on being coached

In addition to the fabulous yarn from Fyberspates and the tech editing from Kate Atherley, winning the Design Along also meant a coaching session with the Kate of A Playful Day podcast.  I really didn’t know what that meant and what it would entail.

Yesterday I settled in with some plain knitting, a large cup of tea, my notebook, and my iPad for a chat with Kate over Skype. I had a few questions I thought she could help with, but was willing to let a subject expert guide the conversation. It turned out to be a great conversation.

It’s not easy to put into words without just transcribing my notes, but the essence of the session was this:

– She gave me important questions for me to ask myself to clarify and focus my activity

– She gave me specific resources that I can read to learn skills we identified I need to learn

– She let me talk about my business for about an hour, without having to explain the context before outlining a question, the way I need to do when bouncing ideas off my family

Since the essence of this contest has been encouragement and community, I’d like to pass on a free resource she recommended.  Tara Swiger has made a business of supporting crafty small businesses.  I’m really enjoying her podcasts.  I’ve gone to the beginning of them and have been listening while mowing the lawn, running, and doing other tasks these past 24 hours.

It is all…So Much. It struck me that it’s like it’s a bit like my parents and their bifocals: I’ve got things in the area around me (swatches, design ideas, pattern writing and testing), and when I look up away from the couch cushions around me, I see a whole host of other things (business plans, paypal accounts, learning web page design and spreadsheets, etc).  The trick is to keep looking at all the areas, I think.  Obviously, this is a no-show without patterns designed and ready to share with you, but the bigger issues and the workflow issues support that creativity.


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