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Self-employment

Hello everyone- as I sit here I think, is this the right platform to talk about business and it's challenges, is it right for me to actually voice these concerns? I think in some ways no but in other ways yes so here goes. I know that many self-employed people will find what I am about to say incredibly true for themselves, others maybe not but many I suspect beneath the exterior of what we share online find the "struggle" very, very real....

I don't wish this piece of writing to come across as "whiney", I am incredibly grateful for every single friend, follower, family member, EVERYONE who supports me in being self employed. But this past year has been without question, the most difficult year in all 6 of doing this full time. Being self-employed, and without any employees, means every single decision you make is on you and I am feel hammered into the ground by that. Earlier in 2016 I left Etsy where I had a comfortable following and amount of business to my own website. In hindsight that seems quite nuts but it felt and still feels right despite the "nutjob risk taking" factor in doing so. Since then, every waking moment I am not with my child or glazed over in front of Netflix I am brainstorming, instagramming, sourcing, cleaning, managing a 2 bedroom apartment containing our family and my business as well as juggling the finances involved with constant inventory renewal, I know there are thousands and thousands of people also doing this very thing with their small business and I get a lot of comfort in that this shit is hard, for everybody.

Sometimes I think, why did I want to change what I was doing, why did I want to just print a bloody tote bag (I do love it though!)....why am I making it hard for myself when the formula of selling quality, great vintage is fairly basic: there is a finite amount of the good shit and people want it. Period. not brain surgery at all. But the reason I want to do different things, LUNACY things like starting my own website is because I get bored as hell and I am awake at 5am every goddamn day with my wheels turning over a strong coffee. It feels like a blessing to be motivated for change but an absolute curse to care this much and let the stress infiltrate every aspect of my life. "Work/life balance".....such an irritating but necessary phrase. I'm exhausted right now. Utterly fried. Can I admit that? Can I say that? I won't list the factors, some things are just left unsaid or said only to my long-suffering husband....but I am still doing it and I know that I will get through this hump (more like Everest) in the road. You know what I would love? a fairy godmother. Someone who says, THIS is what you should do right now, go and ship some stuff and I will sit here and take over the decisions this month you just go and enjoy your kiddo and eat cake. But that isn't going to happen. Even though I feel like a pancake spread across the floor right now it's still up to ME to drive this thing forward, there really isn't time for a pity party when it's all you, in fact I am throwing a 4 year old party tomorrow and I have dozens of mini pizzas, balloons and sweets to make so I should probably stop rambling.

There really is no point to this post beyond revealing that I might be nuts which many of my colleagues and friends already know (love you guys!), maybe it's my "therapy" for today. Maybe sharing the reality behind the pretty clothes is good, maybe not. Who knows?! But going forward I think transparency (within reason) is the ONLY way forward, social media supports me and kills me all at the same time, we just can't live up to what is online all the time, it's just not possible. So there we go. I'm still here, I'm still thrilled EACH AND EVERY single time my phone dings with an order, I still love old clothes but I definitely need more than just those this year, so I guess even though decisions feel like dead weights right now I gotta keep making them.....

Thank you so much for reading if you got thus far. I'm so interested to hear from other people and what they experience as business owners.....peace my friends.

Amy.



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