See that face…that is the face of someone who, after a very long time (and lots of struggle) is officially working for herself full-time again…YAY! My journey over the past year has been filled with a lot of trials and a few successes. But I am happy to report that its full steam ahead for this little “entrepreneur who could”!
Let me catch you up…
In 2016, I quit my full-time career in the non-profit world to pursue my dream of starting a business in the crafting industry. You can read more about my experience here and here and here. The first few months were super exciting and thrilling! Making the decision to work for myself has been fantastic and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I created a series of online classes, hosted the 2nd Annual Victoria Marie Scrapbook Retreat, worked on designs teams, and was featured on a podcast. Life couldn’t get any better at that point. I was riding the wave!
Then things changed.
In early 2017, my family experienced a financial catastrophe of which we were not prepared for. My business was still very much in its infancy and our cash flow was dwindling. My spouse and I decided that I needed to go back to work. I was not particularly happy about this. But, eating and paying rent are important “adulting” type things that must be done. So I put on my big girl panties and found a job. You can read more about this part of my journey here.
Luckily, I was able to find a part-time position with a non-profit that also supports a private school that my daughter attended. The hourly rate wasn’t bad and we got reduced tuition for my kiddo…no brainer. However, the job was way more intense that I could have ever imagined. I went from working 30 hours a week to over 40 hours a week. After a long day, I would come home, try to make dinner, play with my kid, and around 10:00 pm (or later), I attempted to get work done for my business.
Was I successful at this? Hell no!
I was drowning!
And I felt like a failure.
Fast forward to March 2018. I was tired, stressed, and feeling like I could no longer carry on with my business. In addition to working long hours and taking care of my family and other responsibilities, I also had to assist my mother with the sale of her home as she has decided to live with my family. This meant that all of my weekends for the past 3-4 months have been consumed by this process. This presented a big problem because I reserved the weekends for catching up on my business projects.
Catching up? Ha! About that…
So, I stayed perpetually behind in everything in my life. I am amazed that I was able to get some things done. However, major projects got put on the back burner (i.e. Documenting Magic YouTube series, classes, my sketch book, etc.). Commitments with friends were cancelled because I needed every ounce of free time to work on my business projects or to clean my house or entertain my kid or help my mom…or something. And with each passing day, I felt more and more defeated.
I almost closed my business.
The truth is…I could not do it all. I had to make some short-term choices in order to ease the burden of dealing with my over scheduled, over worked life. I created a list of the projects that I could feasibly do and another list of projects that would need to be put on the back burner for now. I breathed a sign of relief and carried on as best as I could.
I continued to work long hours, both away and at home. I was exhausted yet determined. I had to make this work.
And I did. Barely.
Then one day, the storm cleared and a path was created for me to start working my business full-time again. Opportunities started coming my way so it no longer made sense to juggle my side hustle job with my business. I made the decision to quit my side job in June 2018.
So, here I am…the second day of working for myself again and it feels so good, scary, and overwhelming. I have a lot of work ahead of me and that’s okay. I welcome the challenge. I have learned so much over the past year – many lessons that have strengthen my resolve to be a better and stronger business owner.
Lesson One – It’s okay to have a side hustle while building your business. You have to pay the bills and eat. Stay humble.
Lesson Two – Never give up! NEVER give up on your dreams. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your business (or insert whatever your dream is here). 🙂
Lesson Three – It’s okay to admit defeat and to take a different direction when you need to. Your grand plan will not fall apart.
Lesson Four – Nothing is forever. Things will change. Situations will change. You will change…so embrace it.
Lesson Five – You must show up and work. Period. You must put in the time and action needed in order to make your business (or whatever) successful. Start somewhere and keep moving forward, keep showing up, and keep working!
I am so proud of myself for staying the course and not quitting when the going got tough. There is something to be said about perseverance and determination.
Now, if you will excuse, I have work to do. Vicki…OUT!