Full Steam Ahead


Since deciding that I'm going to start my own business my days have been beyond full. When you work full-time 9 to 5, 5 days a week, and decide that you're going to start your own business, you've got to find the time in there somewhere to get things done for yourself. Which means after getting home from a long day of work I've been easily putting in another 2-3 hours each night on my own little venture. 2-3 hours doing what you ask? A lot of that time is spent googling the answers to questions that I don't know. Because I make no qualms about the fact that I don't know a lot when it comes to any of this. Using google to do research. Tons of research on how to start your own small startup, the industry I'll be entering, on legally starting a small business in my province...I've been sending lots of emails too. Emails to people/organizations asking more questions or to be pointed in the right direction; every time I get an encouraging positive email back in response...it's so exciting and a little nudge to keep going forward. I've been spending a lot of time too jotting down notes and ideas; I have a little moleskin that is quickly being filled with questions I need to find the answers to, things I want to learn more about, attributes I want my little startup to have, and ideas. I came up with a name for my business rather quickly so I also bought the .com, and took all of the social media handles - because it would suck if I waited and someone else got to it in that time. Below are some articles I've read relating to starting your own small business that I found to be particularly good reads - I thought I'd share them.

In other news, as you can see from the photo above, my little apartment is slowly progressing. Did I ever mention that I bought this huge fiddle leaf fig tree? It's 9 or 10 feet and leaning and kind of amazing. It lost a ton of leaves transferring it to my apartment so I'm hoping it'll recover. I had it in the corner near the dining table and while I quite liked it there it wasn't getting the most sunlight - I'm not sure exactly where else to put it so it's kinda just been plopped into this spot - directly across from the window. I'm not crazy about it there but...we'll see.

Thanksgiving Day is on Monday here so it's a long weekend. For the first time in many, many, years my family will be celebrating it all together; I can't tell you how nice that is - I have a lot to be thankful for. If you're in Canada have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend - if you're not, have a lovely regular weekend :)

ON DECIDING TO START A BUSINESS

(some light reading? dug out these books that I've had for well over four years)

I’ve decided to do it. To start my own small business.

Being my own boss and creating my own business is something I’ve wanted to do for a while and even talked about a bit on Chronicled before, but I always tend to talk myself out of it. Some thoughts that always deter me:

+ “I don’t know where to start"
+ “I don’t know anything about owning a business”
+ “It all seems so complicated”
+ “What if it fails”
+ “What if no one cares and I don’t get any clients/customers/interest"
+ “I don’t have any savings put aside to do something like this...and starting a business costs money"
+ “What if I can’t do it"
+ “What if I start and can’t finish”
+ “It all seems so hard/confusing:
+ “What if it sucks”
+  “Other people are doing the same thing/similar thing – what if mine sucks in comparison"

And rest assured there are many more thoughts that can be included but I’ll stop there. Mrs. Positivity, huh?! Have you ever wanted to start your own small business? Have you thought about it? Do these thoughts sound familiar? Man, we have a way of getting in our own heads and just...not doing things, huh. Well no more. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna try at least.

The past two weeks have been filled with lots of research and lots of emails sent. Lots of note taking and websites bookmarked. Lots of images pinned on a private pin board on pinterest and lots of brainstorming. Lots of mission statement writing and podcasts listened to. It’s been intense. But in a good way. I feel passionate and energized.

I don’t want to say yet too much about what my small business is going to be – but I will say that, being honest, it’s nothing “new” or “unique.” And I think that’s another reason I’ve talked myself out of it in the past – other people are doing something the same/similar. Now, every time that thought pops into my head my response to myself is: “So what? There really aren’t any new or unique ideas left. Everything is being done by someone in some way. That’s what gives us options. Think of one company that is the only company doing/producing/selling that service/product...” And it’s true. What’ll make this different/unique is me; I’m different so, by extension, whatever I create will be different in some way. It’s an idea that sparked when I was living back in India so it’s something that I’ve had in mind for just over 3 years; it’s time to put it in motion and give it a shot, no?

Anyways, I’m thinking of doing a monthly post on what it’s really like to start your own business. Like, what it’s really like. Being totally transparent. I was inspired by a series of post that MixedMade did (you can read it here) about what it’s like to start a business in 30 days (though I’m nowhere near that ambitious!) Their honesty and willingness to share their successes and mistakes was really refreshing to read; there really aren’t any other blog posts that I can find that really talk about starting a small business in such a transparent way (if you know some please leave them in the comments!) Do you all think a series of posts like that would be helpful or interesting?

So that’s where I’m at. At the very, very, beginning. I’m still in the research phase to see if this is feasible for me but my thoughts are “If others can start a business then why not me?” So we’ll see.

More details to come. Slowly.

Note:
There have been some questions about This Is Verity and I wanted to take this time to thank all of you who checked it out and read it for your support. It’s something that I still see a need for but the pace of keeping up new content proved to be much tougher than I imagined (considering I also work full-time). I created it to be another space on the web, in addition to this blog, to provide inspiring more focused content. It was never intended to be a business in the sense that I wasn't planning on going full-time with it and having it be my means of making a living. I have plans to revamp the focus of TIV a bit, simplify, and re-launch it but, being totally honest, it’s something that is being put on the backburner for now so I can focus on other things. I hope you understand.

CURRENTLY COVETING: FALL WARDROBE UPDATE


For a few weeks now a lot of bloggers have been posting all things Fall related but I wanted to savour every last minute of Summer and not touch the topic of Fall until it was official; and today it is. Today is officially the first day of Fall - my favourite season because it's not too hot yet not too cold.

It's been just about 3 months since I started my journey to drop the fat and get fit and I'm feeling really good about where I am, what I'm learning, and how things are progressing. While I didn't meet my goal of losing 20 lbs in 9 weeks (by my birthday) I got close with, at the most, 14 lbs lost. Then I went to Chicago and slacked off a little bit and came home and wasn't as on the ball as I'd been in the weeks prior. That's not to say I was terrible, I was just a little more flexible. I ate in a way that is sustainable going forward not just for "a diet" and so the weight has been slightly slower to come off but, I'm now more of a firm believer than ever that this whole weight loss and getting fit thing is a marathon not a sprint. Having said that, I'm hovering at about 12 lbs down (still with a goal of losing at least 8 more) and though I didn't take measurements at the beginning of this journey, I'm down a few inches at least. Which, coupled with the change in season, is good reason for a bit of a wardrobe update isn't it?

As the weight has started to slowly come off I'm rediscovering the joy of getting dressed and shopping for clothes. It's much more enjoyable when you're okay with the way things fit and aren't insecure about every pooch and bulge.

At any rate, here are a few things I'd like to add to my wardrobe over the next few weeks. I think I deserve it!

01. A long, slightly fitted, cardigan.
02. A chunky knit cardigan. Clearly I'm all about cardigans.
03. I'm also all about a good blouse. Such a simple way to dress up a pair of fitted jeans.
04. I'm also all about good tees. What makes a tee good? The fit. Not too tight but not too slouchy.
(Also good for wearing under cardigans. Naturally.)
05. I've had may eyes on a bucket bag for a few months now.
06. I already mentioned these leather booties here. I'm in love with them. So good.
07. Delicate layered gold necklaces.
08. A new watch. Something a bit casual but not too much so.
09. A jacket perfect for the season.

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?

It seems that every few months I get the itch to start my own business. Like, really start my own business. Something that'll generate an income. Something that'll be sustainable and long-term. Something that can grow. Something that's not done just for a hobby but legit done as my full-time job. Something that I actually get registered and is like, you know, a full fledged business.

Needless-to-say, I've got that itch again.

I think I've asked this before but I'm very curious so I'll ask again, are you currently doing something you love (whether it's for someone else or for yourself)? If you're not, what would your dream job entail? What would that dream job be? And, why aren't you doing it...what's holding you back?


7 TIPS FOR FINDING (GOOD) STUFF ON CRAIGSLIST


I'm no Craigslist expert or anything but I have found some amazing pieces on it - my dream sofa practicaly brand new and most recently 4 amazing vintage leather backed chairs I'm using at my dining table. I visit the site frequently, even when I'm not necessarily looking for anything specific, and have developed a bit of a strategy for finding stuff. Good stuff. Stuff you actually want in your home. Most times I actually enjoy the hunt (I know, I'm weird?) But I totally understand that for some people, like my sister, Craigslist is like a thrift shop...you know there's good stuff there but it's all just so overwhelming. Where do you start? There's so. much. stuff. There's so. much. junk. How do you find anything worth while?  I thought I'd share some tips, that I personally use, on how find good stuff on the site. (I'm actually gonna break this post up into two parts - the first, how to find stuff and the second, what to do once you've actually found something you're interested in.)

Do with this info what you will.

01. Be specific. Type in exactly what you're looking for: in my case I was looking for an english roll arm sofa with turned legs so that's what I searched for. Then try breaking it into smaller chunks incase someone didn't bother to type out a full description. Example: english sofa or turned legs sofa.

02. Keep it simple. Exactly the opposite of the above, keep it simple. Chances are if you're reading this blog, or any blog that posts about interiors, you're a bit design savvy. Most people aren't. People who don't follow design and design blogs and don't watch HGTV like it's going out of style won't know that it's called an english roll armed sofa and has turned legs. They'll call it a sofa with wood legs. Try showing a picture of what you're looking for to a friend who's not into design - whatever they call it is probably what the majority of the population calls it so search that term.

03. Remember synonyms. That is, a different word that means the same thing. I call it a sofa. You might call it a couch. Someone else? A chesterfield (though I ask, who in 2014 really calls it a chesterfield?!?!). Along the same line, if you're looking for a piece from the 60s also do a search for: vintage, mid-centry modern, retro....you get the point.

04. Include specific brand/store names. Doing a search for sofa will likely bring up thousands of results (I just tested it out and got 1211 results). A search for sofa + wood will probably return hundreds (I got 154). A search for: crate and barrel sofa or west elm sofa? Just a handful. Most of the time if the seller knows the brand they'll include it in the listing.

05. Search outside of your city. If you're willing to travel a little bit, to the neighbouring city or suburb perhaps, you open up that much more possibilities. Plus, things are usually priced a bit cheaper outside of major cities. Sweet.

06. Check often. Like, at least daily. Sometimes, when I'm really hunting for something I search twice a day (in the morning and in the early evening). Things pop up quickly and disappear just as fast. You've got to be persistent. (I think you can set up an email alert to notify you when something is posted that matches the keywords you've specified but I've never used that feature.)

07. Be patient. Sometimes it takes a while to find exactly what you're looking for (see number #5). Sometimes it seems as if what you're looking for is never going to be posted but have faith...they don't say patience is a virtue for nothing. And when it finally does pop up be ready to act - fast.

Got any tried-and-true tips to add? Whats the best thing you've found on craigslist (or kijiji)? Let me know in the comments!