When people find out I run my own business, I often hear, “That’s so great….I wish I could do that!” or, “How wonderful that you can make some extra money while staying at home with your kids!” And you know what – it is great, and I wouldn’t change it, but I do wish that I had known what I was getting into before I jumped in head first. The truth is, running a business is not as glamorous you would think. Working for yourself is probably harder than working for someone else….actually, if you want to be successful – it definitely is. I’ve had to give up a lot of things that I now cherish dearly when I get a chance to do them.
I’m a Mom and wife first, a Business Owner second and anything after that gets low priority. My girls take up the majority of my days – they are still young and don’t go to school every day. The days they do go to school allow me 2 full days each week to work (minus holidays and breaks). Whatever I don’t get done in those precious 12-14 hours needs to be done on “my time”.
Although I’d like to think I work part-time (as this was my goal when I started Sewplicity), the truth is I work a lot more. Running your own business, especially one where you are actually manufacturing things, is A LOT of work. I don’t watch TV anymore (no more vegging out to American Idol), my house is not as tidy as I would like it (my tolerance for toys lying about is much higher than it once was), and long gone are the days of slipping into bed by 9:30.
My work day begins after dinner when the dishes are cleaned up and the kids are bathed and dressed for bed. Thankfully, my dear husband takes over most evenings which allows me a few hours to get orders done. After a couple of hours of sewing I typically spend the last hour or two of my evening emailing customers, printing shipping labels, packing my orders, ordering supplies and bookkeeping. I typically go to sleep around 11:30 and my job as Mom begins at 5:30 when my little one wakes up.
If you are thinking about starting your own craft business that is wonderful – I encourage you to do it as it is extremely rewarding – but at the same time, don’t think it is a ticket to freedom. When you work for someone else you can leave your work behind at the end of the day – when you run your own business you NEVER leave! Really – NEVER!
Here is a picture of how I spent my President’s Day weekend…
How did you spend yours?
Interested in learning more? keep posted – I am going to follow up on this post with some useful advice on starting a small business. I will share what I learned and give you some tips on planning.