Goals progress so far

I have made progress on my business goals for 2011! Go Thousand Mile Road!

Firstly, I purchased a camera, the best one I have ever had. My old film camera, Canon EOS  SLR of old, used to be the best but now it is surpassed by a new Canon from the DSLR series. This camera takes by far the clearest photos I have ever seen! Out with the point and shoot I have been using which takes inferior pictures of which I have never been happy with and in with the DSLR (digital single lens reflex). I am still learning about the features (and there are many – the manual is 260 pages!) but once I have conquered the manual and mastered the camera, I reckon life will be pretty sweet on the image front. I am looking forward to putting together a lookbook with a cool theme that professionally showcases the two ranges I have been working so hard on. 100% merino garments for boys and girls.

Along the patterndrafting, sample making road, I have been hard out patterndrafting after refining and honing the larger ranges I designed last year. There are now two compact ranges each comprising of 12 – 15 garments. One range for boys and one range for girls. Although there is scope for mixing and matching. My vision is not frills, pink and diamantes for girls and trucks for boys, as this type of product it can be found in any cut price store that mass produces in China with a ginormous carbon footprint and no care for sustainability or the future of the planet. My range will be unique, wearable and edgy with a theme running through it that appeals to both the children wearing the clothing and the parents who are purchasing it.

For patterndrafting I have set myself a goal of two patterns a day, so all going well and SAHM (stay at home mum) fun and duties aside, I should be done inside 3 weeks! Sample making will happen during and after this so in 3 weeks I will have something to photograph and transform into an amazing lookbook to be put online so all can see what I have been working on. I am soooooo excited to show it to the world!

I am currently having a look at the new 100% merino knit fabric colour swatch card and trying to limit myself to four colours (VERY difficult for me!). I am looking for constructive input, please feel free to make your picks here, always great to hear others opinions and ideas…..

And finally, ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.’ Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

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Christmas, Holidays and planning for 2011

Well, it’s high time I started reblogging on here. It’s been months since an update.

I have been busy earning money for Christmas and the holidays by doing some outwork. I have been sewing hats, sewing for another designer and am currently making up 5 bridesmaid dresses from scratch for a wedding end of January.

When the dresses are finished to fit stage I will be carrying on with my plans and goals I have set for my business this year.

It’s time for focus and setting both personal and business goals for 2011. For me, if I want to make progress and see where I am going I need goals, concrete goals written down on paper and on the wall where I can see them everyday.

As this blog is about my business, the goals I have set for the business are as follows:

– TO FINISH PATTERNING MY RANGES WHICH I DESIGNED LAST YEAR AND MAKE ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED
– TO MAKE UP SAMPLES OF THE GARMENTS IN EACH RANGE
– TO PHOTOGRAPH THESE SAMPLES
– TO MAKE A LOOKBOOK
– TO HATCH A WHOLESALE PLAN TO SELL TO RETAILERS
– TO UPDATE MY BUSINESS PLAN and PUT TOGETHER A PORTFOLIO
– TO JOIN DUNEDIN FASHION INCUBATOR FOR ASSISTANCE IN GROWING MY BUSINESS
– LEARN PHOTOSHOP and ILLUSTRATOR
– BUY A CAMERA
– GET A WEBSITE DONE
– TO GROW MY CUSTOMER BASE
– TO HAVE 3000 FANS for MY BUSINESS ON FACEBOOK

So in a nutshell, those are my goals. There is a lot of work here, but I am ready for it.

I don’t know who said this but it goes something like this…. ‘dreams and ideas without action are pointless’

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Check out my new page – inspirational images

Today is just a short post as I have just spent a ridiculous amount of time creating a new page of inspirational images that have influenced the collections that I am designing at the moment.

I have finished all my sketches and am moving forward to choosing colours and prints. I am excited by my progress. Next I will be doing an awful lot of pattern drafting and looking forward to constructing samples to see how the designs unfold on an actual model off the flat paper drawing!

Take a look at my new page – maybe you will find something there that inspires you for a project you are undertaking.

I found the above image by ‘Arvalis’ on deviantart, a cool website that showcases some brilliant artwork from some talented artists. I found a lot of other inspiring images on there too, I love the fantastical elf/warrior/ninja characters and have based a lot of my collection on their clothing styles as well as the Japanese influences.

And to finish…

‘Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear. Perhaps the action you take will be successful; perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow. But any action is better than no action at all.’
Norman Vincent Peale (love this author!) He was pivotal in my change from a defeatist negative thinker to a positive, open minded one. Thanks Norman!

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On Reaching New Summits

There is something to be said for publicly announcing your goals. It has certainly worked for me.

The knowledge that people are out there and watching my progress, silently cheering me on (however many or few there are) is great motivation. I have not only finished my action plan for my current goals for my business, I have achieved the first major tasks towards goals one, two and six which all involve putting multiple season children’s clothing collections together with a view towards being able to offer the collections as samples and a lookbook to retailers in both Hemispheres (opposing seasons) for order and purchase.

You can view my completed action plan (simple, broken down into measurable tasks) <a href="ACTION PLAN SEP 2010“>here.

The tasks on the action plan can be further broken down into bite sized pieces that can easily be accomplished in a short amount of time. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had in ticking items off the list as you work towards completing the task that they amount to.

If you get a chance to look at the action plan you will discover that I am up to date which is such an awesome feeling. Words cannot describe the accomplishment I felt yesterday afternoon as I completed the designs for the last of my four collections, I was ecstatic, I had reached a major milestone, climbed that first summit on the mountain range, achieving a goal in my career that I had never done before (designing a full collection) and completing a task from start to finish.

Now if you have spent most of your life never quite finishing anything (I still haven’t really figured out why I do this) then you will understand the profound sense of achievement I feel right now. However, this is just the tip of the whole iceberg, there are many more tasks to be completed before the whole project is finished. So onwards and upwards…. no pining over what is lost or what you haven’t achieved, just onwards and upwards, towards the goal.

And from Quote Garden
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~Author Unknown

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Have you finished your action plan yet you ask?

Well great news! I have been trucking on. It’s great what a little goal setting can do to one’s motivation!
I have finished the goals, split them up into tasks, the ‘by who’ and the ‘by when’ columns of my action plan table. Now that I know what timeframe I have to complete goals, I can get on and do the tasks associated with the goals. This means writing out a daily list with the tasks broken down into smaller jobs achieveable for that day. I love writing lists so this is right up my alley.

I went out and bought a year planner (small investment in time management at NZD3.95) so I can stick it up on the wall and write the tasks to be completed on their respective days so I have a quick glance reminder as to what I have to do and by when. This is perfect for me because I am a visual person. Of course they didn’t have any 2010 ones left so I got a piece of card to grid out for the rest of 2010 and a whole new 2011 planner.

I really feel in control now, it’s like I was running around in circles before and now I am running straight again. Yes running! This is because I have so much to do! Honestly, I have spent way too much time procrastinating and getting frustrated with ideas due to lack of order in my life. There’s something to be said for being spontaneous but there is also some peace in organisation.

And a goal setting quote that I found on Get What You Want

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that.” – Earl Nightingale

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Goals and Action Plans

In March this year I completed a (very good) free business growth and development course through Te Wananga O Aotearoa . When I started to thinking how much I had to do and wanting to quantify it somehow, I recalled the project planning segment we did and how much it helped when I needed to identify my key goals and break them down into achieveable segments and tasks.

This simple method of project planning is invaluable for anyone who has a large project/s to tackle and no idea where to start. It’s basically a table or series of tables with the main goal/s for the project at the top. You divide the goal into rows with smaller manageable tasks that need to be completed to achieve the goal. If these tasks require breaking down further you can do that under each task. The tasks (WHAT will be done) form the first one or two columns, then you divide the rest of the table into the following columns: WHO will complete the task, WHEN will it be completed by, what you need to complete the tasks (resources, $$, the HOW) and finally, things that could inhibit the completion of the task (barriers).

I have inserted a simple action plan below from my course as an example – to demonstrate what the plan looks like and how the tasks can be broken down into smaller tasks. The resources and barriers columns are not included. These two columns will be included in my up and coming action plans for the goals identified below that I need to achieve. Resources and barriers are really an essential consideration in any action plan -if you don’t have the resources, you need to factor finding the resources in as a task or move on to another task. Similarly, if there are too many barriers, then the task needs to be modified or deleted. Check out the table below – this can easily be created in excel or in open office writer.

M2A1 Table

The table is just one of the four projects that I completed for the course that really helped me get on track with my business, a simple but effective way of breaking down a seemingly huge goal into manageable chunks so that achievement then becomes possible. I also find that once the action plan is down on paper, it is out of your head and you can see clearly what you have to do, it is quite liberating!

I am currently working on seven of these action plans with the following goals/objectives:

1. Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection for Southern Hemisphere
2. Spring/Summer 2011 Collection for Northern Hemisphere
3. Mini Spring/Summer 2010/2011 range for Southern Hemisphere
4. Mini Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 range for Northern Hemisphere
5. Marketing my business
6. Selling my products
7. Obtaining finances

These tables will be published in the next few days once I have carefully broken the goals down into tasks that are easily achieveable. As usual I have probably bitten off more than I can chew! But I work better under pressure!

And finally a quote from Bob Proctor’s ‘Insight of the Day’ emails I receive daily:

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out if they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.”

William James
1842-1910, Philosopher and Author

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Accountability

I have long thought that sharing a goal with others helps provide a push, an accountability, to complete that goal. Working alone can be hard, really hard. Noone is with you, providing that natural push that comes with working with a group towards a common goal. There is noone to bounce ideas off, noone to help you meet that impossible deadline you set for yourself. You are it, you only have yourself to blame if you fail.

Flipside, there can be enormous pride that comes with achieving a goal single handedly!

For me, I need that push, that deadline that can’t be pushed back, that motivation to achieve in a timely manner. I need lists, plans, dates, deadlines – these provide part of my motivation, the rest is purely to realise the dream!

So lets say that I wanted to exhibit my Thousand Mile Road natural children’s clothing range at the childrens’ trade fair ‘Bubble London’ on January 30 & 31, 2011. Even though I may not be eligible to exhibit at this tradeshow because I am not currently supplying wholesale to stores, I want to be ready with my Autumn/Winter 2011 (Northern Hemisphere) range AS IF I AM.

As if this isn’t quite enough to commit to, I also want to have my Spring/Summer 2011/2012 (Southern Hemisphere) range completed by January 2011 as well.

Project plan coming shortly….

And for inspiration… ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’ Eleanor Roosevelt.

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