Well folks, it has already been six months since I left my desk job and started putting all my energy into creating hopeful art inspired by fandom. I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone by and how much my life has changed this year. I don’t have three nice bullet points for this blog, this is just an update to share about where I am and what’s going on behind the scenes.
For years, I have been researching, listening to podcasts, learning from my own mistakes, and trying to grow The Nerdware Store. On Instagram it is easy to just share the highlights and the exciting things that are happening. But behind all the product announcements and new things, truthfully I am still very much trying to make this work financially. I know that I’m doing what I find the most joy in, and at the same time I’m still not reaching my revenue goals for shop. I have seen so many videos on instagram of folks sharing their monthly income or the 100 shipping labels they just printed. It’s so unbelievably easy to start comparing my shop to others, but I’m trying to normalize modest order amounts and the ups and downs of small business life for myself.
That being said, having the mental space and energy to focus on the shop has allowed me to create and plan more exciting projects than ever before. I designed my first calendar and have been working on plans for collaborative and themed quarterly boxes of merch for 2024. I have also gotten to attend more comic cons and local markets which has helped me meet other small business owners and enjoy the fun of nerdom.
Right now, I am preparing to launch some holiday items, thinking about the goodies I want to bring to the shop next year, and planning how I can grow the shop’s revenue. If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I had pneumonia at the start of September, and that was a real bummer. I pushed myself too hard and didn’t listen to my body, which led to a not-so-fun overnight in the ER. So I’m trying to rest more, especially when I’m feeling not great.
As usual, new products and pin restocks arrived all at once this fall, so it’s been a packed season of sharing new goodies in the shop. With the winter holidays right around the corner, I’ve also been working on some handmade ceramic ornaments and hope to print some holiday cards.
Outside of Nerdware Store things, I have been working to grow my garden space for the spring. I built and filled two raised beds which involved some unskilled carpentry and log foraging in my neighborhood. It was fun, but I somewhat destroyed my back carrying giant bags of soil. Whoops. The good news is that I’ll have garlic and onions and space for lots more goodies in the spring. So it all works out.
Each year, I make a vision board on my iPad, drawing from Pinterest mostly. I’ve always been really bad with New Year’s resolutions, as they seem like great opportunities to fail at goals and feel bad about it. But with a vision board, it’s more like setting intentions and “visualizing.” Alongside my vision board for 2023, I also purchased this life planner book that dives more deeply into reflections on the past year and intentions for the next year. It also includes monthly pages to think about the habits and smaller goals you want to accomplish. Looking back at what I wrote at the beginning of this year has been really rewarding as I’ve bene able to note the changes that I’ve made in my life and what I’ve accomplished.
When describing what I wanted more of in my life, I included things like supporting myself with my art, spending more time outdoors, finding community, and spending more time with my cats. And with many of these things, I can look back and say “I did it,” which is not something I say super often. Through gardening, leaving my desk job, saying yes to opportunities to meet new people even when it’s scary (and other small and big things), I’ve found many of the things I was seeking this year. And that’s truly something to be grateful for.
There is still plenty more I want to do in 2023, and probably many things that will become 2024 intentions because life is life and gets in the way sometimes. For my fellow planners out there, I would love to know how you make goals and intentions throughout the year. I am always looking for ways to organize my thoughts, especially as I transitioned into putting my full effort into the Nerdware Store. I only recently expanded from a 20+ page Google sheets document to a whole Google Drive folder, which has been way more logical for my needs. So that’s where I’m at organization-wise, teehee.
And that is a wrap on what has been going on with the shop and with life. Thank you for tuning in for this episode of “Lilian brain dumps for a few minutes!”