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I am not a fan of red clay. It’s sticky and it stains. The times I used it when I first started working with clay it go on everything. I use porcelain and if I have any kind of red clay in the studio I keep it away from my porcelain because it will contaminate. It’s just not my cup of tea.

If it’s one thing I have learnt about running a business it’s that feelings are your enemy. They don’t belong in the business model. I know someone more business savvy may have a different take on it.

What does red clay have to do with feelings and business models, you ask? Well let me tell you of my recent run in with red clay.

As I mentioned I don’t like using red clay but recently I had a new customer reach out requesting lamp bases. Now two things about this order excited me. Firstly I had been toying with making lamps for some time- years. I made sketches, did research and even bought two lamp kits but I kept putting it off. Golden opportunity right! Secondly, I have been avoiding throwing large forms. Anything over 8″ I shy away. I keep psyching myself out of it. If I was going to make those lamp bases I would need to throw tall and big. Hmm…

The clincher though was the fact that I would have to use red clay. Ick! Did I really want that kind of aggravation? Apparently I did because I accepted the order in spite of myself.

Not only did I throw the large forms it sparked a whole new series of work; most of them over 10″ tall. You know, had I refused I wouldn’t know if I could do it and if I had refused because of the red clay I would not have discovered new techniques that I enjoyed.

The moral: Don’t be afraid of the unknown and sometimes you have to stand up to and strike down the enemy-even if it’s you.

What are some things you have been talking yourself out of? How have you been able to overcome negative self-talk?

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