Am I enough?

This is the question I have asked myself through my life. Few years ago I came across Marisa Peer, a therapist and coach who has helped thousands of people from all over the world suffering from low self esteem and mental health issues. Her mantra is very simple: your mind believes what it sees and has been told, it is always looking for known and wants to avoid unknown. She says, we need to “lie to our minds, to cheat fear, so we can steal back our natural confidence.”

“Every word you say is a blueprint that your mind, body, and psyche want to make a reality.” Marisa Peer

I took her advice very serious. At this particular time I was recovering from some difficult times and it was rather challenging to me to feel joy. I started to convince my mind by repeating her powerful message: “I am enough.” Marisa Peer recommends even to mark your mirror with the lipstick so you could read this sentence every day. I did not do it, simply because my mirror was too small. Instead I started tell it myself through day whenever I made something that did not require me thinking. I washed the dishes and let my inner voice repeat: I am enough. I went jogging, and again, these three words were filling my mind. I did not bother myself too much about the meaning of it or the concerns if it makes sense. I just did it because I had nothing to lose.





Soon I started to notice some changes. Whenever I started doing the dishes, I could not help but smile. Whenever I went jogging, I felt this good feeling of being enough. My mind started to believe it and gave my body the resources to feel myself better. I am not a neurologist but I believe they call it serotonin. The happiness hormone.

I am going to open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. Love this poster from:  http://creativeroots.org/2011/05/berline-posters/

I am going to open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. Love this poster from: http://creativeroots.org/2011/05/berline-posters/


Why am I writing about it here? Because this feeling helped me to understand what I want to do. That I am enough, have always been enough and will always be that. Let me explain a bit. Since then my work had been a source of self confidence. I believed I am good enough, because my position at work is important, I earn a decent salary and I am respected because of that. When I realized I do not want to do that job anymore, it was more than losing a career. It was losing my source of self worth. Cheating my mind by telling it what I yet did not believe, I won back my self confidence.
Now I tell my mind I will open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. I want to teach women some basic woodworking so that they could live more creative and fulfilling life. I have also written a business plan and attending the Berlin Brandenburg business plan competition.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, how I met Marisa Peer, here it is. I watched her Ted Ex Talk.


Thanks to Marisa Peer I can see how one video can change your life, which is why I started to make free woodworking tutorial videos. If you want to support me by doing that, please subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you, but I will send you a notification when my video gets online.

Studio Diaries - the gap between the dreams and reality

Those who don`t know, I am going to Berlin next week to sell my cappuccino spoons! I made a short video clip to get the first impression. I have no idea, how many spoons I should make, because it is my very first Pop Up Store experience. I just do as much as my hands can survive. I feel how my muscle is growing, which is good, obviously. My body has changed a lot after quitting my 9-17 office job, I feel myself healthier and stronger. But the woodworking is still challenging. It is not that it is hard. It is just constant moving and using the muscles I had no clue I had them. Which is why my body hurts every now and then.

I also tend to skip pauses because I forget myself working. This is how much I enjoy working with wood. It is weird to think that only 5 years ago I had never even had a single thought about learning to handle a drill or what is the difference between wood carving and turning.

Woodworking is constant moving and using the muscles I had no clue I had them. Which is why my body hurts every now and then.

Few days ago I chatted with a woman who told me she is considering to start learning to woodwork as a professional career. I think it is amazing! She told me she was reading my blog and understood that this woman (me, he-he) is living her dream life. I am so happy for her and also thankful for her that she reminded me to be grateful. It is so easy to get used to good things and not notice anymore how very fortunate we are. That this where I am now has been my dream one day and now I am here. Three years ago I had no idea what to do next, I had lost my dream (or at least I thought it was my dream) job and I was exhausted of doing a work which was though interesting but nevertheless not my soul purpose. Three years is so short time! Back then it did not feel short time. It seemed like eternity. You can read how I managed to fight back my self confidence here.

I was exhausted of doing a work which was though interesting but nevertheless not my soul purpose.


Most of the times I am with my plans and goals somewhere in 2022 and already waiting some other dream to fulfill and tend to get frustrated when things are not going as expected. It seems that there is so big gap between the reality and the wishes. This woman helped me to understand that there is no gap if you change the perspective.


If you start think about that, then there is every moment someone who`s dream you are living. It would be so great if we could connect these people and then learn from each other. The one who dreams about your life could get motivation and encouragement to go after their dreams and the one who has already achieved her dream, would get a friendly reminder from the past that tells her to appreciate the good things that have happened to her because she made these things happen. In certain level we are doing it anyway, there are Facebook groups and YouTube channels, which connect people who want to learn to the people who have the experience with the people who are dreaming about walking the same path. Pretty amazing, isn`t it?


I am going to open a woodworking studio for women in Berlin. In this blog I share my ideas about entrepreneurship, relationships and personal growth. Subscribe to get my articles delivered to your mailbox. Your subscription means a lot to me.

Entrepreneur or femtrepreneur?

I attended a 80-hours of individual start up consultations series. Here is what I learned.

We worked through  material that German soon to be entrepreneurs usually learn.
The entrepreneur mindset, how to know if being an entrepreneur is something for you? How to write a business plan etc. My mentor was a super charming German gentleman with who I immediately felt great synergy, 80 hours flew away quicker than I would have assumed.

The most valuable lesson learned was to start loving the numbers. I have to admit - I am not a big fan of Excel. The course helped me to understand how building a business is like a long formula with many variables and few constants. This formula is my personal formula, and only I know how to put the numbers so that the result will be profitable. And there are always more ways to get to the answer. I also got some priceless insight of German history, politics, culture and people. It would have taken me years to gather this information that I did thanks to my teacher within only 30 days.

I got some priceless insight to the German history, politics, culture and people. But there was one moment that I felt that there is something I do not agree with. The attitude towards money.

To explain it I want to share a story from my very first experience as a creative entrepreneur. I was about 10 years old and I had learned how to paint silk. I made beautiful silk scarves for the women in my family and for the friends. For free. Then people started to order scarves from me. I needed to calculate the price, to take into consideration the material (silk is not cheap) and so on. I also had to put a price tag on my creativity. That`s when I started to struggle. I didn´t enjoy painting anymore and I often felt embarrassed to sell my products. I knew they were not as beautiful as before. So I stopped selling the scarves and painted only for myself. This is when I decided that I will not become an artist because it is too difficult to sell my work. Independence seemed very important to me and I decided I need to get a proper job when I grow up.

I didn´t enjoy painting anymore and I often felt embarrassed to sell my products. I knew they were not as beautiful as before.

This could explain why it is impossible to me to be hungry for money. It is so difficult to get used to the concept of being creative and putting a price tag on it and then someone will start talking about being hungry for money. Too much to handle to me. No wonder I started having some second thoughts on becoming an entrepreneur. I asked other female entrepreneurs what are their thoughts on it. Whole new world opened itself for me. I understood that even though women are equal to men, we are different and our way of entrepreneurship is different too. While money is important in business for women too, then there are more motivators for us. Like social value, growth, community and well-being. So this is how I understood that being an entrepreneur might not be a good fit for me but I am certainly going to see myself fitting into a femtrepreneurial formula.



brochure wood ladies.jpg



Dealing with positive and negative comments

I am going to open a creative space for women in Berlin where they can learn some basic woodworking and get connected with their inner strength and creativity. That will help them to gain more confidence and eventually save some money too.

This is amazing! I will take all of your classes! I’m super down to take your classes and I can help you by being your student! ✨

No need to explain that I love getting messages from you :)

And I`ve got hundreds of them.
It is really hard to stop smiling when I receive the love and support from the women I really admire and with whom I can start working with.


But there are also not so positive comments too. Like this one:

most woodworkers i know have had hand injuries, one family member with real issues lost a third of a finger. a good idea is not always workable

While positive messages make me smile and I feel super motivated after reading these to continue with the woodworking studio project, then I can`t deny, negative messages affect me more. Even when the ratio is 100 positive to 1 negative. I recently read an interesting research (reading researches is my hobby, but I need to clarify I usually read only the abstract and then briefly other parts to get the idea) about how bad experience affect us more than the good ones. This research says that negative events, relationships tend to have much bigger influence on us.

When I think about my own life and what has shaped me and what are the issues I have needed to work on, I must agree. I remember in detail the negative conversations and events in my life. While positive things are sadly too often blurry mind pictures. And that made me think how I could change this pattern. There are always situations I don`t enjoy, people who are not that enthusiast and even everyday moments that are not that exciting as building a business, as instance. Like this negative comment I mentioned. Like there are these positive moments I let too easily to fade away.

Suddenly I got it. I can use this comment as a resource for my business concept. His worries can be used as the strengtheners for my plan. Safety is a very important part of woodworking, no matter if you are doing it as a hobby or as a daily job. So I wrote a blog article about the safety tips for beginner woodworkers.

My conclusion would be to seek always value in the feedback and experiences. Take the positive events and comments and appreciate them. Make them important, appreciate it that someone took time to share their positive emotion with you. Do the same with the negative one. Take the message, put it in action and say thank you to the messenger. And continue working.

Here is the research I mentioned:



Baby Steps in Woodworking and in Business

A few weeks ago I organized fundraising as a subtle reminder for my friends and relatives I had a birthday. The result shocked me, besides my family who always supports me, I got donations from the total strangers (thank you, family and friends, thank you, strangers). 

Meanwhile I got my earrings ready. I still need to work on them, the packaging needs to be designed as instance. They look nice, I am happy.

They come in three sizes: S, M and L. 9.90 would be fair enough, I think? I am not selling them yet, but I will be doing it very soon. I promise.

IMG_0118.jpg



The very same day when I had my birthday and ran the fundraising, I got an email from Anna (nice name, by the way) who wrote me from a small tool company from Estonia, and told me she would like to send me some tools to have fun with. She also sent me a pair of hand gloves which are not too big to me. They`re meant for children but I didn`t feel offended. I am making baby steps in both - in woodworking and in the startup world. Why shouldn`t I wear children gloves? Thank you. The gloves are awesome, I cannot wait when I can finally test them.



Usually my hands have all kind of signs of woodworking on it. I also suffer from dry skin. We will see if this is going to change.

Oh, and I made a logo for the wood ladies. You can see it here: https://mailchi.mp/accca4d728a1/berlin. Please subscribe to the newsletter. Seriously, subscribe. I can see it when you visit the page without subscribing and this time I.Do.Feel.Offended.

The final dates to finish my business plan was yesterday. I was so ready to send my business plan but I got some feedback from a fellow femtrepreneur from Female Founder Community on Facebook, so I decided to work on it. When I finally finished, I still felt I could use some extra time so I just decided to stop there. I am a little bit tired of writing, I have to admit. I miss REAL work, my tools and the smell of fresh cut wood.

I am going to open a woodworking studio for women to help all women all over the world to make their lives better. I think that women are such a wasted resource and that need to be changed. We all benefit from that, both, men and women.

First I wrote in German, then I switched to English and finally, with the help of a dear German friend, I switched back to German.

First I wrote in German, then I switched to English and finally, with the help of a dear German friend, I switched back to German.

I told Hannes I felt empty after submitting my business plan. “Have you contacted the banks? You see, no reason to feel empty, start working,” he brought me back to the reality.

He is right. There is so much work to do. I love the feedback and support I get from you. Thank you so much. You are so much kinder than my boyfriend.

If you are interested in learning to woodwork and would like to attend my classes, please don`t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you but your subscription will be a good proof that there is a need of a creative space for women in Berlin (and why not in other countries too). Thank you.

Infamous German bureaucracy and tips against procrastination

There will be a woodworking studio for women in Berlin where all women can learn how to handle simple woodworking power tools. This will help them to live more creative and fulfilling life and eventually save some money too.


When I first time worked with drill I was amazed how easy it was. Sure, you need to get used to some stuff and know certain things but learning it is totally doable.

When I first time worked with drill I was amazed how easy it was. Sure, you need to get used to some stuff and know certain things but learning it is totally doable.


I have written a business plan and attend the Berlin Brandenburg Wettbewerb. The final date of submission is 15th of May.
In this blog I will share all the details of my business building process. That will help me to stay focused and avoid the overwhelm of knowing how much things there need to be done. I hope I can motivate other women in similar situation to make things happen in their lives.
I am very grateful for all the positive messages and suggestions. Now I can see how important this studio is. I have also received many ideas how to improve my business model and start giving best possible service for you. Thank you.

🙌

So, what is going on now? My good German friend started to proof read the German version of the business plan. I have been living in Germany for almost three years, I also have learned German at school for many years and I still can not say I trust myself in this complicated language. Luckily, there are wonderful women around me, who want to help this Studio come to reality and find time to volunteer. This is amazing.

Profilbild_BPW_2019.jpg


I also have finished with the numbers and first time in my life I can say I understand what I am doing. I have always had love-hate relationship with the numbers and it has been not easy to dig myself through the business stuff. Profitability, liquidity, fixed costs, assets, liabilities… First in Estonian, then German and now in English and slowly it all starts to make sense. I talked to another business owner in Berlin, who had a struggle with German terminology. Would it be easier if there were only one language for economics?

When I felt I can`t stand the numbers anymore I started to dream and designed for the school gift cards for the courses. Some may call it procrastination but it helps me to motivate do the stuff I´m not so strong in which is Excel in my case.

When I felt I can`t stand the numbers anymore I started to dream and designed for the school gift cards for the courses. Some may call it procrastination but it helps me to motivate do the stuff I´m not so strong in which is Excel in my case.

Luckily I found the business course for beginners for free at the page of Arbeitsagentur. It was really easy to follow and it helped me a lot. Everyone can take the course, you just have to sign up, there is no need to be unemployed. You can find the study portal here: https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/karriere-und-weiterbildung/e-learning-lernboerse
There are also many more courses to follow and get a free online certificate. I have noticed that certificates are very important in Germany. It is very easy and cheap way to validate your existent knowledge. I took all the English courses and now I have valid documents to prove my language abilities. It may seem not important but it can be extremely helpful while dealing with famous German bureaucracy.  This is something I want to write a bit longer; I have many experiences with that and despite its infamous reputation I have to admit I admire this system and have mostly positive experiences. I will write about good and not so good experiences in some of my future posts.

Thank you for reading this blog post and please don`t hesitate to write to me. You can follow me on Instagram @annaliisa_tt. Instagram is such a nice way to get to know each other and your following makes me happy.

If you are interested in learning to woodwork and would like to attend my classes, please don`t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you but your subscription will be a good proof that there is a need of a creative space for women in Berlin (and why not in other countries too). Thank you.  

Why you should learn to woodwork?

Here are five reasons why I believe woodworking can make your life better.

1 It helps to reduce stress
When I first started with woodworking I only took easy jobs that didn`t acquire much brain work. The reason was simple – I was so tired of my day job which included lots of thinking so I just enjoyed the possibility not to think. Later, when my skill improved, I started to make more demanding tasks. There is something very therapeutic about woodworking – the feeling and the smell of wood and rather simple movements allow your brain to relax. So you forget the stress and concentrate on important – yourself and your woodworking project.

2 You will gain more independence
When I was a single mother I literally depended on the time and kindness of my male friends and relatives. Although I was lucky to have people in my life who were ready to help me with home works, I always felt so dependent on them.
When I first tried to use a drill I felt such a relief – it is actually much easier than I expected. I still remember it, I installed the shelves on the wall and quite honestly I felt myself a little bit foolish. It was so simple! And so much quicker than asking a friend or calling a handyman who charges three times more than I could afford (screw you, wage gap!).

3 Your home looks gorgeous
Do you have a Pinterest board with all the home decor ideas you wish to have at your home but you can`t afford to make them to reality. Well guess what, you can afford it, when you make them yourself. You will be surprised when you discover how many projects you can make on relatively low budget. You will never have to stress when something needs to be repaired – you will make it yourself. It feels so good to have a home of your dreams.

4 Earn some extra income
You have the home of your dreams and you have terminated the number of your handy man? I will not promise you a new exciting career opportunity or a money tree but the chances are pretty high that somebody needs your services. You might not be able (yet!) to build a complicated drawer or wardrobe system, but you will be able to install the shelves, repair the broken door or some other easier task. That will give you an opportunity to earn extra income. To buy some new tools or this dress you have been eyeing for months.

5 Boost your creativity
It is not possible to work without using your creativity. When you use your creativity, you get used to using it. Creativity is most important tool for solving everyday problems.  


If you are interested in learning to woodwork and would like to attend my classes, please don`t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you but your subscription will be a good proof that there is a need of a creative space for women in Berlin (and why not in other countries too). Thank you.

My favorite female makers online

Keep your eye on these ladies because they build some awesome stuff.


APRIL WILKERSON

April Wilkerson is one of the most popular woodworkers on YouTube having nearly a million subscribers and she has produced over 200 videos. She picked up her first tool in January 2013 because she couldn`t afford to buy the things she wanted to have at home so she decided to try her hand at making them instead. That was a good decision. Her videos help you to learn woodworking from the very basics to more advanced projects.
https://wilkerdos.com/



ANA WHITE

Ana story started with a miter saw, drill and a 18 gauge brad nailer in Alaska where she lives with her husband and two kids. They had built a house and couldn`t afford to buy furniture. So she took the tools they had and started to design and build furniture which is doable and also affordable. The first project turned out so good that Ana wanted to continue. Now she has built everything from the simple furniture to more complicated tiny houses. I like Ana for her down-to-earth attitude, she proofs that you dont have to have expensive tools to start building your own furniture.
http://www.ana-white.com/

 

GET HANDS DIRTY

Cristiana lives in Portugal where she completed the First Cycle Degree in Fine Arts – Sculpture from the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Univesidade do Porro and the IX Training Course for Music Perfomers at Casa da Música. She has been getting her hands dirty on YouTube since 2015 by building, filming, music, sound making, video editing, post-production and social media management. Christiana is the first YouTuber maker I started to follow because I was instantly hooked by her videos. She is not only a good maker but also a good story teller.
https://www.gethandsdirty.com/

 

LAURA KAMPF

Laura Kampf is a self-employed Artist/Designer/Maker and Content Creator who is deeply passionate about her Workshop, developing her Skillset and Making Stuff. You will have a very close look to a makers world where you can see how cool stuff is being made, enjoy good camerawork and artistic video editing. I love Laura Kampf for her entertaining style, I could watch her videos for hours and not get bored.
http://laurakampf.com.






DARBIN ORVAR

Born and raised in Sweden, where woodworking and crafting are taught in schools at an early age, Linn has always been interested in making and building. She started her YouTube channel in 2014. She loves hand tools and builds with wood, fabric, metal etc. Now she lives with her husband and baby in US. What I love about her channel is that she shares also her life and other ideas which make her channel very interesting and inspiring. She also vlogs.
http://www.darbinorvar.com/

 

SHANTY 2 CHIC

Meet sisters Ashley & Whitney, two power tool wielding DIY queens, on a mission to create beautiful and affordable furniture, turning houses into homes. Self-described coffee enthusiasts and treasure-weavers, the two sisters transformed a hobby into a dream career. The self-taught carpenters post their journey online to inspire other people to “pick up that scary tool and go!”
https://www.shanty-2-chic.com/

 

3X3 CUSTOM

A mother of three, Tamar shares her woodworking process mostly on Instagram, but she also has a small but quickly growing YouTube channel.  Her relationship with woodworking grew from the necessity. She was searching for an outdoor storage bench and couldn't find anything she liked. So she decided to build it herself. Instantly, she fell in love with power tools, hand tools and everything in between. Her projects are easy to understand and doable, she also gives tips and tricks about organizing your workshop.
https://www.3x3custom.com/

 

THE MINIMALIST MAKER

Minni from Finland makes DIY projects with a minimalist aesthetic, ranging from woodworking to sewing projects. You can purchase her Scandinavian style design plans for a reasonable price on her web page. She is also on Instagram where she gives a little insight to a designers private life.
I can`t wait to see her new videos!










 THE CARPENTERS DAUGHTER

UK award winning DIY & Home Improvement blogger & YouTuber. Featured on BBC One's Right on the Money, regularly on BBC radio stations about why she thinks we're increasingly living in a throw away society and inspire people to change their lives.
http://www.thecarpentersdaughter.co.uk 


If you are interested in learning to woodwork and would like to attend my classes, please don`t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you but your subscription will be a good proof that there is a need of a creative space for women in Berlin (and why not in other countries too). Thank you.

TOP 5 power tools a woman should own

First I want to get one thing clear – you don`t have to be rich to start woodworking.

Take your workshop as an investment and develop a strategy for getting all the things you need. Sure it would be nice to have everything immediately but you can also take this list as a dream team for your household. Remember, machines make your life so much easier but every work can be made by hand.  With that being said, let`s start to put together your dream wood workshop for the beginners.

1 The circular saw
The circular saw is one of the most useful woodworking tools. With that saw you can do almost everything, from ripping plywood or MDF to crosscutting lumber.
$27-$545


circular-saw (1).png
 

2 The Drill
My first tool I ever used and also my favourite. You are going to use a drill on almost every single project, so I'd recommend to buy it rather sooner than later.
$21,99-$189,99

drill-tool.png
 

3 The Jigsaw
This is the tool that allows you to cut the lines that are not straight. Make sure you will use a good quality blade that is designed to cut the material you`re working with.
$27,55-$234

jigsaw.png
 

4 The Orbit Sander
This tool is the game changer by woodworking. You will not pass a project without using it and your hands will be so thankful for you. This tool is going to spare so much time and muscle work.
$29.90-$329

sander.png
 

5 Wood Router
Routers are mainly used for hollowing out inside areas (non-edges) on wood. You can clamp a piece of wood down onto any table or surface and run the router along the sides of that wood to create the edges that you want. Well, you are going to need a steady hand for that, but don`t worry, you will get used to it.
$69.90-$219

router.png

If you are interested in learning to woodwork and would like to attend my classes, please don`t hesitate to subscribe to my newsletter. I will not spam you but your subscription will be a good proof that there is a need of a creative space for women in Berlin (and why not in other countries too). Thank you.