I’m still nursing my fractured finger and getting tired of this cumbersome splint that runs from beyond my fingertips nearly to my elbow. Typing is slow with just one hand and left thumb and index finger, leaving me tired and more prone to distraction.
All this to say that I have spent some time reading – and while I usually am reading how-to books, I decided to cash in an unused gift card to Barnes and Noble and went straight to the artsy section where I always get dreamy-eyed. “Junk Gypsy” caught my eye and promptly came home with me.
Gazing through the pages and reading Amie Sikes & Jolie Sikes’ stories of growing up in Texas, re-purposing and reusing stuff found along the road, and leaving corporate America as young adults to pursue their passion resonated with me.
While I didn’t grow up in Texas, I was part of a central Indiana farm family that did a lot of reusing and re-purposing. In fact, it wasn’t unusual to scour auctions and trash piles for treasures. I was in 4-H and many of those finds were cleaned up or refinished and exhibited at the county fair. (That’s really me, sanding on an old washstand for another 4-H project.)
One piece was an ornate, solid oak headboard and matching foot board that was pulled out of a burn pile (while burning). Only the paint was scorched and after removing every conceivable color of paint did the beautiful rich grain of the oak appear.
That bed went with me to first apartment, first married home and beyond, until one move we were short on space, and it was left for someone else to find.
I was only a few pages in to this enticing book filled with glossy photos when I found myself longing to take a week or two off to go junking – building up this fantasy in my mind until I was convinced I should just close my writing business and go.
Shiny Object Syndrome
After a couple days of cooling off, I realized that I had fallen victim to the shiny object syndrome, and I really didn’t want to go chasing after junk (that badly), I just needed a break. An afternoon without deadlines and shoulds and working each step of my business strategy.
Many of us solopreneurs confuse creativity with shiny object syndrome, it’s difficult to separate great, creative business ideas from sparkly, fun sounding activities. I think we get muddled when defining our passion because we think it should be all excitement and fireworks. Like a school kid crush, we get caught up in the newness and excitement of an idea and don’t think about the long term commitment or work. We think, “Hang on! I can combine this with my business that I’m doing now.” (Full disclosure, I really tried to figure out if I could combine junking and copywriting in a profitable way.) Sometimes the answer may be yes, but we need to see these bright shiny things for what they really are; a distraction from our intentional growth as a business owner.
I’ll Keep Writing
Amie and Jolie Sikes candidly reveal that their early days in business were difficult: sweaty, dirty, bone-aching, frozen burrito eating, long days of hard work. I only needed to realize that over the past eight years of growing my own business, my early days were equally difficult, (maybe not all that sweaty). The Sikes sisters didn’t veer from their vision, and as I look back, I see that I didn’t either.
I didn’t go junking after reading the book, but I did take a break and went to the greenhouse for a flat of annuals and a couple tomato plants. Guess this means I’m staying home from the junking road this summer so I can water the flowers and continue to grow my business.
Susan M Sparks offers copywriting, publishing services and coaching for aspiring authors. She is the author of four books, including the Amazon Best-Seller “The Student Life Jacket” and ghostwriter for many entrepreneurial non-fiction titles. Need help with your blog or book? She can be reached at Susan@ASAPWritingServices.com.