Wish: Successful Entrepreneur

Touchstone: Financial Independence
Role Models (I have several): Donald Trump; Dolly Parton; Loretta Swit; Julie Powell
Target: Earn $2,400 – $3,000/mo. (profit)
Target Date: Nov. 1, 2010
Obstacles: Time/Time Management; (lack of) Marketing Skills; next steps after starting?

Can I focus on all of these areas at once?

  • Graphic design for PODs
  • Jewelry
  • Art/Crafts
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Ebay
  • Amazon
  • Planning
  • Writing/Blogging
  • Cooking

Assignment direct from Barbara.

Rough and Ready Six Month Plan.

BarbaraSher @YellowRoseKat Why not create a rough & ready 6-month plan? Total fiction, but it’s a start. Then brainstorm details with us. #ideaparty 5:48 PM Jan 21st from TweetChat in reply to YellowRoseKat

BarbaraSher @YellowRoseKat No, first rough is wish-goals. ’1st month, site is up, blog is hot, I’m tweeting sexy stuff to get readers’ #ideaparty 5:53 PM Jan 21st from TweetChat in reply to YellowRoseKat

So, taking her first month statement and running with it, here’s what I’ve come up with. She asked for “rough”. This is it.

1st month: Site is up, blog is hot, I’m tweeting sexy stuff to get readers

2nd month: I have 100s of designs up on PODs. Followers and readers are growing.

3rd month: I’m a Proseller at Zazzle! I’ve won TBA (their ‘Today’s Best Award’) and am gaining recognition from my peers.

4th month: Writing is going smoothly – I’m blogging every other day and my POD sites are bringing in sales (they call them donots) on a regular basis.

5th month: Time management and energy are no longer a problem. Blogging and adding new designs daily. Able to focus on Affiliate sites and Amazon.

6th month: I’ve been working on crafts and jewelry for Etsy. The house is de-cluttered and I have a “mailing station” for Etsy and Ebay sales. My readers and followers can’t wait to see what new designs I’m going to add next or what I might blog about.

Somehow after those first words from Barbara, I got unstuck from my Ideal Day and back on track for where I need to go next.

My original Ideal Day still stands. A few exceptions of course: I’m not living alone. :-) We have both a cat and a dog. Our house is a small cottage house (not the 2-story one by the beach) in a historical, artistic neighborhood with a full studio in back. Our business is not just a tourist gift shop, but is also the only Rock Shop in the county, with a focus on selling/teaching art/pottery/jewelry and supplying local students.

This is my long-term Dream. Everything in my life that has changed over the last 20 years – since I first dreamed of owning a business… since I first set foot into my first Rock Shop, wide-eyed like a child discovering her first candy store – the one thing that remained constant was my dream: Own a business that supports an artistic community and helps promote learning and growth.

My business must start somewhere. It starts with the next six months. Who knows where it will go from there.

I’m still trying to think through my Ideal Day. It isn’t easy because my Current Day keeps seeping in.

I’ve actually gone back a bit to daydreaming about all the “other” options out there. I find myself in a position not unlike Julia Child (with the exception that I’m not a bored housewife, but someone in need of a viable income). But I still find myself asking the same question: What am *I* going to do-o-oo?

Her husband gave a very simple reply that changed her life forever: What do you enjoy?

My partner (almost unknowingly, really) did something very similar for me. I have an idea I’ve been kicking around in my head as randomly as a person walking kicks a can out in front of them. I finally kicked the thought out of my head and into words: What do you think about . . . ?

And my wonderful, brilliant, thoughtful, supportive partner went and found information about it for me. Regardless of whether this is what I do, or whether it’s the equivalent of Julia making hats, the reply changed my life.

I thought that only dreaming is never enough. I wanted to find something so you could see if it’s possible for you or not.

Can you even imagine someone knowing you so well? (This is the same person who reminded me the other day that I need time for myself too. ♥ ♥ ♥)

I didn’t have to explain myself. I didn’t even have to say why or how or where or when. All I needed to say was, “What do you think about?” and suddenly I had someone handing me a telescope and saying, “Here. Reach for the stars.”

Here’s the explanation about this new can I’ve been kicking around. It’s something we can do together. It could really offer a viable income. We’re already in a booming market for the “high end” market and this would offer a “low to middle end” alternative. The location is ideal. And, yes, I can already think of a way to fit it into my Ideal Life.

What am *I* going to do?

Only Dreaming is Never Enough
Shoot for the Moon and Reach the Stars

Priorities and Perspective from My Original Ideal Day

Starting back at the beginning: What from my original Ideal Day 15 or so years ago worked out? What was most important and what could change?

I don’t live in a 2-story house on the Texas gulf coast (a future goal for a vacation home perhaps?), but I do own my own home in a historic artist community.

My current business is online, though I have co-owned a (successful) gift shop in College Station. I say successful because we were earning a profit when we made the decision to close the shop so myself and my co-owner could both move away from College Station.

Supporting other artists is still an integral part of my goals, and now thanks to affiliate marketing, I’m able to do that.

Living in an artistic community is also still a priority, which is why I chose the house and neighborhood where we live now – walking distance to an arts community, glass-blowing studio, deli, restaurants and bars, and festivals twice a year – not to mention live (usually jazz) music almost every weekend. None of this was expected and now I couldn’t imagine living without it.

What priorities do I still hold dear?

  • Community
  • Artistic Creativity
  • Artist Co-operative
  • Helping Others
  • Learning
  • Business
  • Cooking
  • Animals
  • Math & Programming

In my Ideal Day, these were all key factors and my day incorporated each with a perfect balance. What I find interesting are the things I included without realizing their importance at the time, much less my own abilities. I had only started making jewelry, but had never painted or drawn anything (not counting grade school, up to grade 6) much less thrown a pot or worked on ceramics. That’s right. Never. These were only things I wanted to do. And since I wrote my original Ideal Day, I’ve done all of them and managed to keep them in my life in one form or another. I didn’t own half the cookbooks I have now, had never written one (or considered writing one) and had never written my own recipe for a cooking contest. Yet, somehow, cooking dinner for friends was a priority then, without realizing how much of one it would become now. I included a database of my own making at the time because I thought I would use an existing program I was familiar with, such as FileMaker Pro (an excellent application for both PC and Mac), never dreaming I would one day write my own programs in Visual Basic.

Since my goal now is much the same as it was then, it’s easy to see the importance of Business and Community in my life. I strongly feel you can’t have one without the other. I believe I’m closer than ever before to achieving my dream of financial independence through multiple income streams while maintaining community support and connections. That’s what our sites are all about. :)

I promised "My Ideal Day" as it was "then" (on my first reading of Wishcraft). I don’t have the written version anymore – meaning I don’t know where it is in my multitude of journals. But I envisioned it so clearly in my mind, it’s become more of a fond memory for me … even though the places and events of that day never fully came to be.

My Ideal Day Then (as it was prior to achieving many of the goals I set for myself. Note that this is past tense, although for Your Ideal Day, you should write it out in present tense.)

I woke up just as the sun started peeking into the lace curtains of my bedroom window (No blinds in this house, that’s for sure.) My bedroom and office were both on the 2 nd floor of a two-story house, situated so the sun would wake me in the morning and I could still look out onto the ocean of my Texas gulf coast home.

The first order of business for the day was to check the computer and print out any orders that came in through the web site overnight – because there were always orders – and respond to emails. Next, downstairs for a cup of hot tea, followed by my cat, who went almost everywhere with me (this was written even before I got Sassy, and that’s just what she would always do.) Finally, dressed and ready to go – with printed shipping labels and receipts from the online orders – I would walk to my nearby gift shop, an easy 5 minute walk from my house, and located just off the beach in an artistic community within easy access for tourists as well as locals.

The shop would be already open by a trusted employee (a local art student), and already filling with customers, as it was the start of summer and a beautiful day out. My shop would specialize in offering the work of local artists as well as classes in the studio located in back. Our studio would be equipped for almost anything an aspiring art student might need, from painting and drawing to pottery to jewelry-making and lapidary.

On this day, our studio had a visiting local artist teaching a jewelry metal-smithing class, which I was looking forward to attending. Before the class started, I took a quick inventory of our pottery because I knew we needed to re-stock a few items soon – some of which I would be making myself in the days to come. In addition, I gathered and boxed the orders for shipping, getting them ready for pick-up by the postman. I also helped a few customers in their choices for gifts to take home – and every customer walked out with a purchase and a smile on their face.

After attending the class (most of which was like a refresher class for me as I already knew how to do it), and enjoying a light lunch with my fellow students – all of whom made a purchase of the instructor’s jewelry from our shop – I helped my employees clean and close up and took the day’s receipts with me to enter into my database at home.

Arriving home, I went straight to my over-sized, farmhouse style kitchen to start preparing dinner for a dinner party that night with the jewelry instructor, my employees and other local artists. (And of course, to feed the cat, who greeted me at the door coming home.) After a wonderful dinner with lots of wine, laughter, conversation and compliments on my food, I went with the cat back to my office where I prepared the day’s receipts and inventory (on a program I’d written myself) and checked email and orders one last time, getting everything ready for another great day tomorrow.

From Wishcraft:

With pen in hand and as much paper as you need (or a tape recorder if you prefer to dream out loud), take a leisurely walk through a day that would be perfect if it represented your usual days – not a vacation day, not a compromise day, but the very substance of your life as you’d love it to be. Live through that day in the present tense and in detail, from getting up in the morning to going to sleep at night. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? What do you have for breakfast? Do you make it yourself – or is it brought to you in bed, with a single rose and the morning paper? Do you take a long, hot bath? a bracing cold shower? What kinds of clothes do you put on? How do you spend the morning? the afternoon? At each time of day, are you indoors or outdoors, quiet or active, alone or with people?

As you go through the hours of your fantasy day, there are three helpful categories to keep in mind: what, where, and who.

We’re still on chapter 3, Stylesearch http://www.wishcraft.com/wishcraft_ch3.pdf

Exercises 8 and 9, to me, are two of the most important in the book. How do you know where you’re going if you don’t know where it is you want to go? If you can’t SEE yourself already there? That’s what these exercises are all about.

From Wishcraft:

There’s only one rule for the kind of imaging you’ll be doing in these next two exercise, and that is no reality considerations! In the world of play, like the world of dreams, there is no law of gravity, no death or taxes—and no irreconcilable conflicts. … In these fantasies you don’t have to do what you were told to do at age 5: “Make up your mind.” You get everything.

My Ideal Environment

Then: When I first read Wishcraft, the where of my ideal environment was more important than the who. At the time, I had neither, so the who was just too difficult to imagine, much less consider.

I love the beach. I always have. My where was “an artistic community on the Texas Gulf Coast.” The “who” were the other artists of the community and employees – for in my ideal world, I owned my own business – who shared in my vision and dreams.

Now: My Ideal Environment now is not entirely different than it was then, although living in my own house on the beach isn’t on the priority list (will explain this in the Ideal Day exercise). Another difference – who is there matters more now.

In my Ideal Environment, I am surrounded by people who want to support me. They give me time I need to do my work and yet when I need some help or an opinion or someone to talk things out with, they’re right there. And, of course, my partner is right there working beside me and I’m doing the same in return – giving support and help when it’s needed.

Because everything would be as we need it (no restraints of the laws of physics here, remember?) in my ideal environment there’s time to get all the work done that I need/want to do for the day, still have time to come home and cook a full meal (without needing to worry about washing dishes) and still have lots of energy for other activities – whenever I want.

Part 2: What positive qualities in me would emerge?

  • Creative
  • Supportive
  • Helping Others
  • Productive
  • Playful
  • Loving
  • Energetic

Yes, I pretty much took the list from the book – in a different order and with a couple of additions – but she nailed it with this one.

Next: My Ideal Day – Then & Now


How does our style define us? How does it determine who we are or even what we do? The answers to some of these questions may be surprising.

This is actually my favorite chapter in the entire book. It starts helping to create that ideal environment that I so clearly lacked growing up, and it helps me to focus on not allowing myself to duplicate that situation in my own life. My favorite part is the last exercise in the chapter, Your Ideal Day. When I first read Wishcraft *gets a coughing fit* (oops, sorry, hairball) years ago, I was still a secretary, hadn’t been to college yet and probably would have laughed at the idea if someone had told me I would now have an art studio and be doing graphic design. (I don’t think I ever even attempted to draw the turtle or the pirate.  http://www.creativepro.com/article/creativeprose-tippy-the-turtle-and-pirates-too-) I wrote out my ideal day, IN FULL DETAIL, from the moment I woke up – with my window facing east – to what I had for dinner and I can still see it so clearly it’s less like a daydream (I would love to…) and more like something that actually happened (This is what happened TODAY…). That’s how well her technique works, so read that part carefully.

Exercises in this chapter (these are FUN!):
EXERCISE 4: Pick a Color
EXERCISE 5: The Private-Eye Game
EXERCISE 6: Seeing Yourself as Others See You
EXERCISE 7: Twenty Things You Like to Do
EXERCISE 8: Your Ideal Environment
EXERCISE 9: Your Ideal Day

Here’s my answers to 4, 5 and 7. I’m saving 8 and 9 for another post since those will be longer.

EXERCISE 4: Pick a Color
I am Brown
I am the earth. I provide all the life on the planet with the nutrients it needs to grow. I hold all of history in my arms and I hide deep secrets. Because others look all around me for the bright colors of the flowers and the deep richness of the grass, I am able to observe without being seen, and provide enrichment to the flowers and the grass. Without my fertile brown soil, they would wither and die. They give back oxygen and keep me from becoming barren wasteland. I work quietly in the background, and am free to be myself. I am, perhaps, the most contented color of all.

I. CHOICE AND IDENTITY – She couldn’t have been more wrong here. Even the first time I did the exercise, I remember picking a color quickly (actually, I think I had so much fun with it then, I picked several colors just because I enjoyed it). But I can very definitely state that “there is no such thing as the wrong color.”

EXERCISE 5: The Private-Eye Game
House is definitely unorganized with the exception of the office and the kitchen. The least clutter of the entire house (and most tranquil) is the bedroom. It also has the most mild colors. (greens, browns, blues, earth tones) The most striking thing throughout the entire house is the use of color everywhere. The same is true for the clothes. Bright yellows; deep, rich reds; royal purples. Wardrobe is full of long, flowing sleeves; more dress slacks than jeans; soft, flowing fabrics. Shoes range from earthy sandals to spiked heels to moccasin-boots. Comfort appears more of a concern than fashion, but the clothes are more fashionable than most “trendy” items. The majority of the books are technical manuals, but there are a lot of books, including fantasy, history and a nice selection of auto-biographies, many of which appear to be signed. The fridge is well-stocked with fresh foods, and no frozen dinners at all. There’s vegetables, seafood, a variety of cuts of beef and chicken, and tons of spices and sauces. There are at least 5 or 6 different hot sauces in the fridge, most almost empty. The food processor, knives, cutting boards, as well as grill pan and other pans are out and ready for use. The office looks like a tech geek lives there with more than one computer (turned on and ready), monitors, printers. Notebooks, pens, and calendar pages are organized together on the desk. Behind the comfy looking office chair is a well-used large white board taking up one entire wall. Notes on the wall are organized into sections (To do today/this week; contracts; long-term projects).

I would have to say the person who lives here is scatterbrained except when it comes to office work. Current trends are not important to her, but looking fashionable is. She might be an interior designer or a professional chef. She seems to actually enjoy reading technical manuals as there are so many, and most appear well-used. She spends more time in the office than in the living/dining room, but that room is the most decorated with colors, fabrics, knick-knacks and abstract paintings. Organization just may be the last thing on her mind, however.

EXERCISE 7: 20 things I like to do
1 – work on jewelry
2 – code/program
3 – write
4 – work with my hands
5 – cook
6 – help others
7 – swim
8 – attend festivals
9 – photography
10 – graphic design (include web sites here)
11 – web programming (different from coding or graphics)
12 – organize/plan
13 – paint
14 – crafts (all kinds except sewing. category is a bit large, I know)
15 – travel
16 – go to gem shows (local ones and Tucson)
17 – eat out
18 – read Internet articles
19 – create
20 – (should be #1) spend time with my SO

Answered Yes only to question 6a.Were you bailed out? (not 6b either)

What would I be if I hadn’t had the obstacles I did growing up? If I’d been encouraged and allowed to go to school and pursue MY dreams? I would be a female Indiana Jones, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

Actually, I would probably be right where I am now, with a few exceptions. I would HAVE that frellin’ college degree; I would have joined MENSA; I would have gone to Gemological Institute of America in California; and the biggest difference is I would have been doing what I’m doing now (or at least on the path to it) 20 years ago. I don’t mind at all the little deviations in my path that *I* chose. The ones chosen for me that got me off course are my biggest regret.

And of course, I wouldn’t have financial problems because with an actual degree plus one from GIA and 20 years experience, I would own that little million dollar rock house nearby and be happily running my business from there.

I heard the most interesting quote the other night on Food Network.

“What would you do if you knew you COULD NOT FAIL?”

So the goal was to read through Wishcraft to help me get my ass in gear and get some things done. But I stopped reading at chapter 2. I have almost as many valid reasons as I do excuses. I did have that one catering gig that took up quite a bit of time. There’s a good reason. Taking care of everyone else first, another one. Always have, always will. I have no intention of changing that. Some things just have priority over everything else. And sometimes, even the top priorities seem to get “pushed aside.” I don’t like it, but it happens.

But I don’t know if the following are reasons, excuses or just plain cop-outs. I’d like to see them as the first option. They feel like the last option. The truth lies somewhere in between.

  •  I’m tired.
  •  I freeze and stop.

No, I don’t have as many responsibilities as some people. No, I definitely don’t have as much help as most people. Wishcraft clearly states “you can’t do it alone.” (I forget what chapter now, but it’s in there.) I think there’s the real problem. I can’t do it alone, so very little gets done. That old saying “if I don’t do it, no one else will” is one of the biggest cop-outs from so many people. My mom used to live by it – she still tries to… in spite of actually having all the help she could ever want.  But what if there’s no one else TO do it? What if there’s no help? What then? Priorities get skewed; work gets pushed aside; bills don’t get paid… and I freeze.

Excuse #1
I’m tired. Plain and simple. Yes, part of that IS indeed my depression. Yes, sometimes I succumb to it, sometimes I overcome it. Yes, I can tell and feel the difference when the tiredness is from depression or from something else. What to do when it’s something else? My only real option now is to Sleep. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to swim or exercise to help get my energy up. Hopefully soon, the condition of the house will stop contributing to it. Hopefully soon…

Excuse #1a
The condition of the house could be seen that I’m a slob. I’ll get into that more later, but I wanted to address the basic accusation here. I am not. The biggest problem isn’t my own cleanliness – some things JUST DON’T HAVE A PLACE TO GO. In order for them to have a place, that means buying more things, which in turn means finding a place for the new things… it’s a vicious cycle. One I plan to and am in the process of overcoming. More to come…

Excuse #2
I freeze. I panic. When I start feeling overwhelmed, I just… stop. (delete, delete, delete, delete, delete) There is no explaining it. Unless you’ve been there, there is no understanding it. I’ve witnessed people in hospital emergency rooms having panic attacks. I’ve seen (friends and) family members GO to the hospital because of panic attacks. Frankly I want to throw those people off a building. Maybe they understand how it feels, but GOOD LORD they need to get a friggin’ grip! Somehow I think it’s the difference in having an ingrown toenail and having a tube shoved into your side with no anesthesia. (Yeah, try that just once. You’ll get what I mean.) Which is basically me saying “no one really understands – WAH!” *rolls eyes at the thought*

On the other hand…

The catering job went GREAT! I’m still getting orders from people who were there. I didn’t get to make everything I had planned (I had a pretty ambitious menu to begin with), but there was enough of every dish for anyone who wanted it to have more and some food left over but not too much. It means I do know how to plan for ‘x’ amount of people. They expected around 20 – 26 people and 30 people showed up. There were lots of questions about the food, how to order, how to fix it, which was the goal. I was answering questions AND SELLING the entire rest of the evening.

I have just under one week to get my entry in for the food contest I’m entering. I still believe I have a very good shot at it, even if I only get my one entry in. I have 2 planned, so at least one of them can be ready by next week.

The cleaning plan is in place and is, so far, working. While things are still a mess, I’m able to find most things I’m looking for, and things that were lost have been found. Score!

The shop and affiliates are up and running. Four sales without any marketing (one within 24 hours). Which has inspired me to get my sites updated. Lots of information out there on how to make both programs successful.  I am officially excited about it.

I did the unthinkable and allowed myself to not only buy something NEW just for me, but a more expensive one at that. The last time I did was sometime last year when I allowed myself to buy a new food processor/blender and a new chef’s knife. I don’t regret getting those for myself – especially since I’m cooking more – and since I’m having to cook more for financial reasons. I don’t regret the new purchase either. I’ve already justified it to myself, that it will help me more effectively and efficiently run my business. (Though I do wonder how many people feel the need to justify a new purchase? I don’t count clothes into that equation as I literally ONLY buy clothes when everything else I have has worn through or no longer fits. I honestly don’t have 5 outfits to get me through the work week.)

Shopping priorities of other people continue to amaze, astound and completely confuse me. One article described a shop-aholic’s goal not to buy anything for one month. She ended up lowering that to 2 weeks because she simply wasn’t able to do it. And on the recent credit counseling I went through online, there was a question of “what do you buy every day?” without an option of “Nothing”. Every DAY? Are they kidding? Why buys something every single day??? (With the answer, it guessed that most people would say things like: sodas, snacks, lottery tickets. Even the counseling web site didn’t take into account some people DON’T BUY THINGS.)  And the shop-aholic’s article listed the most unusual “priority” items I’ve ever seen. The goal was not to shop for things that didn’t fall onto a “priority list.” Her list included wine; but excluded paper towels. So if she ran out of paper towels and spilled her wine, I guess that means she was SOL.

Another priority I witnessed on a recent documentary had me shaking my head in complete disbelief. One woman in Alaska has decided that the only (food) she and her son need is salmon. And the only way she’s going to get it is to go and catch it herself. (First, she clearly prepares the salmon with other food – white bread, heavy mayonnaise, etc, so it isn’t the ONLY food they eat. It’s the only MEAT they eat. Just to clarify what she didn’t.) And her “reason” (ie: excuse) for catching it herself is how expensive meat – salmon, in particular – is. The documentary showed her going past the meat counter with an air of disgust at the prices (with her shopping cart filled with junk food). They then showed her buying all NEW gear (She said she does this every year, several times a year. Why did she need new gear?), loading up her (non-hybrid) car and driving for miles to get to just the right fishing spot. Unsuccessful at catching anything for several days in freezing rain and what looked like the worst possible conditions, with her toddler in tow, no less, she gave in and paid a boat $100 to get to a better fishing spot. She spent most of this time complaining and making sure the viewer (and also her son) was well aware of the potential danger of bears, which she seemed to hear at every turn. What did she get in the end? What looked to be around $60 worth of salmon.

So are my priorities skewed? Maybe so, but I think I’ve got a better handle on it than these poor souls. Maybe someday I’ll be able to buy something for myself without guilt or justification. And hopefully soon… I won’t freeze.

I first read Wishcraft *startscoughing* … years ago, when I was still a secretary making minimum wage. I say secretary. I was actually a glorified office assistant working in a mold-covered basement (yes, there was mold growing on the wall behind my desk. we handled that a bit differently than they do now. by covering the black stuff with giant Van Gogh and Monet posters) With the help of this book, I was able to quit that job, move 200 miles away to a town where I didn’t know anyone and go back to college as an English Creative Writing major. I even opened and ran a small gift shop across the street from the college. I doubt I would have ever had the courage to do either without having read Wishcraft.

Everyone has a wish. A dream. Something they love. Nearly every wish has an Obstacle. Something that keeps them from pursuing their dreams. Wishcraft won’t promise you a million dollars, but what it will do is help you figure out what your Dream is and help you to bring it into your life, if even only a small part of it. There’s something to be said about making your Dream part of your everyday life. It makes all those other responsibilities of living so much easier. The best part of this book is the idea that you can not only dream, Dream BIG.

The Introduction
I love how she states right from the start she isn’t out to make people “get-out-there-and-stomp-’em” kind of winners. That’s not me. I’m possibly the least competitive person around. I AM, however, a Dreamer and Wishcraft is nothing if not made for Dreamers – whether we actually ACT on the goals from it (coming up in section 3 of the book) or not.

I have a friend, Mary, whose mantra is “I can, I will, I want to.” I think she says it almost every day. And she’s notorious for making others – that would be ME – say it too. Her enthusiasm and “get out there and go get ‘em” attitude is….. well, ok, it’s sickening. It’s also contagious. If she hears anyone at all complaining about something, her first reaction is, “Yes, AND?” If they don’t know Mary, they keep complaining. If they do, they’ll concede and say “You’re right. I should do something about that.” It’s very hard to keep complaining about your own life and woes around someone as positive as Mary, who, by the way, happens to be in a wheelchair.

What you want is what you need. Your dearest wish comes straight from your core, loaded with vital information about who you are and who you can become. You’ve got to cherish it. You’ve got to respect it. Above all, you’ve got to have it.

Chapter One
I like the name of the first section – The Care and Feeding of Human Genius. It’s fitting, especially for Chapter One. Me? Like Einstein? Who’s she kidding, right? Hmmmm, but that Cookie example… cookie… cookie…. COOKIE! I AM like Einstein! EXACTLY like Einstein! I love looking at the world in different ways, seeing things no one else has seen. That’s what Einstein did, after all. Physics, relativity, quantum mechanics all existed before. It just took people like Einstein to find them and point them out to us. I am like Van Gogh and Monet. What they dreamed DIDN’T exist before and yet they brought them to life for us with their art.

I had a person (several people) in my life that did exactly what Barbara says in chapter one. Asked me in that belittling tone of voice, and if I remember correctly, used those exact words: Just who do you think you are?
Nothing kills a dream faster.

Exercise 1: Who do you think you are?
Why Wishcraft? Why now? Here’s who I am and where I am now. I am about to be out of work… again. It will be for the 4th time in the last year. While I realize I have wonderful people around me to support me and keep me from becoming homeless, it’s one of those things in life that leaves a person feeling useless and worthless. Well, people like me anyway. I do know people who would love to be in my situation and others who wouldn’t mind it. But for me, what I DO has always defined WHO I am.

Some people may define themselves in this exercise by who their family members are, or as the book examples show, a physical description, political affiliation, etc. Or the woman who answered the question by stating what her husband did for a living and all the details about her children but said nothing about herself. My answer is this:

  • I’m a web developer/graphic artist/programmer
  • I’m a very good cook
  • I’m a writer
  • I’m a 6th generation Texan living in a historic neighborhood founded by my ancestors
  • I’m a Scorpio

Okay, as I said, I cheated a little because I knew where the exercise was going already. But I have one advantage in that I’ve already started toward my wish and my dreams with what I do for a living, where I live and who I’m with. I’m in love with my partner, I’ve had a great support (surprisingly in some cases) from my family, I love what I do (when I’m able to find work) for a living. But as Barbara said in the second half of the chapter, that isn’t the goal here.

Exercise #2: My Original Self
What did I love as a child? I loved reading and I loved writing. I loved acting out the books that I read. I loved drawing at a very young age. I loved reading about plants, birds, biographies, history. I loved collecting rocks and fossils. I loved learning new things, exploring and researching.

If you saw a cookie on the table, you didn’t think “Can I get it? Do I deserve it? Will I make a fool of myself? Am I procrastinating again?” You thought, Cookie.

Here’s what I plan to do while reading this book. I’m going after that cookie. I’m not going to worry about whether I deserve it or not or if I’m procrastinating because the answer will most likely be, I don’t and I am. In fact, I’m going for the whole jar of cookies. And the beauty is, it doesn’t matter if I get them all or if I come crashing down with the jar around me because even then, I’ll still have at least one cookie in my hand. :D