Yes, it’s truly been a while, but it’s good to be back. This has been a funny old year during which I’ve had to deal with one or two personal issues. Ultimately, this has led me to spend a lot less time than I would have liked on my little business. I’m missing my goals and that sucks. Over the past year I’ve learnt a few things about juggling life with working for myself.
1. It’s ok to put yourself first sometimes
It’s no lie, I’ve always been a workaholic. That’s why I’ve always tended to have only a small group of friends. I’ve always worked worked worked, and normally, if it’s a personal project I’ve been working on, I’ve always enjoyed it (not so much working for others!) But sometimes if a personal matter comes up, you have to prioritise other things. That’s what happened for the first few months of this year, so I had to put aside my small business for a while. But now things are looking up!
2. Running a small business isn’t as glamorous as it looks
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than the satisfaction you get from making your own money. I love the reactions I get from passers-by at craft shows and fairs. It’s all good and it’s very, very satisfying. But it’s not as glamorous as it seems on Instagram! It’s about working in your pjs, shuffling to the post office in the rain, working through even when you’re sick, tired, or just don’t wanna. But it’s that drive and commitment that can get you through it, if you really really want it.
3. You gotta put yourself out there
Most people that know me know that despite the fact I have a background in marketing and design, I’m really shit at promoting myself. I’m quite shy and introverted, I used to be very insecure when I grew up, and never thought I was good enough. Well let me tell you, learning to shout from the rooftops about yourself is hard work but definitely very much a requirement if you own a small business! I like to think of my partner the Beard and also my mum as my best salespeople, as they always spread the word about me and my work, even when I cannot. I think this is also why I’ve struggled with blogging and basically unloading all my personal details and life stories online. It’s so weird unleashing yourself to the whole wide world. But it’s got to be done, it’s a great way of meeting new people and building new relationships, and I think it gets easier with time.
4. You’ve got to keep going
Even when times are tough, or when you get a rejection from a shop you hoped would stock your products. I’ve had one or two rejections and not understood why, as I know how much time and effort goes into my work, and I know the amazing reactions and reviews I get from my customers. But let’s not forget even the most successful of people like JK Rowling had their fair share of letdowns and rejections before they got anywhere. Plus, there’s always something that can be learnt from every exchange.
5. Juggling is hard
At the moment, I still work part-time as a design teacher. But anybody that knows about teaching knows that it’s never really part-time. Those kids deserve your undivided attention and that is truly tiring. I’ve been juggling teaching with my small business and personal life for almost three years now, and yes, it is hard. I’ve got to the point now where I really just want to work on my own bits and reach my own goals, which is why I’m currently thinking about making the move to just working for myself. That’s super scary and it may not work out, but at least I will know I’ve given it my full attention and effort.
Onwards and upwards
So this year has been a learning curve, but I think my focus on other things and my absence from by blog has only served to remind me that this is actually still my passion and still what I want to be doing, and now more than ever I am focused on achieving my goals.