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  • 04 November 2020
  • Public Relations

4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Challenge Themselves

Some small businesses challenge themselves with revenue goals, others with online KPIs, but for Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly Ceramics, she challenged herself to create a unique mug every day for 100 days. It was called The 100 Day Project, and it wasn’t always easy. Lalese says she often struggled with inspiration and the daily deadline, but she also found a renewed sense of passion and drive—and a stronger brand identity.

Still not convinced? As part of our small business advice series, here are four reasons small business should challenge themselves:

Hand holding a unique ceramic mug

1. Push yourself outside your comfort zone.

“I was doing the same things over and over,” Lalese says when sharing what prompted the project. “I still felt new to the ceramics world, so I created what was comfortable to me.” However, by challenging herself to create a unique mug every day, Lalese said she was pushed to try new methods and ideas. When you push yourself outside your comfort zone, you open yourself up to experience failures and successes, but each step could be an opportunity for learning and growth.

2. Reinvigorate your inspiration.

A perspective change and determination to create something different opened Lalese’s eyes to the unexpected. “I had to separate myself from things that I had already seen before,” she explains. “This project pushed me to see what’s around me. For one of the mugs, I was inspired by a fence I saw.” Everyday objects became muses. Lalese was constantly thinking and rethinking her craft, pushing her skills and searching for inspiration everywhere. By doing the same, you can spark creativity that has dwindled or even find new ways of looking at your business.

3. Renew your drive and passion.

To meet her daily deadline, Lalese had to constantly be ideating or working in the studio. “I really had to push myself to stay focused,” she explains. Although it was stressful, it also helped get her to the clay wheel, try new approaches and make something. That encouraged her to keep going. “The biggest thing is knowing that I could do something like that,” Lalese says of making a mug daily. The knowledge that she had accomplished such a feat kept her creative and interested.

Setting deadlines to create something new or rethink a piece of your business can drive you to focus and accomplish incredible things; it can also show you just how much you are capable of doing.

3 Lolly Lolly ceramic mugs

4. Help set yourself apart. 

By making 100 unique mugs, Lalese was able to discern her brand identity and make space for the pieces she felt most excited about. She says the project helped her branch off and do something completely different from what other small business owners and makers were doing in her industry. It also brought attention to Lalese’s social media and launched her into notoriety as a maker and artist.

“Sometimes you have to do things multiple times to yield an outcome you were looking for—or didn’t know you were looking for,” Lalese said.

Breaking from the norm and stepping outside your comfort zone with a challenge can help renew your drive, passion and inspiration. Whether it’s rethinking old processes, creating new products, pivoting skills or making something unique for 100 days, consider how you can refocus your skills and ideas.

Keep checking back and follow us on social media for more small business advice! Our series features insights from small business owners across the country.

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