I've been a terrible boss...
Do you know that feeling you get when you need to get back in touch with a once close friend, that one you haven't contacted at all for no good reason other than Life got in the way™?
That's how I feel coming back to write on this blog.
Another more accurate way to describe my relationship with my blog is this: I've been one terrible boss and just now had a facepalm realisation that I need to change my ways. Not because I was the abusive, Devil wears Prada kind, I was more like the clueless boss that nobody knows how she got there. The one who sets big goals and doesn't know how to get there, but watches YouTube tutorials and interviews while having lunch, and gets pissy when the people working for her doesn't show results?
Yep, that's me. Ouch!
But let's turn this pity party around and talk about the good stuff that brought me to this point :)
I moved to Portugal
This post just got even more bloggery bloggidy-doo.
I just moved to Porto (Oporto for you gringos), in the North of Portugal, to start my own clothing line.
Portugal is one of the largest textile exporters in Europe, and the northern area concentrates the mills, digital printers and apparel manufacturers serving a good deal of high-end Fashion brands. That says quality to me.
Of course I could start my label anywhere and produce in Portugal, but I wanted to be in Europe (Oh hi! I'm Olivia, and i'm from Brazil) and I don't have the £300,000+ necessary to apply for an entrepreneur visa in the UK - so going back to London to hang out with my old friends was not an option.
Think about that when you're considering studying abroad.
Correction: I moved alone to Portugal
Although I'm used to living abroad, this is the first time I'm not on a Student Visa.
Meaning, this is forever. I mean, long-term at least. As a young adult (this term sucks, I'm sorry you had to read it) who's moved a lot, the area of my brain in charge of time and long-term thinking is specially underdeveloped.
Moving is always a hassle, but all the paperwork you need to go through in order to get a resident status in a new country beats it big time.
(Unless you think bureaucracy is fun, but come on! Not Amy Santiago thinks bureaucracy is that much fun anymore, if you're keeping up with the 99. )
Bonus: Portugal is full of uphills (somehow you never find the downhills), the buildings really old and devoid of lifts.
After bringing my 3 large suitcases to my new flat, all I could think was Crossfit, you wish!
And then I started B-school
Between my regular freelance work, doing my own tech packs and looking for manufacturers that will take with my small ass production, I also started B-School.
I've worked with enough Fashion startups to know that I need a solid Business and Marketing foundation to support my big ambitions AND give me clarity as to which big ambition to chase - you know, the Shiny Object Syndrome.
If you never heard of B-School, google it and you'll see a stunningly gorgeous Italian-American called Marie Forleo telling you the world needs that special gift that only you have.
So positive… I'm not used to that.
But the program looked solid and I'm a geek: I love a detailed curriculum and I looove my structured courses with textbooks to go with it. And there wasn't even any negative reviews or pros-and-cons to back up my brain's plan to find a way out of this.
It's now week 3, and there's still a couple of months before the course ends (which is not the same as we'll all have profitable businesses running smoothly in 2 months) but I've already realised the main point of this post:
I've been a clueless boss to my website.
My one employee that can actually work 24/7 and I've been the stereotypical rich dad on a Family Guy episode.
It's also not great to see how my content is not reaching people that need it. Like when the best pizza in town is the last one on the list on Google Maps.
Infomercial camera close up moment
Here's the deal: writing takes me way too long because I care.
I care not to spread misinformation, in times where we're all to susceptible to fake news.
I care not to write something that will make me look stupid in the future.
That last reason is keeping me stuck, though, and being stuck is not good for nobody. Stuckness is fuel for feeling crappy and for coming up with excuses for why I'm stuck and feeling crappy. See the pattern?
Before you get there, have another look at your shiny ambitions again and this time write down the list of what you need to do to make them real.
I want the best for my creations - the new ones for my own Fashion label and the existing one, which is Fashion Tech support - and the most urgent to-do on my list was finally committing to my business education. It doesn't sound super sexy or epic, but that's the one thing that can save me from a life of throwing instant ramen noodles at the wall to see what sticks.
Amen to not throwing ramen at the wall!
p.s.: of course I didn't write a whole post just to talk about my life and rub it in your face I moved to this precious little city called Porto! There are some good tips scattered around this post, if you're thinking of applying to a Fashion school abroad or starting your own brand.
I'm sure you don't need my help to find them, but you can get my help to come up with your to-do list ;)