This post was meant to be written in February, but things got really busy and I did not have the time to write it. I promise, I promise, I will be talking about Super Calming and Holistic very soon but before I do; I think it is very important to for me to write about what I learned from Massages For Pirates as it did serve some very important purposes:
Creative Problem Solving:
When I created the brand Massages For Pirates, it took several months to get the branding just right. The turning point of breaking down that barrier of thinking laterally broke down when my business card presented you with the option of cutting it out and wearing it as an eyepatch. The original idea was to actually have them as eyepatch business cards but for the die (specially shaped cutter) for this would have cost £150 alone. It was turning this threat of lack of finances to cover the cost of this turned into an opportunity. It was disappointing though that only about 2 people turned my business card into an eyepatch. From that point onwards, designing everything else became so much easier. Due to the fact that I am never really a person who is stuck for ideas, I find that it is much better to throw all your creative energy into a project and see what comes back and then tailor it than having to scrape the barrel for ideas, drag it through the mud and then be creatively exhausted; by this point you end up being resentful and the next thing you do you will have less energy for. When it came to the re-branding, because I had done all the grunt work from Massages For Pirates, I completed the task of this within two months. I literally took most of the elements from the last lot of branding and applied it to this branding. Job done.
Social and Work-life Navigation:
A big part of Massages For Pirates business involved creating a different atmospheric and customer service experience. I needed to see how I could play and experiment with this because this was very different to the massage places I had worked in before. In a way, it had never been done before. It taught me that I really could have a business where I could still be myself without having to match how holistic therapists are usually pigeon holed into being a certain way. I discovered a lot about being really organised in terms of how the treatment session flows and that makes me very happy that I am so on top of things. One of my most important lessons both in business and in life generally is to scrap that word procrastination as quickly as possible. It is the art of putting things off and that is not a good habit to develop. What you are really training your brain to do is think “I am really bad at time management, but I have decided to do nothing about it.” This is a form of stress management; but it will put you in a place of delaying your progress and increase your anxiety levels because you are making your to-do list even bigger. Once I understood this, my stress levels went down dramatically because I dealt with whatever task I needed to do straight away.
To not take myself too seriously:
There was a part of me that thought that perhaps if I had kept the name that I would have continued with this company name that people would eventually lighten up and see the funny side of it. Sadly, every social or business event I ever attended to where I had the chance to discuss my business, it went down like a lead balloon. I find it exhausting to be around people who need to understand absolutely everything (if I could attach a GIF, it would be Woody from Toy Story turning his head around in full circle in Sid’s garden) and that if they cannot make the connection instantly with my business, then I am not to be trusted.
Rising above the Naysayers:
This is a issue that you can never win at. There will always be people that will find a reason to find fault with you even if you are proving to be a success. Even with the Super Calming & Holistic brand name, for the majority of people, I get the undecided compliment: “Oh, that’s quite good.” Don’t you speak to with italics in your voice; no one else in the entire world made this connection! Are you kidding me?! You jumped at the chance to pick at my business name when it was Massages for Pirates but now that I have come up with something brilliant, you can barely commit to enthusiasm in your tone. Eh, I don’t think so! As you can see, I am still having a hard time dealing with the way people speak to me and perceive me. When it came to changing the name of my business, I felt that it had to be something where the name was clever enough to keep my interest but stupid enough to appeal to the intellectually dense. If you can do this with your business, it sounds like when you strike that glockenspiel just right with the beater. Believe it or not, there was a rather unexpected opportunity that came from Massages For Pirates and if you stay tuned, you will find out fairly soon as to why. After all the judgement I got from people about this, the fact that it is still serving its purpose even now is actually rather amazing.
There is a vital lesson to be learned from this though; after all the guff that people have given me about my business, I realised that really, it is me who has to change my reactions and responses. Now, you would think this realisation would hurt like hell as this goes right for the jugular in your soul. However, what happened was that there was this deep sense of peace that I cannot really explain. The exact same realisation happened when I have had rubbish boyfriends in my life that were very hurtful towards me, deep down I realised that I was more mad at myself for allowing unacceptable behaviour. The replaying of everything that happened to me in those relationships, social and business events came to a sudden halt; there was no anger towards them or myself. It was as quiet as if you were looking at untouched snow. Well, pictures were not required this weekend, did you see what the Beast from the East did to Cardiff!?