December marks my sixth month of solopreneurship and let’s just say I’ve been through a few ups and downs. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love working for myself. There is nothing I would rather do than being my own boss. But, being a small business owner isn’t for the faint at heart. You have to take the good with the bad, know when to let things go, and kick yourself in the rear when you feel like giving up.
I’ll start with my successes:
First – I’ve been in business for 6 months! I told myself that I would give this business a shot for one year. However, there have been times when I felt like closing shop and finding a full time job. It is hard guys…really!!! Sometimes you feel like you are swimming up stream without a paddle. And other days you are literally on cloud nine! I am committed to giving myself a chance. I never want to regret not seeing this business through…if I go down it won’t be for a lack of trying!
Second – I launched 4 classes in less than 6 months! OMG! That sounds like a lot because it FREAKIN’ IS!!! Admittedly, I should have paced myself. It takes a lot of time to create and produce high quality classes. I felt like I was on a class making roll – I couldn’t stop!
Third – I hosted my first ever professional scrapbook retreat! To say I had a blast is an understatement! This retreat was amazing and it felt good to connect with a group of awesome scrappers, many who have been with me since day one. The retreat was held at the Covered Bridge Inn in Weatherford, TX. The venue was gorgeous and the owners were incredibly accommodating. We created, and talked, and ate to our hearts content. The 2017 fall retreat is sold out and I have plans for more retreats as well…stay tuned for details!
Fourth – I am LOVING all of the flexibility I have in my life right now! There are so many things that I get to do simply because I have the time to do it – take and pick up my kiddo from school, go on lunch dates with my sweetie, work from Starbucks, hang with my mom (she’s retired)…the list goes on and on. I like being completely in charge of my schedule!
Fifth – I am learning so much! Everything I do comes with a learning curve, some steeper than others. From advanced video editing, understanding copyright and licensing laws for stock photos and audio files, to creating an editorial calendar…there is so much to learn. I’m on a continual hunt for resources!
Now, with the good comes the bad…I’ve had some challenges as well:
First Challenge – I am not entirely comfortable with our financial situation. We’ve experienced some setbacks recently that we were not prepared for. While my class sales have been somewhat strong, I fully understand the struggle of having inconsistent income. At this point, I am considering finding a part-time gig to supplement until my income from my business is more consistent or at least until I can pay down some unexpected expenses. If you are considering working for yourself, I highly recommend that you save at least 3-6 months worth of income before going into business full time. Always expect that the unexpected will happen…because it does! I am confident that things will pick up, but man it’s been a bit rough.
Second Challenge – Remember when I said that I love all of the flexibility I have now that I work for myself? Well, it’s actually a double-edge sword. All of this flexibility has made me a bit unproductive at times. As someone who worked outside of the home for years, I found that I NEED an 8-5 type schedule to keep me on task. Of course, I still command my own time, but I needed to create a bit of structure within my day so I can be more productive. I have a lot of projects that I want to launch in 2017 and those projects will not get done if I do not create a more structured environment.
Third Challenge – I want to do all the things!! I have so many ideas in my head and I want to do them all. But, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t do all the things. I remember when I worked in corporate America, an executive with a company I worked for once said, “Let’s focus on doing 3 things really well instead of doing 10 things really bad.” I’ve carried that with me throughout my professional life. Now, I just need to apply that same advice to my business ventures.
Fourth Challenge – One of my classes didn’t do as well as expected. To be honest, this was a complete shock to me. I poured so much into this particular course so it was upsetting to see it not perform as well as my other classes. However, it is to be expected – there are some projects that will be amazing and yield high profits and there are other projects that will fall flat. I have learned to reevaluate my strategy and to be realistic with my projections. Each project allows me the opportunity to learn and grow.
So there you have it…the good and the bad. Overall, I am really enjoying this journey and wouldn’t give it up for the world! Granted, there are days when I want to retreat to the old and familiar, but I am committed to seeing this first year through!
Next week I will share my exciting plans for 2017…onward and upward!!!