sarahgrand

Month: June, 2017

My Strengths and Weaknesses

I was recently promoted to my first-ever management position at work, and I’m about to start fabricating and selling some of my design products on the side. To be the best I can be in both these new endeavors, I went to the library and took out some self-helpish books.

I started with The Art of Selling Yourself. To be honest, this book wasn’t too helpful for me. Most of the content was common sense. But there was one exercise the book suggesting doing that I’m going to try out: listing out my strengths to better understand my qualities and build my self-confidence. I’m going to go ahead and list out my weaknesses as well, to force myself to introspect more deeply. Here it goes!

My Strengths: 

  1. Above all else, I am passionate and hungry. I have an insatiable desire to learn and create.
  2. I get shit done. If I have an idea, I make it happen, always — at work, in my side projects, and in my personal life.
  3. I am a perfectionist and am never satisfied with the status quo. I will not put my name on something unless I truly believe in it and consider it great. Good is not enough for me.
  4. I am able to read people very quickly and consider myself a good judge of character. However, I do not consider myself judgmental. I am empathetic, understanding, and forgiving, and always look for the best in people.
  5. I am open, down-to-earth, and genuine. I always try to make people feel comfortable and included.
  6. I am sharp and I learn very quickly.
  7. I enjoy challenges.
  8. I am optimistic.
  9. I fight for my point of view and always stand up for what I believe in.
  10. I am creative and have a discerning eye, yet I am also very good with numbers.
  11. I am self-aware and introspective.
  12. I am independent.
  13. For someone so Type A, I consider myself very spontaneous and adventurous. I am up for pretty much anything and love trying new things!

My Weaknesses: 

  1. In an effort to make other people feel comfortable, I think I can be too self-deprecating at times. For example, if I notice someone looking uncomfortable at a party, I might say something like, “I hate house parties too–I’m so awkward!!” Or if I see someone new struggling at work, I might say something like, “When I started, I had no idea what I was doing either. Ask me anything!” While I am being honest in these instances, sometimes I feel that by being too self-deprecating, I downplay my strengths and accomplishments. I also feel that by being too self-deprecating, I effectively give others permission to tease me. When I’m teased, it’s almost always playful, but sometimes I wish I would be taken more seriously.
  2. I am extremely fast-paced and can get impatient and frustrated with people who are not on the same speed level as me or who are not “with it.” I expect as much from others as I expect from myself, which is a lot.
  3. I have a great deal of social anxiety in certain situations (networking events, big rooms filled with people I don’t know, house parties, etc.) and sometimes my social anxiety can come across as awkwardness and/or weirdness.
  4. I can be very irritable.
  5. I am incredibly hard on myself with how I look.
  6. I am a workaholic, which can sometimes strain my relationships. When I spend time with people, even if I am enjoying myself, I sometimes feel like I’m wasting time I could be using more productively.
  7. I am not the most eloquent speaker. I can express my thoughts much more logically and cogently through writing.
  8. Because I am so passionate, I at times base major decisions on emotion and gut instinct rather than on logic. I’m not sure if this is a weakness or just a personality trait.
  9. I am never satisfied. While this could be considered a strength, because it is a motivating force, I sometimes think life would be simpler and easier if I were more content.

That’s all for now! I’ll add to the list if I think of more.

Five Year Goals

Back in March, I made a list of goals for the year and posted it on this blog. As discussed in my last post, I have been making good progress on these! I think part of the reason I am making real progress is because I narrowed down and documented everything I wanted to accomplish for the year. I made sure my goals were realistic and attainable, yet still accomplishments. Because of the success of my one-year goal list, I decided to make a five-year goal list for the blog as well.

Five Year Goal List: 

  1. Live somewhere besides New York or New Jersey for an extended period of time
  2. Travel for a consecutive period of more than 2 weeks
  3. Go to Bonnaroo and camp out (Silly, but this is a goal for me and my friend! We want to go)
  4. Make “Sarah Grand” a real business (or at least really try to)
  5. Fall in love (This sounds corny, but I have to be honest here. I don’t care if I’m married or not in five years, but I hope I at least fall in love sometime during this period. Not sure if this qualifies as a “goal” though, because it’s sort of out of my control, unlike the four others)

WILL FOLLOW UP IN 2022.

2-Month Update on Personal Goals (Cause I Don’t Know What Else to Write About)

I want to write on here more frequently, and I have some free time today, but I don’t know what to write about! So I’m just going to do a 2-month update on the personal goals I posted on here on 3/31/17. I actually have made a pretty decent amount of progress on these for only being 1/6 through the year (if I do say so myself)! I’ll go through these one by one…

1.Finish designing NYC poster – This is DONE!!! 

2. Submit NYC poster to contest – Also Done! (Currently waiting to hear back…) 

3. Fabricate NYC poster – Almost Done! I have sent the posters to a fabricator and I am going to receive my first samples this Tuesday. Once I nail down the paper type and approve the coloring, I’m going to place my bulk order. So excited! (Little side note: The poster I’m selling is the same concept as the poster I submitted to the contest, but a different size/layout. I’ll have everything on my design website in the next few weeks.)

4. Sell NYC poster – I am well on my way to selling my posters! Once I get the bulk order in the mail, I can technically start selling them. But I want to put a lot of thought into my marketing strategy before I go ahead and do that. One of my flaws is that I get so passionate about my creative projects that I lose sight of the big picture, and for this reason, most of my work goes totally unnoticed. I want to be more “business” about my creative hobbies moving forward, and I’m taking my first stab at this with my NYC poster. At this point, my plan is to rent a space in Union Square to sell them on weekends, and open an Etsy shop to sell them online. I want to sit down with some people who actually know what they’re talking about to develop a more strategic plan in the coming weeks as well. 

5. Design and look into fabricating Fruits! notebooks – As I mentioned above, I want to be more “business” about my creative hobbies moving forward. The NYC poster is my first attempt at actually making profit from my designs. If that is successful, then I’ll try creating and selling other products, like notebooks, bedding, wallpaper, etc. My first attempt at creating other products will be my Fruits! notebooks, based on these cards below. I haven’t made any progress on this yet. 

6. Make a band poster – Since I finally finished my NYC poster, I can start working on my band posters! I am making two band posters. I already know what bands I’m making them for, and what I want them to look like. Now I just need to execute. These are going to be really cool, so I might look into fabricating and selling these as well. 

7. Re-design and clean up my design website!! – Almost done!! I should be done re-designing my design website tomorrow night. That’s the hard part. Then I just need to clean up a bunch of the old posts, and add some new work. There’s a bunch of random stuff on there, and I want to make the website more focused and legit. 

8. Move to NYC (I’m commuting to work from NJ now) – MOVING TO MY NEW APARTMENT ON JULY 1st!!! SO EXCITED TO LIVE IN MANHATTAN AGAIN! 

9. Go on a New Mexico roadtrip! – IT’S OFFICIAL! Going to New Mexico this October (with my partner in crime/future roommate).  We’re going to do a road trip around the state. We haven’t planned much yet, but we’re visiting the week of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, so we’re definitely seeing that, and we’re DEFINITELY going to Pie Town. Also, I heard Santa Fe is a must-see and has a cool music scene, so that too. 

10. Start planning my trip to Thailand – I have not made any progress on this, but one of my friends is living in Thailand until around December 2018/January 2019, and I need to go out there and visit her at some point. Right now, I’m thinking next spring or summer would be best, but I need to see what is going on with work and stuff like that before I plan anything. I feel like so much has changed in the last few months alone, so who even knows what my life will be like in a year from now? Can’t plan too far ahead. 

11. GROW LONG HAIR – Thank god I have finally nailed down a hair care routine that works for me. My hair is healthier and fuller than ever and it is actually medium length (not short!) right now. If I keep this up, it should be LONG by next year. 

So that’s all the updates! I’d say I’m making pretty good progress for being only 2 months in! Hopefully my next blog post is more interesting than this…cause this one was more for myself. Let me know if you have any ideas on topics to write about!