11 June 2009

Making Your Mark …and a June giveaway!

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it's not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”
~ Barack Obama

Today I am turning two (and I promise not to have a tantrum). And I am choosing to persevere in making my mark on the world.

In the Spring of 2007 I told my husband that I was considering making myself a company just to see if I could do it. I reasoned that I was not going to stop playing with beads, and if I made it official maybe I could even sell a few things. So on June 11, 2007 I made it official and registered my company with the state of Wisconsin.

It is a decision that I do not regret because so many good things have come from it.

  • I have done jewelry for large wedding parties. And for the tiniest of babies.

  • I have had my first pieces published in a magazine. And I continue my quest to be published once per month in 2009.

  • I joined the BNI Point to Success chapter and started growing relationships with some of the best people in business. And I learn every day new ways to grow a successful business.

  • I have taught jewelry making classes. And I have taken some amazing workshops with renowned artists.

  • I have exhibited at my first art show. And in a holiday gallery at a local art center.

  • I have been asked to display my work in a local goldsmith’s gallery. And I have been invited to join an artist’s cooperative with permanent gallery space.

  • I have been selected as a finalist in a national competition. And I continue to stretch my limits by entering other challenges.

I am very blessed.

Today marks the anniversary of the day that I said yes. The day that I decided that I wanted to spread my wings and see how far they would carry me. The day that I fully committed to my two life resolutions: living a creative life and living without regrets.

It has not always been easy. And I am learning so much every single day about how to be successful in business and doing whatever I can to grow my brand and develop a following. I have made mistakes, true, but no one said it would be easy. The potential is so very exciting and the lure of doing what I love to do with the capacity for making this something that is permanent and possibly lucrative at the same time is rather enticing.

I recognize that I could fail at this endeavor. However, I do not believe that failure is an option. I have resolved that no matter what happens, I will enjoy the ride.

This week also marks milestones for some of my dear friends. They have both inspired me in so many ways and I cannot imagine how dull my life was without their love and laughter and insight and friendship blessing me daily.

"Without art we are but monkeys with car keys." ~ Author Unknown

Art Village, where I first learned to paint, and throw pots, and taught my first classes is celebrating four years. I am so proud of what my friend Rainy is building and I will do anything to help her be a success. Rainy is the first person who told me I was an artist. It took me a long time to let go and trust her wisdom. She is a wise friend indeed.

"There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles" ~ A. Nonymous

My friend Rick is celebrating his second anniversary as well with his little shop Sugar Cubed. He is one of the top 10 sellers of Moonstruck chocolates. In the nation. I don’t know how he does it, but his will to succeed is infectious. Who knew that I would be so inspired to have him as a friend and mentor when I walked into his store on a whim two years ago?

This weekend Rick is giving away free chocolates at his store Sugar Cubed and Art Village is celebrating with cake and free art projects. And both of them are raffling off original jewelry designs that I created just for their events with the proceeds to benefit a charity of their choice. That makes me feel good and inspires me to do more to give back to my community.

Since both art and chocolate are favorites of mine, I would like celebrate my 2nd anniversary with a special June giveaway: a box of Moonstruck Truffles and a special resin pendant custom made for the winner. Chocolate and a wearable work of art…can it get any better?

To enter:

1::Post a comment here answering the following question:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

2::You can enter only once. But if we can get 50 or more unique commenters to post I will giveaway TWO complete prize packages to celebrate my TWO years in business! Invite your friends to come and play! (Hurry! Voting ends Thusday, June 18th!)

3::Be sure to give me your name and email address (so that I might contact you if you win). If you win I will contact you by email (to arrange shipping) and ask you some questions so that I might create a pendant that is solely meant to inspire unique and lovely you.

Check It Out::Cake Wrecks (What goes better with celebrations than cake? Especially hilarious ones...I go here when I need to laugh...don't say I didn't warn you!)

Enjoy the day!

P.S. Silver Parrot is having a really cool giveaway! Loads and loads of beads that she is destashing! She even suggests that you might take what you like and host another such giveaway by adding what you have....this is great upcycling and reusing! Check it out!


Marie Cramp said...

Being that you are using my absolute favorite quote,I just have to enter. I will say that I am doing exactly that. I am imagining that I can not fail and jumping headlong into this amazing world of jewelry artistry. I am trying things that I have never had the "guts" to try before and I am coming out of it with some "glory". Three publications in two months and on my first two tries. I believe God has answered my prayers and finally led me to find what I am meant to do and not fail.


LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Congratulations, you've reached a milestone. Unless we take that first step, fall down that first time, we never get closer to the destination even though the days pass anyway.

I need this myself sometimes, setting a date and marking an anniversary - so happy to celebrate yours too, in kinship and community!

Deryn Mentock said...

A happy anniversary to you, dear girl! Let's see...what would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? Become a writer...illustrate children's books...run for a political office...hike the Pacific Crest trail...have more kids...?

Stacey said...

Happy Birthday to your yes! :) What a wonderful journey it has been for you. I wish you many more years of success.
What would I do if I knew I could not fail? Hmmm...this dream has been brewing - artists coop style boutique - with studio/classroom space - teaching - more jewelry - wow it's a big dream - haven't cleared it up in my head yet - but something like that - and oh yeah it would include moving back to Montana. :) Thanks for letting me voice my dream.
Again I wish you many many more years of success and dreams coming true to you!

Sarah Mahon said...

Happy anniversary, my friend! Congratuations on two years of success!

If I knew I would not fail, I would start my own business consulting business. Unfortunately, I do not have enough chutzpah (or money?) to weather the start. So I'll work on others' businesses while employed!


Mellisa said...

Oooh one of your creations AND chocolate makes for a giveaway that I can't refuse!

If I knew I couldn't fail I would publish a professional project I started several years ago. Unfortunately my fear of not reaching perfection with it stopped me from taking the final steps. That's a huge struggle for me, worrying that things aren't "good enough" to put out to the universe...it slows me down!!

stregata said...

Congratulations on this anniversary and many more to come!!
What would I do... hmmm, there is alot of food for thought in that seemingly simple question. While trying to come up with an answer, I realize that the possibility of failure is really not a reason to not try something. So, my answer - is what I have already begun - making jewellery and putting it out in the world, challenging myself and connecting with others.

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

What would I do if I knew I could not fail?
I would open a bead shop of my own and inspire others to create!

Congrats on your anniversay and your sucesses! I love reading your blog posts :)


Unknown said...

Congratulations Erin! You are always an inspiration to me! What would I attempt if I knew I could not fail...that is such a great question. Other then the obvious, counterfeiting, I would attempt to expand my business. I have big dreams to grow my business to include multiple locations and multiple therapists at each location. I also have big plans to make on-site chair massage the major backbone of Inner Element Massage, but I have yet to make a real effort to develop this part of the business. On a personal note, I had an extremely unhappy marriage experience. Although I am very happy now, I am afraid that I will never give myself to anyone like that again. I am convinced it would fail. If I knew it wouldn't fail, I would love to make that commitment again.

And if there are any police-type figures reading this comment, I was just kidding about the counterfeiting thing.

Allen Musch

Tom Parker said...

Congratulations Erin. The first three years they say are the hardest. Great job. Is the book "The 29% Solution" the resource for the your answers to the questions asked @ BNI? They were great responses. If I knew I could not fail I would focus all my energy on one of two or three business ideas that have been floating around in my head for a long time. I would involve my kids and select individuals I have met through the years. Keep up the good work on the blog.

candy man said...

Happy Birthday Erin, woohoo. Come on down for cake.
What would I do if I could not fail??? Start a chocolate shop in the middle of Wisconsin right after being downsized. Oh yeah did that. Helping others achieve their goals, working on that very hard. Success is a journey, not a destination. A stumble is still forward momentum.

Karen Yach said...

I think I figured this out. Erin, like I stated earlier your enthusiasm in what you do is truly like a breath of fresh air. Your passion in what you do not only in your business but in your personal life as well radiates off of you. Congrats on two years and wishing you much more success in all aspects of life.

bj said...

Happy Birthday TT!

Karen Yach said...

P.S. If I knew I wouldn't fail, I'd have a dozen more children and inspire them all to be giving, caring, risk taking wonderful adults...Who wouldn't if you cannot fail...

lfalduto said...

Has it been two years already my friend? Where does the time go?

You create beautiful and inspiring works of art and I am so happy to see your work and your accomplishments. Don't ever give up Erin, you have a gift!

What would I do if I knew I could not fail? I would start a business all about teaching paper crafting around the world. I would love to do classes, visit interesting places, and just share the love of paper crafting with all who wanted to learn!

Hmmmm, wonder if those chocolate truffles would inspire me? LOL

Happy two year anniversary Erin!


Juliette said...

Congratulations on your glorious accomplishments! I am truly inspired. For a few months now, I've been feeling a pull to reinvent my life, to live off the land and to make a living from it as well. I would love to create a space where I could create art, grow my food, keep my bees and make a living from it while journalling about it all - my love and adventures sometimes feel interrupted, and I want to feel the Flow again.

Jill Williams said...

Congratulations on your anniversary!
I would open a business, would have to do something with shopping! :)...gotta do what you love, right??!!

cstironkat said...

I have already started on that path and I enrolled in college at the age of 44. Its been a year now and I've gotten great grades, gotten acouple of scholarships, and made some wonderful friends. I have learned so much and now I plan on getting my masters after I finish my associates and bachelors degrees. I have along way to go but I will succeed.

Carrie M said...

Happy birthday! My sister and I have talked about it so many times. If I could do anything (guaranteed not to fail) we would open a party planning business. We love planning all sorts of parties. We have planned family weddings and company parties.

Eileen said...

Erin, Congratulations! I am in awe of your creative artistry and look forward to seeing your new creations each week at BNI.
Your question is thought provoking and inspiring. I would have a Philanthropic Foundation that would be committed to creating resources and tools to develop local community foundations/opportunities for helping those that fall between the cracks and seeking out those with immediate needs as well as long term needs. There would be a global foundation that would fund programs for special interest and education. My dream would be for my children to be actively involved and we’d work alongside one another overseeing the foundation and in the missions field. Now I just have to win the lottery and we're on our way.........

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Tesori Trovati. I proudly display your jewels around my neck and dangling from my ears. What would I do if I knew I would not fail? Tough question - kind of like Halloween - you could be ANYTHING you want....what would you be? Kevin and I have thrown around the idea of an Irish Pub. If I knew we could do it successfully in this Polish community - we would jump in with both feet and have fun along the way. "Timing is everything and the time is NOW!"

stormy said...

Happy Anniversary!!

If I could not fail at something...I would want to have my own party planning and cake decorating business.

I've got such great ideas for parties, but am afraid at failing that I don't pursue it any further. My cake decorating, while I'm still trying to get better at, would be something in the distant future.

A Reader said...

Happy Anniversary!

I would become a professional writer.
Thanks for the giveaway!

rosebud101 said...

I would climb Mount Kilimanjaro because it rises 15,000 feet from its base. That would be the hardest thing I could ever do!

carolasar said...

I would be a singer/musician.Oh how I long to have a good voice.

Anonymous said...

zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

I would persevere in my writing and create the most unusual, thought provoking and inspirational book every written and set the world on its ear :)

Belinda said...

I would become a published author.
1bmore @ gmail . com

Unknown said...

Congrats, There was never a doubt in my mind that you would make it.

rockcreekcreations said...

Neat giveaway! If I knew I wouldn't fail I would move from a hobby to a business...find someplace to teach some classes, etc....all with my family's cooperation...


Sarah Z said...

I would become an artist, writer, singer or movie star - not sure which one...
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

wendy wallach said...

I would skydive.

madamerkf at aol dot com

Lance said...

Hi Erin,

Happy Anniversary - how awesome is this!! Congratulations!!

What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail? I would write a book (and for what it's worth, I've recently started down that path).

And to Wendy - if you want to skydive, then I encourage you to do it. My wife and I did this about four years ago. It was probably one of the most scary things I've ever done - stepping out of the plane. And it was also one of the most exhilarating things I've done. And I just felt like I could do anything after I finished!


haha probably open a store but things are tough- I dream about going back to college but am waiting right now

Dr. Denise Tucker said...

Happy Anniversary! I'm Denise, mystery writer and college Professor in North Carolina. Found you through Deryn Mentock's blog.

If I knew I could not fail, I'd sing for a living and make a Celtic music CD!


lisa oram said...

Congratulations - I'm very impressed by what you've accomplished in a short time. I'm at the exact point you were two years ago: I registered my business and opened my Etsy shop(www.lisaoram.etsy.com) on June 1. BUT, I'm still juggling my art life with a (slightly) more reliable moneymaking life as a freelance writer. If I could do anything and know I wouldn't fail (depending on what fail means - I won't fail at making art, but will I "succeed" at making money from art? I'm less sure), I would study glass and make art glass objects and stunningly beautiful jewelry that combines bead crochet and handmade (by me)glass beads.

Thanks for the contest and the inspiration!

Nickolay said...

If I knew I could not fail, its simple, but I would jump out of a plane.


The Joy of Nesting said...

Congratulations Erin!!

I followed Lynn here to find you. I'm so very glad I did :) What beautiful and inspiring pieces you have created!! It has taken me many years to really belive and practice one of my Mentor's mantra. When ever I would say I wish I could she would look over the top of her glasses and say to me "failure is the not trying" Now instead of saying "I wish I could" I ask myself "what would it take"

I wish you many more happy years filled with wonderful memories of growing your dreams :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mexico

Nicole D. said...

I would go back to school and become a doctor if I knew that I would enjoy it, be good at it, and still be able to spend time with my family.

Unknown said...

If I knew I wouldn't fail, I would reach out to more people and try to befriend more people. I can get shy and intimidated.

I love Cake Wreck. Fail blog is really funny, too.


Dani said...

Hmmm...I would attempt to publish a novel. If I knew I wouldn't fail it would be that much easier to dedicate more time to writing it. It would be so nice to have it simply guaranteed to be successful! I try as is, though...that's a goal I've had for a long time.

Mishia said...

Definitely start my own daycare! I know with the right tools and planning that I could do it and not fail. But I'd jump right into it and do what I love best!

sharon said...

Congrat's Erin on your amazing accomplishments!!

If I could not fail..I would want to work in a medical profession that totally devoted myself to the good of others....help people heal, whether that would be physically or mentally. My family deals with mental illness on a daily basis...it is as dibilating at times as a physical illness and totally misunderstood.

Thanks for the opportunity!

kathy55439 said...

If I knew I could not fail... I would start a home for teenagers in foster care....

Shai Williams said...

I would quit work and living on my savings I would then go to one of the jewelers schools. Then I would make that my job and my passion

Rainy Day said...

It's good to see you following your dream Erin. Too many of us tip toe through life in order to reach death safely. I admire you for stepping out.

To answer the question, I think I'd be doing what I'm doing now, building Art Village. But I'd probably be moving a lot faster and more confidently.

Happy Anniversary. I know you are on your way to super stardom. I'm glad I've been a part of it so far.

Beverley Baird said...

Happy anniversary!
I love your jewelry.
Congratulations as well - on fulling so many of your dreams.

If I knew I could not fail - I would start a craft club for children and inspire them to always be creative.

Hillary said...

I would become a Chrisitan song writer.

Thanks for the contest!


Melissa J. Lee said...

C'mon, we can get to 50, right? Happy Anniversary, Erin! If I could do it all over again without worries of failure or making ends meet, I'd probably have gone ahead with my Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and turned to teaching. As it is, my time in grad school were some of the happiest years in my 20s.


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