It's funny. Not too long after I wrote my first "let's talk business" post, several conversations that I took part in (online and off) coincidentally were centered around the topic of being true to yourself, your work, and your values. It's weird how the universe has a way of grouping certain situations like this together. It doesn't happen very often, but I find it quite serendipitous whenever it does.
When I started One Fine Dae almost four years ago, I knew that one of the things I always want to do is be true to myself and my craft while running this business. Because to me, crafting is an art form, and art to me should always make me happy. But I've learned that business combined with art can sometimes blur the line between doing something because you truly want to and believe in, and doing something because of money.
It's hard when large, well-known companies approach me wanting to do business, but require me to alter my work that makes me feel uneasy. Or when they want a large order, but their target demographic or style isn't aligned with mine. Let me tell you, it's a tough call sometimes. But so far, I've managed to make decisions that haven't left me feeling anxious, regretful, or uttering the phrase "Seriously? WTF." I've felt those feelings and uttered those words many times before, mainly in less ideal circumstances, and they never sit well with me. Thus, it makes sense for me to be a little selfish and protective of my company and ideals, especially when happiness is on the line.
I went to a blogging event last Friday, my first, and one thought that resonated with me that all three speakers agreed on was that you should find your own voice and create things that ring true to who you are, and not what others like or are already doing. I couldn't agree more. I remember one time in English class my senior year, we were learning about European authors and the rise of Shakespeare, and my teacher was talking about an author whose work was considered to be like Shakespeare. I asked him how come he's not as well-known, and he calmly said, "Nobody remembers second best."
It's hard, I admit, not to try to do something that someone else has already become so successfully at. Or not to lose my sense of self or style when business opportunities arise. I just have to stick to what I know and value, and be dedicated.