A woodcarving business isn’t for the weak of heart. It’s not a normal business for normal people. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. I’m not normal.

At one time early on I used to imagine an idyllic scene. A peaceful studio ( mine generally is) a carver sitting at a bench ( I do sometimes) tap tap tapping away at a carving ( I do that too) whiling away the hours,,, so serene, lost in the work ( I do that all the time) . Ahhh , pure bliss,, I wish I could do this full time and live in a setting such as this. How evil is our imaginations. Leading you down a path such as this?

Mark,,,Mark,,wake up,,you’re either having flashbacks or your dreaming again.

The reality is walking the Razors Edge ( good movie by the way) between sheer terror and total thrill. If I tried to run this business in the traditional MBA way it would fail miserably. The love, the fear, the passion would be missing and that is a big part of what creates carving. It’s a Zen thing.

Now I could probably do O.K. trying to turn out pieces, take them to shows, put them in galleries etc. you know, the traditional way  of doing business if you have a product to sell. Well, I don’t have a product in my business that I’m trying to hussle and sell. I only produce a product when the time is right.   It’s a Zen thing.

You walk the wire without a net. I have nothing to fall back on.Learning to be comfortable in this state is the trick. All illusions are gone. Dreams and aspirations play little part,, they aren’t real. I can’t plan what my next product is,, how I’ll market it,,, what my profit margins are,,,nothing. I don’t know from day to day what my next job is until it shows up.

Essentially it’s like a musical note. It’s out there somewhere waiting to be played. Each one different and important in its own space and time. When its’ time comes it’s played,, makes it’s presence known and then disappears again. The note isn’t played continuosly,, that would be annoying. Or repeatedly over and over again. That too is annoying and boring. These scenarios are a typical business.

My business is that musical note,,nervously waiting to be played. Does it wonder if and when it’ll be played and will it be able to do its job when its time has come?

It’s a Zen thing.

Living in the moment. Acting when it’s appropriate. Let the pond become still , tranquil, serene. Because all too soon just the smallest pebble will be dropped and ripples spread far and wide.


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