Thursday, April 8, 2010

There are moments...

In the day where I'm ready to strangle a cat, cry into my yerba mate latte, throw the latest braid of roving to the birds and take a sledge hammer to my too small kitchen.

Because I have my own business and I work from home.

Being a small business owner is not easy, no matter how many pretty pictures you've painted for yourself.  There are tears and sweat and blood and strangled cats (not to mention Top Ramen and cereal for dinner).  Just because you can make your own hours doesn't mean you'll have time to surf.  Just because you work at home doesn't mean your house will look like anything resembling clean.  And just because it's your business it doesn't mean it's going to function the way you want it to.

First of all, it is HARD to get other people to see what it is you're doing and why you're doing it.  A lot of people just don't understand the need to break free, make your own mold, work your ass off for something that may seem so small.  They'll take your passion as a personal insult and criticize your every move.  You've got to take those people with a grain of salt.  The people closer to you will try really hard to be supportive, but  "Sorry honey, I'd rather answer e-mails than play Mario Kart with you." is not a statement someone wants to hear... Especially if that someone just spent two hours listening to you ramble on about business plans and yarn.  Yarn, really?  If you're lucky, that person will see your passion as an asset in your relationship and understand that one race in Mario Kart is a small sacrifice in the end.

Second, you really don't have as much creative control over your business as you think you do.  It will not turn out exactly as you wanted, you will hit road blocks.  Big ones.  So big that your efforts will seem tiny and you'll want to give in to the voices in your head that keep droning "GO BACK".  But if you persevere (and you should), the next step will become clear and things will become easier.  Then another big, giant, insurmountable road block will pop up and it will be time to bring out the tractors.  And it will be hard.  You'll put in long hours and in the end, the vision you started with has morphed into something else entirely.  And the dream will become easier again.  You learn to adapt and change and you learn that patience and flexibility are your best friends (because your real best friend is beginning to lose interest in what you're doing and maybe never really understood in the first place).  Once you adopt a new (read: zen) way of running your life, you'll adopt it for your business as well.  Let the little things go, learn what you can, and keep on trucking (and maybe bring a jack hammer).

You'll make mistakes.  You'll buy packing materials at retail.  You'll think you can afford sushi, but forget about the fact that you need printer paper.  You won't count rent, cell phone, lunch (for that best friend that graciously offered her day off to work on YOUR dream) and gas as an expense.  And you'll learn from them.

And you have to wear a lot of hats.  Through out the day I am an artist, playing with color and splashing about gleefully in my sink.  I am also an accountant, grumbling over my client's (read: me) incredible ability to forget to record income and expense on a daily basis.  Then, a customer service representative who deals with more e-mails than one would think is humanly possible.  Sometimes, I'm in public relations.  Sometimes advertising.  More often I'm a frazzled mess who's just trying to keep things going.  Of course, there are days when things are smooth, the floors are swept, the dogs walked, the customers happy.  And there's a glimpse of the way your business could run and for a moment you're excited and ready to take on the next hurdle.

You will learn so much about people (and yourself).  And you'll love them... And hate them.  But ultimately you will be delighted to have forged lasting relationships out of thin air and roving.  Roving, really?

And lastly (for now) you'll spend some days in despair. You'll work your ass off for little immediate pay off.  And people will think your bonkers for doing it.

You'll learn what you're capable of.

Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement regarding my own small business.


inoxiaknits said...

I think that you are doing a fantastic job! You're tremendously talented, crazy sweet, and overall AMAZING! Can't wait to see what's to come! <3

Virtue Natural said...

It takes dedication to make things happen. I've concluded that most folks won't understand - they're more comfortable working a 9 to 5 and getting a steady paycheck. That's just not us. :)

Life of Cattoo said...

Very inspirational post :-)

I would love to start my own business one day and if I do I will come back to this post.

Your yarns are wonderful.