself better now.
What inspires and drives me can be stated clearly and simply in just four words. And I am okay with that.
If you had to pick four words as your "mission statement," what would yours be?
PS - Off to Beadfest Spring in a few weeks, be sure to stop on by and say hi! And yes, I'll be packing allllll that stuff up again...plus supplies for the wire project pictured on the front of Spotlight on Wire!