I spent a good amount of time yesterday thinking about what marketable skills I have outside of ministry. I need to find ways to make the ends meet around here. Paul and I talked about how much we can do on our own and not have to pay people for those services. I can make birthday cakes that are some what fancy, I am awesome with kids, we both can take nice pictures that are portrait quality, Paul can repair most things on a car, he can make all your TV remotes work how they should, connect nearly any sort of electronic equipment, and so on. We have learned our skills because of two categories, some fall into genuine curiosity category, while others fall in to the resourcefulness category.There are probably skills I am forgetting about too, ones we take for granted because we use them all the time. Being resourceful, curious, and being able to quell the fear of failure means we learn a lot of new things.
This year I made it a goal to start working on my list of things I want to learn, so I am tackling canning, money origami (this the art of folding money for gift giving), and refining my digital photography skills. I am kind of a digital photography snob, I take photos using mostly natural light, I do not edit them aside from cropping and changing them from color to black and white or sepia, and I like candid shots, not poses. I can take a decent picture, some times I get the "money shot". Yesterday I took pictures of a friend's child and saw that I can do this for other people. In the coming weeks I have volunteers lined up so I can practice a bit and then start making a little side money to help those ends meet. I plan to read up a bit on photography as well to get a refresher on aperture and such things.
The whole point here is that I am walking you through the steps of my goals or tooting my own horn, rather it is that I am so hesitant (as is Paul) to use our marketable skills to earn money. I worry about two things, the first is if I do it all the time I won't enjoy it any more, especially with cake making. The second worry is that people won't like what I produce for them. Oh the fear of rejection and the difficult customer. I have worked in a limited way in retail and I did not enjoy it. I have been able to quell that first fear, the one that tells you, you couldn't possibly take your portraits, or make a rainbow unicorn cake from scratch with all natural food dye. With most new skills I am not afraid to just try it out and fail. If I fail I can learn from it and usually there is laughter when things go wrong, at least for me. I have learned a lot of new things like this. The first time I made a birthday cake that wasn't a rectangle, it took me 5 months of trying, I started early because I knew I would need a learning curve. I wasn't totally happy with it when I was done, then Paul dropped it. It didn't stop me, now I can make a cake in a day because I kept at it and I didn't let failure stop me. I had cakes crumbling, cakes that were inedible, cakes that looked more like vomit than cake. Eventually I took a basic class three years after I started making cakes, I should have done that first! I am going to take the rest of the cake classes one day, even though some of the skills I have already.
Now if only I could get over the fear of rejection like I did the fear of failure. I could make cakes and photograph life events!
Today I am grateful for the skills I have learned and the skills I will learn in the coming years.