Scaling is Hard

Aug 30, 2023
4 min read
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I took another one of my favorite things, and tried to turn it into a monetizable project.

The keyword here is tried, and I want to correct myself realtime and emphasize that it has to be I am trying, not I tried.

It's easy to sit down and find joy and creativity in making unique and creative art pieces. It's really hard to force myself to make 30 of them, multiple sets of a particular pattern to go with the corresponding lures.

It's like I'm taking the natural progression of videogame customization to my fishing lures, I am providing premium visual assets to those with a taste and budget for the finer things in life.

For the past few weeks I have been able to find energy to edit video, but not to go tie hooks. I have a few sets I need to make and I've only worked through one. They are not difficult to make, the problem is that it's really difficult to make time for them.

Finding time to prioritize my business that I want to succeed so badly is too difficult? I feel a lot of guilt, shame and self-resentment around my inability to size this incredible opportunity.

Realistically I am jugging a lot of things right now. Instead of focusing on my lure business I'm also working to resurrect another side project while I have help from someone else to keep it pointed in the right direction. It's a confluence of two important factors: someone who can help, and space to lay out the work in full to minimize context switching. Having a dedicated space to work with purpose is very effective so far.

I think the real problem is that tying these hooks is something I enjoy, and I find it difficult to enjoy things like this when things outside of my control are making my life difficult.

It's hard to make art in a foxhole. Finding meaningful work is what makes me psychologically feel like I am in a warzone. The metaphor is strained but the PTSD I have from unprofressional experiences at work is real. I've never been shot at but then again most people aren't on the ND spectrum so we are in a way both up against often unseen and dangerous threats.

I am trying really, really hard to stay focused each day, but something new comes up and the ability to stay focused matters less than attending to the current crisis. I want to be diligent, I really do.

I have to get the thorn out of my paw or I can never run, hunt or survive. There is no amount of "dealing with it" that I can muster up that will cause the very real injury to heal without addressing the root cause.

Until some sort of mireacle happens where I achieve more time and mental clarity to work on the projects that matter to me, things will be slow but steady. Sometimes sputtering and chaotic, but always forward.

I want the lure thing to work, I want the robot drawing thing to work, and I want VT2U to become something more than just me kayak fishing alone. The collab episodes give me hope for the future that not only can I be tolerated, but I can be enjoyed and celebrated.

I need to go tie some hooks and get some rest. I need to tie hooks tomorrow and the day after that till the batches are done. I need to get this done ASAP and get the store up yesterday. I feel a sense of urgency that outstrips any reasonable capacity I have to deliver. I feel like I'm never going to be able to make it happen and the pressure of that is really unbearable at times.

I need to be compassionate for myself or I will never get these things done.

I need to go tie some hooks and get some rest.

Mat with a Salmon

Mat Gilbert is a creative engineer living in Huntington, VT with his Wife and Cat. He goes fishing as much as possible, but enjoys technology and artwork when not on the water.




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