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Taking Risks and Making Changes

Heidi Shenk "business" "cards" "design" Valentine's Day

A couple of years ago, I wrote about learning to take risks. While it is true that I've pushed myself over the years in new ways, there has been one thing that has felt too scary to take on. In the past three years, I feel as though I've found my place and voice in what I do. A lot has changed in the five years that I've owned my business, and I feel as though I didn't get to focus as much on the design aspects of my cards until I got to spend a lot more time with them.

While teaching, I was constantly a ball of stress. I worked long days and the time I had after school to work on my business was extremely limited. Once I began spending my full work week on my business, I feel as though my business was able to grow in new ways that were a better reflection of myself as well as the art that I've been creating my entire life. In the process, old cards from my first years in business, no longer fit the aesthetic of my work-- something that has bothered me for quite some time.

For the past two years, I struggled with feeling happy with the old designs. In fact, I truly hated some of them. Some of these cards just happened to also be some of my most popular. For me, it was scary thinking about changing something so popular because of an undying fear that it would make my business collapse or go up in flames the instant I made any change. I waffled over the idea of redesigning them in subtle ways to better reflect my current process and products. For two years, I waffled. Two years. I asked friends and family their opinions, and then did nothing. And I still felt agitated by it all.

This week, I finally decided to do something.

And you know what? The world didn't come crashing down around me. My business is still here. I am not being engulfed by flames. And most importantly, I feel better.

For those of you who are lost, and don't recognize the card above, this is my most popular card. I have sold thousands of these since the design was launched three years ago. This is the card that made it possible for me to quit teaching. This is the card that started it all.

Taking the risk to redesign this card was beyond scary, but for me, having a cohesive line of cards that reflect who I am is more important to me than succumbing to that fear. Now that I've made the leap, you'll begin seeing a few other subtle changes in my shop as I transition a few other designs in the same way.

And guys, what do you think of the new design? Have you been stepping out of your comfort zone lately? Have you been faced with tough business decisions like this before?

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