Before I get too far into this, I’d like to apologize for going off-format a little with this post, I hope you guys will bear with me…
Somewhere back in grade school, a teacher of mine made the bold claim that there were no stupid questions. I remember she said that if one of us didn’t understand something, chances were pretty good that there were a dozen other people in the room too afraid to raise their hands, and we were doing them a favor by asking. As I recall, she was spot on and it certainly made the learning environment a lot more constructive.
So what does that have to do with business tips? Well, even though I’ve volunteered to blog on the subject, I am in no way an expert on running my own business. I simply figured my experiences, research, and especially my mistakes can help others who are on the same path.
Like many of you, I’m swimming in last minute holiday orders and other end-of-year messiness. I actually caught myself making little promises to my crafting table that next year… next year would be different! Next year I will get my orders done earlier and save some time for personal creating!
Except I say that every year, and it never quite seems to work out.
One of the absolute hardest things for me has been finding separation between the business and what used to be my personal life. Reading other seller profiles and features I’m struck by how much everyone kind of says the same thing – they are working longer hours than ever, they don’t really take vacations, and the option of walking away from the job at 5pm is – well, it’s no longer an option. This is fun and exciting at first, it feels really good to be spending so much time and energy on something that is well and truly yours, doesn’t it?
But here’s where I’m shyly raising my hand. What happens when it no longer feels so good? How do you guys decide when to say when? Can we talk about office hours and what to do when it’s always assumed you can drop your work at a moment’s notice to do this life-related thing that your partner has no time to do? Or, how do you deal with people insinuating you don’t have a “real” job and don’t understand why you can’t take a 3 hour lunch?
Does having your own studio help? How do you manage your day? How do you manage spouses, friends and children who don’t respect your work time? How do you find time to enjoy your holiday? Do you still craft for yourself?
Again, I apologize for going off format, but if there’s anything this group is good at, it’s sharing problems and finding solutions. I’d like to move into the new year with a better handle on my own personal time management skills and a much more organized working environment. So, I’m raising my hand and maybe there are a few more of you out there who can benefit from the wisdom of the class.