Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wobbly with relief

ah, my dear faithful readers, thank-you for hanging in here with me! i am exhausted and my brain is a bit wobbly, but the business plan is done. yes, the first version has been sent in for review and i am so happy, so relieved.

i've been working with a local branch of mercy corps, called mercy corps northwest, on the nuts and bolts of starting my business. they exist to serve low-income people in portland who want to be entrepreneurs. so 18 months ago i took their small business class and a year ago, was accepted into the wonderful IDA saving grant program. over the course of this past 12 months, i've been putting away small amounts of money into a special fund and they've matching my contributions 3 to 1.

pretty amazing, right?

the catch? oh, yes there has to be a catch. i have to turn in my finished business plan and have it approved before i can access the funds...which have now grown to $3,600! these funds can only be used on capitol improvements for my business, like studio equipment. i'm very excited to get all this new equipment, much of which i have chosen because it will make production both easier on my body and allow me to take on more wholesale orders.

oh, and the additional pressure? yes, of course there has to be an additional pressure situation! i am going to do a huge retail art fair in just 5 weeks and still have tons of jewelry to make. in the past, this show has made up 1/3 of my annual income, so it's pretty important. and...yes, i need some key pieces of equipment to get all this work done. equipment i can only buy after the grant monies are released, after the business plan is approved.

thank heavens that plan is now done, (at least until they send back the first version with suggestions and edits). fingers crossed that process is quick and the revision is minor.

last week after i wrote, i lost a huge chunk of my work in a computer glitch, i was within just a few hours of finishing. oh, the screaming and tears! you wouldn't have liked to see it. i was beside myself. but there was nothing to do but brush myself off and start again.

i did take one day off on this past sunday, a special road-trip with a group of dear friends that had been planned for a long while. we drove out to the wine country (it's world-class here in oregon) and met wine makers, tasted all sorts of yummy wines and had a glorious picnic up on a hill, looking over fields of vines with mountains in the distance. the weather was perfect, the company fine...a really lovely day.

i needed that rejuvenation and got up monday morning ready to tackle the last piece of writing. that last piece, the financial piece, took all day! can you believe that i was still in my pajamas at 6:45 at night? i finally clicked "save" on my finished plan, stood up from the computer like a mole coming out into the light and got dressed so i could go find some food.

what a wonder that i have this level of energy, just 12 weeks after finishing radiation treatment! pretty amazing when you think of where i was, how tired and discouraged i was in march. i hoped i would bounce back like this. how blessed i feel to be doing this well, to be doing this much at my 12 week anniversary.

how very, very blessed.


salmonpoetry said...

congratulations, on finishing your business plan, on the grant program, and on feeling in such good health and spirits in the wake of your radiation treatment.
what a great impetus for creativity, to have new equipment and tools! i hope it goes well and smoothly with the feedback. i'm expecting my copyedited book manuscript back in a couple of weeks, so i'll likely be having my share of days in my pajamas until bedtime again myself soon.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Thank goodness the business plan is done!!!!! congratulations. Now just keep it going by tackling that feedback you got - muster up that last bit of energy and just dive in. I recently also submitted a proposal and got back feedback and was discouraged. But I made myself deal with it and the final product was much better!

HistPresD said...

Congrats! It is a scary task, and one that just needs plowing through.


May the rest of the project be painless.