Launching a Line without Losing My Marbles

Nurturing her new business, this creative entrepreneur makes the most of an ADHD superpower: jumping in with both feet.
Executive Dysfunction | posted by Katy Rollins | Wednesday April 3rd - 11:01am
Filed Under: Deadlines and Procrastination, Focus at Work

Right here, right now, I am looking at a very large pile of fabric. I’m about to transform that fabric into the best kind of income: the handmade kind.

— Katy Rollins

I could backtrack right now and give you a full biography detailing the history of how I got to this point, but I think it better to just pull you in right here where I happen to be standing. Life is more fun when you just dump yourself in every once in a while.

I am launching a new clothing line next week, and I am WAY behind on my sewing tasks. Why am I behind on my sewing tasks? Well I’m happy to report that it has NOTHING to do with ADHD. In fact, because of my ADHD, I knew that I should plan this debut pretty far out in my calendar, and that I should give myself a deadline, or I would never have inventory built up adequately for the upcoming outdoor market selling season. Procrastination managed…this time!

But that “far-out” deadline in my calendar is now banging on my door and I have to finish about…let’s see…40 skirts, a couple dresses, and several accessories. Plus an inevitable random project that will no doubt pop into my head after I’ve gotten through about 20 more skirts and can’t stand to think skirt anymore for a while.

It was early in the fall that I set this deadline and I’m glad I did, because life, as it does, has gotten in the way. In the time since then, I have had employment adjustments, medication adjustments, a handful of gluten poisonings — yes, I’m one of those people — and a completely craptastic stomach bug that felled 4/5ths of our household. On the negative side, I’ve dealt with work/life politics so stressful that it made me physically ill. On the positive I’ve created a new wing of my other growing business ; I’ve further developed my graphic design skills (a highly useful entrepreneurial skill); and I’ve taken on a very cool new marketing project that differs from my usual marketing projects in ways that I like. And I’m currently fundraising for a weekend-long festival.

I certainly feel overworked, but I’m actually right on schedule with everything else, and I feel good about the fact that I now have several days in the next week where I will be able to run my sewing machines hard and come away with a really satisfying product. Yes, I may have an unforeseen mechanical breakdown crop up — because they always do when you’re on deadline — but if it does, I don’t care if I have to break out the Barbie mini sewing machine to finish the job. I also have a backup seamstress who is willing to step in if I lose my marbles or develop some kind of rare cotton allergy. (I wish I could say I was entirely joking on this one, but I already have issues with allergies so...) The more I think about it, the more I find the option of a backup seamstress appealing. Hmmmm.

Still, I think I’ve managed my time well. I have a deadline, a deadline that I intentionally made public so that I would be forced to honor it — with a kick-off party at the newest local music venue and watering hole, and dozens of guests who’ve already RSVPed. The potential for public shame apparently motivates me and if that’s what it takes to override my ADHD, I have no problem with that.

So right here, right now, I am looking at a very large pile of fabric. I’m about to transform that fabric into the best kind of income: the handmade kind. The kind that pushes you to the edge of your skills and wits because if you fail, you will only have yourself to blame — and who wants to live the rest of their lives blaming themselves for failure? I’d rather have to blame myself for failure, however, than blaming myself for not taking a risk.

All of that time spent sewing will give me ample brainspace for going back over the last-minute basics: Did I remember to set up the bank account? Did I remember to set up the Square account so that I can accept credit cards as payment? Did I remember to get change for cash purchases? Did I remember…blah blah blah — that last-minute list seems endless. But I think best when my hands or my body are moving, and for the next week they’ll be in constant motion — an ADHD superpower.

 

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