How To Grow A Goal: A Primer for the Creative (and Impatient!)

There’s something really satisfying about planting a seed.

Maybe you see the packet near the check-out while you’re getting groceries and buy it on impulse. Maybe you make a special trip to your favorite garden store and thoughtfully select the flowers, veggies, and herbs you dream of seeing in your garden. You might choose based on a favorite recipe—optimistic dill, small cucumbers, hot chilies for a batch of killer pickles—or a favorite color of flowers that evokes a scent, a feeling of summer bounty and beauty. Then you get home, and you plant them.

And then you wait.

Growing any kind of goal doesn’t happen overnight. You have to make space, plant the seeds, tend to it and nurture it. And most of all, you have to give it time. Profitable business aren’t built overnight. When you want to grow your business, when you want to achieve your goals, you have to keep going, and keep growing. It’s a constant process of taking action, reflecting on what worked, what didn’t and how to do better next time.

Sometimes, it tests your patience. It tests your resolve, your will to see it through to the end goal you envisioned when those seeds went into the ground. But you can’t make those pickles without letting the plants grow. You can’t harvest that bouquet without watering, and giving light to what you’ve planted.

I’m living this reality in the Pattern Observer Studio. In 2018 we switched our focus from a freelance-custom based design team to operating a design studio and representing the work of other designers at print shows. As always, I thought this journey would be much easier than it has turned out to be. (What can I say, I’m an optimist!)

Since this change, we’ve been in a constant state of learning, growing, and discovering what works—and what doesn’t. We’ve had some successes, and discovered some learning opportunities. We change things up when we need to. We focus on expanding upon our strengths and improving our weaknesses, and try to improve a little bit each month, quarter, year.

But most importantly, when things get tough, and when they don’t seem to be growing the way we expected, we reach out and get the help we need to get back on track.

The waiting doesn’t get any easier. Especially if you’ve got a creative mind that’d bursting with fresh ideas and big goals. In some ways, it gets more challenging, because you see that you’re capable of so much more. You begin to strain towards the sunlight, bursting out of who you thought you could be, growing into something that’s so much more.

Some times, we’re the impatient gardener. But we’re also the seeds, too.

Like we shared a few weeks ago, the heart of finding your authentic style is in allowing yourself to listen to that inner voice, to hear the call of the art that’s inside of us, asking to be brought out. Let that grow. Own it.

You aren’t alone in this journey. One of the ways to cultivate that patience, that authenticity, is to engage with a community of peers. Our community can help you get there. Get started with a free tour of the Textile Design Lab today. It includes free tutorials and amazing information you can’t find anywhere else. TDL members can access amazing opportunities, such as the Summer of Creativity and Print Studio Workgroup that we’re leading into right now. So come over and check it out.

  1. Such a great reminder, Michelle. This community has been a true blessing to have a sense of camaraderie while working solo in a studio. The tutorials, critiques and encouragement is priceless!

    1. Tracey, this is wonderful to hear. I have really enjoyed working with you in the weekly art critiques! Thanks for your involvement and participation.

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At Pattern Observer we strive to help you grow your textile design business through our informative articles, interviews, tutorials, workshops and our private design community, The Textile Design Lab.

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