There I was, the end of February, a little behind with my plan for the new fiscal year starting in April, but I had a month to get on with it and so that’s what I did. I scribbled a lot of notes and ideas onto pages of paper, read through previous plans and decided that this year I would simplify and also admitted that I really did need to work to financial targets or I’d remain a poor, starved artist forever. Not quite the case but my little ‘treats’ don’t buy themselves. Then things got a bit twitchy mid March and I found myself in a ‘should I/shouldn’t I’ place. Not overly concerned about my own health but being someone who followed rules, I needed to be told if I could attend my ‘Mint’ business sessions, or meet with my ex Navy pals. I did both thankfully as days later the choice was taken away from us and my shiny new business plan was like us all, hanging in a void. Waiting to see what happened next.
Initially there was a state of panic and confusion, especially amongst fellow single and small business friends in the Mint Business Club I am a member of. Many of whom suddenly, practically overnight, had to close their businesses and therefore lost income. Fortunately I was not one of them as I work from home and have no overheads, yet I felt their despair and lost my mojo for a couple of weeks, plodding from one task to another, distracted and unable to achieve a great deal despite being stuck indoors with little else to do.
Until I had a bit of an idea. It was Nicola's birthday, founder of Mint, and the planned networking party had been cancelled like everything else. So we were asked to send her little ‘surprises’ by post or email and I knew she liked my doodles so drew her a special ‘minty’ one that she could use on Social Media. It was something I’d considered a few times, but never in a significant way. So, picking up on how upset and worried other members were, I posted a special offer just for them - a mini me to cheer them up at a very very low price. I felt I wanted to help and this was the only way I could.
I expected half a dozen maybe ten at most, certainly not over fifty! To say my notifications lit up was an understatement when Lorraine from Flutterby, posted her Mini Me all over the place. Within a couple of days I had way surpassed the ’maybe ten’ mark and was having to apologise to new clients that I had quite a list to get through and did they mind waiting... they didn’t and the list got longer. Not only with Mini Me’s but also bigger jobs from those who saw the potential for making their websites, social media and blogs a little quirkier. Money rolled into my account and instead of expecting a massive drop in income as Frameworks who sell my artwork also had to close, I actually achieved my monthly income target and a bit more!
Mini Me’s were everywhere! Start With a Doodle was getting mentions on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I was trying to help them by posting their Mini Me’s on my page and telling followers about their business so hopefully sending new customers their way. Obviously Facebook saw how sucessful my Mini Me’s were and hurriedly set up a new avatar thing themselves, although in my opinion mine are better - and unique!
What did I learn during Covid-19 Lockdown?
That sometimes a small idea dropped into the right pond can create a tsunami of opportunities.
That you need to be flexible and go off plan if circumstances dictate.
That people will buy your things If you show them. Keeping them to yourself is a really rubbish business strategy.
That sometimes you need to give to receive. I gained more clients and reputation by offering it at a low price than had I asked for the normal fee that many couldn’t afford. And they promoted my work everywhere for me!
Here are just a few of the many mini me’s that have kept me busy during the corona virus pandemic.
Stay safe and please be kind to others.