Planning for Flexible Planning - Year-end Message
With this being our last blog post of 2022, it is time for pause and reflection. It has been an interesting year, to say the least.
The start of 2022 saw Majopage move into its new location in Burlington. We were so excited about the opportunities, and space to grow, expand & make big plans. Patrick's company ARC Building was sharing the space so we divided up the 2,000 square feet to be a workable space for both companies. It was going to be great. The newlywed phase of this move quickly changed as most of the family was hit with COVID in early January, causing most of the month to be a right-off. That's okay - there were still another 11 months to build the dream and roll out the plan. Right?
Moving a business is equally as time-consuming as it is to move a house. We were creatures of habit in our old spot. Everything is in its place and a place for everything. In the new place, things felt disoriented. Boxes stacked on boxes, always looking for something, then taking the time to find its new home with the hope of remembering where that was next time. With losing a month, the pressure was on to get set up and also get work going to pay the bills. Slowly, machinery was hooked up, electricity upgraded and exhaust fans installed. We were in business. New ideas were flowing. We diversified by introducing our petplanters.square.site which became an amazing hit in early Spring.
The upheaval of the move seemed to be leveling off. I was busy with the Trail, writing for Signs of the Times magazine, and looking to take on more signage consulting work, along with the business management of Majopage. Patrick was dealing with renovations, and Chelsea kept Majopage work on track, producing amazing creations like she always does. We had a plan to hire, adding to the team to grow the businesses in the direction we had forecasted. But there is that saying: God laughs as us Human make plans. With working construction, Patrick had the typical aches & pains of such work but by mid-Spring, it was clear something was wrong with his back. By May, he could no longer work and became bedridden. In an instant, life changed. All construction projects were canceled & with it, much-needed cash flow. This was never a part of the plan.
In early spring, we started to see increased costs, with some supplies doubling in price. This wasn't in the cash flow forecast plan either. We were left to raise prices to cover costs, but also keep them at a level to attract clients. There was rent for the shop to pay, hydro, internet, and all the extra costs we had untaken with the move. Did I regret it? Oh yeah, more than a couple of times. However, during these times, there is resilience that emerges. We weren't going to fail unless we decided to. We may not be able to pull a paycheque, but I was determined to give it my all. All my teachings from attending personal development with Tony Robbins helped me through this struggle. I made up my mind to succeed no matter what. If I was led here, by faith, I was going to be brought through this and come out a much better, stronger version of myself. Head down, hair back - I was determined more than ever.
In between Doctor visits with Patrick, I planned to pivot and reintroduce our DIY workshops a bit earlier than we had scheduled. Chelsea and I decided on "Christmas in July" and on July 25, we had our first workshop with over 25 people. I was thrilled. We were going to be ok. We just had to do this a couple of times a week & poof, the expenses were covered. Patrick could take the time he needed to deal with his medical issues, have his surgery, and to recover. Well, that was the revised plan. Thou what we deemed a success in July, wasn't the same in August. Well SHIT! Out of the 8 workshops planned, we canceled 7 due to a lack of interest. Looking back it was a blessing in disguise as Patrick's surgery moved from its Winter 2022 date to August. The slightly reduced Majopage workload, and by taking time off from TCT, I was able to focus on Patrick's surgery, and inevitably speedy recovery. He was back on his feet & able to work just a few weeks after having his spinal operation. However, this life-changing event had us reflect on the construction business & it was decided he would no longer take on such work. Funny how life can make you assess and reevaluate, changing those plans one more time.
By fall, Patrick had settled into his new role as a project manager at a local restoration company, loving his new work, colleagues and being pain-free for the first time in a while. Majopage kept to the plan of offering workshops, at different price points and levels of difficulty. One by one, these workshops were being booked. Little to none were being canceled. We started to attract private bookings. The rush of wedding season had calmed and we switched focus to the holiday season as we always do just after Thanksgiving. And ever since, it has been 12-14 hour days, 6-7 days a week. Rent money showed up, we kept the lights on, and we did it!
As I sit here and plan our last newsletter, and get January workshops added, which will now include Kid & Teen classes, I am truly grateful. I am grateful for every hardship, every pivot, and every long day. I am so very proud of Patrick, his resiliency & his ability to will himself better so quickly, to reinvent himself as well. I am so very proud of Chelsea, who stepped up, and did what had to be done to meet some unrealistic deadlines. I am also very proud of JJ, Nicole, James, Ethan, and Darrien who all helped out when needed. Then there is my staff at TCT - they are amazing souls I am so grateful to lead in my new position of Director of Infrastructure and Trail. Most important, I am proud of myself. I am a stronger, smarter, more ambitious, and a more loving person than the version that started out in 2022.
I look forward to next year, full of more workshops, new designs, the hiring of new staff, and the development of new retail locations offering workshops. My vision board includes attending the International Sign Association conference in Vegas in April, speaking at various engagements, and expanding my Sign Professional Coaching courses & consulting business. As I am now a permanent columnist for Signs of the Times Magazine - there will be more writing as well. I look forward to traveling for trail business and connecting with fellow Canadians across our beautiful country. I see my role in Majopage change as Chelsea steps into the lead, as I plan to phase myself out and pass the business to Chelsea, letting her take it further over the next year or so. I am truly blessed. I am blessed to have been given all of these opportunities and I plan not to ever take them for granted or dismiss them because they don't fit the 'plan'.
To all our clients, our friends, and our supporters - thank you. Thank you to those who were asked for patience on days when schedules had to change. Thank you for every purchase, kind word, and referral. Thank you to those who have been with us from the beginning, and all of the new fantastic people we have been so blessed to have been privileged to meet. It was truly an honour to serve you and we look forward to being of service to you in the years to come. We love what we do but we love who we do it for even more.
For us, we will wrap up this week, completing local pick-up orders and one final private workshop, before closing the doors on Friday at 5. The studio will be closed from December 24 until January 3 so we can take a much-needed rest and celebrate another wonderful, successful year with family & friends. However, you choose to spend the last week of 2022, I wish you much happiness and hope you reflect on the story of your past year with a smile, a giggle, and even a tear or two. May you greet 2023 with excitement, welcoming all the good, the bad, and the amazing a new year will bring to you.
Til then - may you and yours be blessed and be a blessing in 2023. Cheers!