Timelines have been on my brain lately. OK always. It is not my talent with patience that attracts me to sewing. And for those of us who are impatient, Covid has really messed with us. Supply delays, equipment delays – the industrial sewing machines are somewhere in transit – on a ship? at a port? – who knows. Apprenticeship timelines? Quarantines messed those up real good. A few weeks back I came clean to my financial advisor, Lauren Lizardo “Lauren”- I told her – “we got to play the long game here. Our timelines are REAL long.” And do you know what she said to me? “Reid – timelines are outdated like white supremacists.” It was hard to love her more before then and yet after that comment I loved her more. (Info on Lauren’s services can be found here: https://www.laurenlizardo.com/).
The problem with timelines, for those of us who are starting something totally new like custom womenswear manufacturing in Princeton, WV, or any sort of business during Covid, is that you scramble around and then so much is out of your control. And it is also not in my nature to say that it will happen whenever – it is important to keep moving, to not lose momentum, to have accountability and set expectations. So where is the happy medium? – I wondered.
I got an answer over the weekend. I had spent weeks trying to identify a photographer in the area to snap some photos of the blouse to send out with the Founder’s Circle invitations. When I was coming down the home stretch with the final version of the photo sample I identified today as the day for the photographs – warm weather for a Spring blouse, clear skies – a chance at having the photos in time to package the letters over Thanksgiving. But I spent weeks trying to find a photographer only to have various options fall through. And then last Sunday – yes 3 mere days from the target day for the photoshoot – I got a hit. A wonderful fashion photographer could make the trip down from Charleston to take the photos. And yes – he could do it Tuesday.
And so it was go time. I had to finish the blouse. Green Light from the universe. Get it done! And so I was sitting in front of my sewing machine, sewing on cuffs and thinking about Timelines. Maybe the concept of a timeline is outdated but how about Red and Green lights? In other words, reading your environment and going when you need to go – the right photographer is available on the right evening and the time is now. Versus when you need to stop or slow down – people are sick – machines are delayed. In other words – you don’t delay when you can see an opening, but you also don’t freak out when you see a stop sign. You take the cues from the work around you and trust that following the red and green lights will get you to exactly where you need to be, right on time.
Go, fight, win.