by Zoe Rooney of A Quick Study
The words above were ingrained into my mind early on from various family matriarchs. I’ve found them immensely helpful to hold on to as I’ve moved through various stages of life – whenever I’m tempted to do something part way, they spring to mind as a warning.
If I do it the way I’m considering, am I just going to have to do it again later?
This question is a scary one in the world of building a business because it’s a bit unbalanced. Obviously there’s only so much you can do at any one time and for many of us, our perfectionist natures can become overwhelming – we want to do it all and we want it to be exactly right. Our minds tell us lies:
If I don’t get it exactly right, I’ll definitely have to do again later.
I think the lesson I’ve learned about “doing it right” gets at what’s tricky about this balance and it’s all in that word “again.” Bear with me – I’m about to go a little word-nerd on you but I promise it’ll be worth it!
This (woefully off-kilter, sorry) image is from the dictionary that sits above my desk. Let’s focus on the second and fourth definitions:
2. another time : once more : ANEW
4. in addition : besides <~, there is another matter to consider>
My mental voice is using definition 2 – it’s warning me that if I can’t take time to do something right, I better know that I’ll be spending time doing it anew. Doing it over. Repeating the work I’ve already done, and then some.
But I’ve learned that right is not the same as finished and perfect, forever and evermore. I can do something right and still know that I’ll need to take time later to do more again – more in addition, more besides. I’ll add to what I’ve done, refresh it, improve on it, and strengthen it. When this kind of “again” is purposeful, intentional, mindful, it’s actually the best possible way to approach your work.
That doesn’t mean you forget the original warning – any work you do should be right enough that you won’t need to do it anew, because that’s just wasting time. But your work can be right for now, right enough that you can build on it and grow from it.
That’s what Jessika’s getting right about this community, the community she’s grown dramatically over the last year. She’s doing it right, but she’s not waiting and worrying about doing it imperfectly. She’s using the fourth definition of again – each step is an “again” that adds to the whole.
That’s what our wider handmade community is learning to do (slowly, and with many stumbles) through our conversations about telling our stories, about valuing ourselves and our work. We’re learning how to do this handmade business thing right through building community and offering support and experimenting with pricing through sites like Heartsy and Worthsy. Let’s keep at it together – let’s get to a place where more often than not we’re not starting anew again and again, but rather building on strong foundations we’ve already laid through real collaboration and community.
I can’t wait to see where this community takes us in another year.