June 27, 2015

Measuring Goals by Progress: bringing gas lanterns and electric lanterns to the internet.

Gas lanterns and electric lanterns offered for sale on our website. All copper lanterns and USA made.

Gas lanterns and electric lanterns offered for sale on our website. All copper lanterns and USA made.

Have you ever reached that point in a project where you think, “I will never finish this, and I have just wasted the past years, days, months, minutes of my life.”?

When I set out to open our Lantern & Scroll e-commerce site to sell our gas lanterns and electric lanterns online, that self-doubt would often pop into my head. What if my lantern website never launches? What if no one wants to buy gas lanterns? What if I can’t pay the rent? What if I wasted all this money? Will I ever make it to page 1 of Google search results for gas lanterns, electric lanterns, and copper lanterns? Why didn’t I just be a lawyer?

Taking lanterns digital was exhausting. . .

When we decided to open our e-commerce site https://www.lanternandscroll.com I knew it was a huge endeavor. We needed new catalog pictures of all of our gas lanterns and electric lanterns, new detailed cut sheet drawings of our copper lanterns, a web design company we could trust, endless pages of copy, etc. There were days I thought that it wasn’t possible: we didn’t have enough money, we didn’t know what we were doing, who we could trust, etc.
We all have days of self-doubt, sometimes fueled by well-meaning friends constantly asking for status updates. Sometimes you just throw in the towel and chalk all the hard work as lessons learned. However, sometimes you persevere through the naysayers, you struggle, you take 2 steps back, but you keep moving forward towards progress.

Lanterns take time to build, so does a lantern website. . .

In our society of impatience, I had to learn to not be frustrated when everything seemed to take 10 times longer than I expected. My attitude epiphany came after reading an article in February 2012 about a Russian drilling team finally reaching Lake Vostok, a frozen lake under Antarctica, after 20 years of drilling. 20 years! And I was complaining about months. This was a light bulb moment for Lantern & Scroll. From then on, I measured our success by progress.
During those days of self-doubt, I would assess the situation and see if we had made any progress. And progress became our goal. In order to keep going, to realize that we might actually open Lantern & Scroll’s e-commerce site and bring our handmade gas lanterns and electric lanterns to the public, I had to keep reassuring myself we were making progress. Were we moving in the right direction? Were we one step closer this week to turning on the open sign? Progress!

Progress becomes accomplishment. . .

In March 2014, after 5 years of preparation, progress finally turned into accomplishment when we launched https://www.lanternandscroll.com and offered our gas lanterns and electric lanterns worldwide. Today, we are still working towards other tasks that always seem so insurmountable; however, self-doubt is quashed by the idea of progress. I wonder if those scientists drilling for so long in Antarctica would realize that their diligence would be an inspiration to a little lighting design firm in Charlotte, NC.

Karen H. Good, President