I’m gearing up to teach a class on vision boards next month. Preparing for the class has lead me to search out some of my old vision boards to use as a reference for the class. Luckily, I have Rob to help with the search and recovery task which is taking place in our black hole of a garage. Last nite when I got home, he had pulled out these boards thinking that they might be what I was looking for (hmmm, looks like someone needs to take my class ☺). These are not vision boards. They are actually what is known as style boards. I had not seen these boards in years. At the start of a new season or project, I create as many sketches as I can relating to the theme or vision for the line. Once I have roughly sketched them out, I select the ones I like best or that resonate the most with me in connection to the theme, and place them on boards and assign style numbers. Then I work to narrow the styles down again until I have the aloted amount of styles I (or the company I am working for) wants to move forward with. The boards in the first image are from when I first began designing my leather handbag line in 2004 and the boards in the 2nd image are from a freelance project I worked on around that same time. There were about 8 or 9 boards that he found just like these. As I was looking at them it struck me how long I have been working to to build my business.
I personally, have not read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers. Are you familiar with it? I remember my sister telling me about it a few years back. She spoke about some of Gladwell’s ideas of what contributes to a person’s success and one of the things that popped out at me was his 10,000 hour rule. According to Gladwell, (among other things) the key to success in any field, is due in large part, to practicing that specific task for an amount of time equal to or around 10,000 hours. Looking back at these boards, and reminiscing over all of the time, research and energy that I have put into designing and creating products over the years reminded me to think about things a little differently. Sometimes we have a tendency to focus on what we have not accomplished, or what isn’t working, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be harmful to us IF we are not in tune with, and thankful for, what we actually HAVE accomplished, and what IS working at the moment. I know for myself, the little perfectionist in me tends to dwell on those things that I feel are not working or going as planned. I focus on them because I want to fix them and make them better, but in doing so, I can see that I sometimes have a tendency to overlook the small achievements that have come along the way. All of those lessons, projects, ideas, experience, energy and time work together to create the success that takes place during the journey to “success.”
There really is no such thing as an overnight success. If being an overnight success was an actual possibility, I can tell you that I would not be a very good one. Had certain successes happened for me overnight, I would not have nearly enough viable tools within myself to deal with all of the things that come with whatever that success would look like. It sounds cliche, but I truly understand the meaning of this quote from professional tennis player, Arthur Ashe:: “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is usually more important than the outcome.”
Whatever you are going after, keep going. You’re almost there! (and if you’re not, keep moving forward, at least you are getting closer!). ☺