Pivoting; Having Goals with Soul

I am a creature of habit. I like the known, the familiar, the predictable. I prefer to sit in the same chair in my living room every night. I have worn my makeup in the same way for the majority of my adult life. I create routines.

I also get bored easily. I don’t like getting stuck in too many routines. The 9-5pm work life wore me down so much that I created my own business to escape it. I like new adventures. I like to rearrange rooms. I prefer to have some structure, but to work loosely within the guidelines I set for myself.


This is the conflicting nature that I live with every day. I am constantly at odds with myself on whether structure is the only way to survive, or the means to my soul’s destruction.

But one thing became clear to us about 6 months into us opening our business: if we didn’t learn to adapt and change our ideas of what Dirty South Pottery was/how it operated/what we created for it, then we would go under quickly.

There are all kinds of things that we have had to pivot on. Quick example: we wanted to host 6 week classes in which students would actually have the time to learn how to throw on the wheel, and then offer upper level classes from there. This was a core part of us deciding to open Dirty South, and was a large piece of our financial plan. The reality that we discovered is that it is hard for adults to carve out 2 days a week for 6 weeks, plus extra hours, to take a pottery class. Additionally, hosting that many classes severely hampered our own production and limited the space that we had for our own pottery-in-process.

We talked it out, and we pivoted.

And so started our tradition of what we call out Dirty South Summit, which takes place in our living room in the week that follows Christmas. Carvel and I sit and review the year’s successes/failures, and then we pivot. We clear out items that aren’t working (you’ll see them again during Oopsies & Oldies in July!), we take a look at pricing to see where we have undercut ourselves (because we always do), we talk about marketing and advertisements and social media and goals and markets and revenue flow and cost of goods sold and accounting and by Day 2 our heads are about to explode.

But, we persist.

By the end of the 3-5 day Summit, we have in place a new plan for the year. And 2019 is shaping up to be the most pivotal year yet.

This year we have set large goals for ourselves.

And I’m not talking about financial goals, (although we do that as well). I’m talking about goals that shape how we live our lives, and making sure that we are not swallowed up completely by our jobs. Goals that will make us more aware of how we can serve YOU, our amazing clients. Creating and shaping products that are exactly what you need, want, and want to gift to friends. Goals for our community, and ways that we can positively affect our neighborhood. Goals that will allow us to grow in ways that do not hamper our core values. Goals with Soul, as Danielle LaPorte calls them.

This year, you’ll see a slight change in our pricing. You’ll see us at more markets, hopefully in new cities. You’ll see more of our process and behind-the-scenes as you follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll receive MORE insider information, giveaways, and special VIP weekends as part of our Dirty Southerner’s Mailing List. You’ll hopefully see new employee faces as the year progresses and we expand our business family. You’ll see glazes shift slightly. You’ll see us pivot.

Most importantly, you’ll see the same Dirty South Pottery; growing and thriving, with just a touch of cheekiness that you’ve learned to love.

We are excited to start the year and put our new plans into motion. Working hard is part of the job, and we never shy away from it. So it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to it.

Ashley Norman

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.