I am – frustratingly – one of those people who always has to learn the hard way.

I don’t listen to advice (even good advice) because:

  1. I don’t like being told what to do.
  2. When people insist on telling me what to do – I tend to do the opposite (out of sheer, childish rebellion)
  3. I just… I dunno… *NEED* to learn the hard way.

The good thing – however – is that when I DO (eventually) learn the hard way… those lessons tend to stick.  A hard-way lesson is not one that’s easily forgotten.  A hard-way lesson is when you say to yourself:  “Holy-crap – that was painful!  I’m definitely not making that mistake again!”

Suffice to say – I have (again) racked up yet another “hard-way” lesson… (#98521 and counting?)

It goes back to stuff I wrote in my previous post.  It’s about my weird need to start a “normal” kind of business… and to fix my perceived ‘weaknesses’… and to force myself to become more Dad-like… and to run said business in a “normal” kind of way.

(If you have no idea what that previous paragraph even means – just revert to this post – and you’ll go:  “Okay, I get it now”).

About 11 months ago – I figured:  “Hey, I need a business partner”... and  “I need a business!”.

I decided (another one of my many irrational, made-in-the-spur-of-the-moment, leap-into-the-shark-infested-waters-without-thinking decisions) that I needed to launch (yet another) “proper business” – but THIS time, I would do it “right”… because THIS time… I would have a “business-partner” who was good at all the stuff I sucked at!!

  • And *this time*… I would be a good, proper, well-behaved business owner.
  • And *this time*… I would be more disciplined.
  • And *this time*… I would be far more organised (because I’d have someone organised who could keep in ‘in check’)
  • And *this time*… I would make clever, responsible financial decisions… and I’d work out all kinds of master-plans, and create special pie-charts of how we could share profits and both benefit from this new business.
  • And *this time*... I would manage the finances properly and keep track or receipts and sort out my taxes and – y’know – get my shit together… because, after all, I would have this business partner (who was *good* at that stuff) – and she could keep-me-on-track… and remind me… and help me… and I could – for once and for all *FIX* all these areas where I suck – and be a good, responsible, “successful” business owner… and I’d live happily ever after.

(NOT!)…

As you saw – in my previous post… I have FINALLY…. (FINALLY!!!!!!)… learned a VERY important Hard-Way-Lesson.  And with that lesson in mind, I make the following announcement:

I, Heather Costaras (aka: Hat) am simply not designed for… ANY kind of “normal business” or “normal business partnership” WHATSOEVER.  I have finally come to accept that I am… *struggles to say the words*… an Artist.  A Sole Proprietor.

I am the stereotypical-artist… in my little messy-artist-tower… who likes to be left alone to create, draw, write, invent, compose… (and to occasionally come out and play with TRIBE’sters and like-minded peeps).

Furthermore, I acknowledge that I will NEVER fit-in to all the moulds I have been trying so hard to fit-in to.  Not because there’s anything wrong with the structures or moulds themselves – but they’re just not for *ME*.  They do not fit MY unique design.

So – I now resolve… (in order not to cause further damage to myself – or anyone else)… that I will no longer spend another second LYING to myself… and pretending that – if I just *try-hard-enough*… that I can be someone – or something – that I am NOT.

I am NOT organised (and never will be).  I do not function in a linear manner.  I am NOT good with budgets, money, banking, numbers, invoicing, working out pricing or commission structures, anything-Excel, pie-charts, selling, marketing, managing, PR, phoning people, giving-orders, dealing-with-conflict, planning events, selling tickets, pricing, form-filling… (and much, much more).

Additionally – I’m NOT good at having people work with – or for – me (for reasons that my dear friend Tracy will now be able to explain to you in fine detail!)… but it mostly has to do with the fact that I find all of the stuff (that I’m bad at) emotionally and mentally DRAINING… and so I tend to avoid it completely and pretend that none of it even exists (can you imagine how frustrating this must be for a linear-thinking, organised person to deal with??)…

I AM – however – great with ideas, illustrations, piano-playing, poetry, song-writing, script-writing, conceptualising (in fine detail) entire creative productions, events, courses and workshops.  I’m also great at speaking, sharing & singing in public.  I’m good at teaching or communicating new concepts (and especially when I have creative tools at my disposal).  I’m also good at telling stories using art, music, slides, film and poetry.  And letter-writing.  And coffee-making.  And I am passionate about a (LOT) of things… and I have a (LOT) to share… (including many, many life-lessons-learned-the-HARD-way!!)

SO – given this (and other important epiphanies)… I now resolve to FOCUS ENTIRELY ON MY STRENGTHS... and deal with the *other* stuff in the following ways:

  1.  OUTSOURCE IT ENTIRELY so that it doesn’t have any bearing on my emotional well-being whatsoever.
  2. WORK AROUND IT by finding creative ways of streamlining… automating… doing things differently… cleverly avoiding (which is different to shoot-oneself-in-the-foot avoiding)… all the other stuff.

Oh – and did I mention?  To stop LYING to myself.

I am not an entrepreneur.  I’m an artist.

There!  I said it.

And finally – I have to end this post by paying homage to one very, very special person – Tracy Baggott  – who has invested so much of her time and energy helping me out over the past couple months (some of you may have met her – or e-mailed her).

Tracy and I (much earlier this year)...

Tracy and I (much earlier this year)…

Tracy and I have resolved to part ways (I must emphasise:  NOT part ways as FRIENDS!!!) – but – part ways when it comes to her involvement in all-things “business”.  This decision is mostly due to all the complicated expectations that kind of relationship generates (on both sides)… and BOTH of us have decided that our friendship is just too damn precious to RISK by trying to work together.  Like I say:  can you imagine what it must be like for a very organised, structured person – like Tracy – to have to deal with the likes of ME?

But – I want to say this:  Tracy Baggott is – without question – one of the warmest, most giving, most GENUINE people that I have ever met.  I do not say this out of a sense of duty or obligation… I say this because I mean it.  I don’t do gushing.  I wish her all of the best as she moves on in a different direction next year (helping her husband with his paint business – and later, she’ll start her OWN business… which I know she’ll be utterly brilliant at!)

I have learned a LOT of lessons over the past couple of months.  Some of them have been easy lessons… others have been hard – and painful.  But – I have LEARNED them, nonetheless!

So – it’s back to work… (in a HAT way!)… back to my messy little tower-of-creation… (working on a totally, wacky out-of-the-box Hatt’ish COURSE for the New Year)… and I’ll come out to play with TRIBE’sters soon-soon….!

(And I’ll let you know how all the outsourcing goes too!)  🙂