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The biggest secret that no one tells you about running your own business

October 18, 2018

The biggest secret no one tells you about running your own business

Want to know the biggest secret that no one tells you about running your own business?  Well, here is your dose of raw, authentic, behind the scenes experience.

Here's the secret, many times along the way, you are going to question why you chose to even go down this route of entrepreneurship and you are going to want to quit. 

Wouldn't it just be easier to have a 9-to-5 job where you can just clock out at the end of the day and forget about work? The answer is yes.  It would definitely be easier.  But you can't let "easy" cloud your vision of what you want out of this life.

Below I am listing a real life, behind scenes, raw moment that I recently had just last weekend with my business where I wanted to close up shop and call it a loss.  So grab your cup of coffee and get cozy for this read.  Warning, this post is the opposite of sunshine and rainbows.

At the end of August, my kiddos went back to school (kind of... I'll get to that in a minute).  I had all sorts of organized plans blocked out on my calendar as to what I would accomplish each day/week/month for my business.  These plans would help me accomplish my goals for a smooth holiday season where I could get ALL THE THINGS done but also not be so frazzled that I missed enjoying all my favorite things (birthdays, soccer games, trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). 

Well it seemed that as soon as I wrote all those big goals down, my oldest came home sick the VERY FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL. There should be a law against that. So as a scrappy entrepreneur, I pivoted and rearranged things and tapped into some of my built-in margin so that I could take care of her and still accomplish my goals.  That is what my built-in margin is for after all, right?  Let me give you the bullet point version of how the rest of September went:

  • First week of September, my youngest throws up AT SCHOOL in the middle of the hallway (ugh!). I have so many things to do and now I am covered in vomit. Thank goodness no other kid was taken down in the process.  I get her all better and back to school in 2 days.
  • Then on that same week, my oldest comes home sick AGAIN with a nasty virus and misses 3 days of school.
  • I have a customer who is upset because her shipment was stuck in Dubai customs and I spend so much time trying to help her.
  • My shipment of embroidery hoops arrives damaged and I spend a lot time on the phone figuring out to resolve it.
  • We have to cancel not 1 but 2 separate birthday parties for my girls because of sickness. Anyone need a already-paid-for unicorn cake and unicorn decorations?
  • I am working late every night shipping out orders.
  • Then I get sick (of course! Mama is down for the count and my house is such a disaster and my fridge is bare)
  • I am now behind schedule on my custom orders.
  • A family member is admitted to the hospital. So of course we rearrange schedules and do whatever we can to rally for them.
  • A customer order in the UK goes missing.  Stinking customs!
  • My internet and power keeps going out because of all the rain (always when I am in middle of shipping out orders)
  • My youngest gets sick AGAIN.  Why are little kids such germ-carriers!?
  • I accidentally spill chicken broth on a completely finished custom wedding bouquet and have to start over.  That is over 40 hours of lost work! (not gonna lie, I cried on that one).
  • My cold has now turned into a sinus infection.
  • I go to every local embroidery store to hunt down this 1 DMC floss that I need for kits and no one has it! DMC 3685... where are you?
  • I have another customer who is angry that she has to pay VAT tax and wants to know why I can't fix that so she does not have to pay it and is threatening to leave a nasty review. (Y'all... I am so flattered that you think I have control over your countries' customs/taxes or postal service, but unfortunately I do not.)
  • My supplier messes up my order of embroidery kit boxes. I spend so much time on the phone with them and end up having to place a new order somewhere else.
  • Our back porch is now flooding and we now have a crack going across our ceiling (#oldhouseproblems).  All because of this crazy amount of rain.
  • My printer dies a horrible loud death. We quickly go buy a new one at 9pm at night.  Gotta ship the orders!
  • I find a typo on my 250 brand new postcards that I just ordered for kits.  Y'all, please don't judge my grammar error.  Normally I am on point with that kind of stuff.
  • For the love all things embroidery, where the heck is DMC floss 3685??!!

And just like that all my grand plans, margins, and multiple backup plans for September have washed away.  At this point, you are probably wondering why the heck I am telling you all of this.  I am telling you this to show you that you are not alone and to validate that trying to manage a business and raise healthy kids and deal with all the stuff that life throws at us is HARD.  There are only so many backup plans that one can have in their pocket of tricks. 

But here is the secret that no one tells you... everyone thinks of quitting their business many times over and over again. But the ones who make it are the ones who are scrappy enough and have the grit to keep pushing through the hard.

I would love to say that this past weekend was the first time I thought about quitting, but that is just not true. That was just one of many moments of doubting myself.  And I know that I will feel that way again at some point.  So after this latest doubting experience, I made a promise to myself that I will NEVER decide to quit on a bad day/month/year.  If I ever choose to quit this humble business of mine, I will go out on top.

So now I want to hear from you.  Have you ever thought about quitting?  If so, let me know in the comments or find me on Instagram and tell me there.  I want to cheer you on in those self-doubting moments. Because you can totally do this!  You can do hard things.  Just keep swimming, my friend!

 


3 Responses

Kenda Staudenmaier
Kenda Staudenmaier

March 02, 2019

I homeschool my kids and have felt like quitting several times. Life is just hard sometimes and I have to remind myself why I thought it was important in the first place. When I am not busy running in circles it is so calming to sit down with a sketch book, crochet, or sewing project of any kind. Do you have any suggestions for someone who hopes to one day sell their designs on what first steps to take in that direction?

Susan
Susan

October 19, 2018

There are days that I think no one really wants what I am selling, but along comes another order just to give me enough hope to keep going. I have a long way to go to build up my business, but I’m trying to do all that I can, when I can. Now, out of nowhere, my husband is transferred to Canada. This will slow progress, but I won’t let it stop me. I am even going to use this experience to find inspiration for my craft. In the meantime, I’m going to see if I can find that floss in Sugar Land, Texas for you this weekend! Thanks for sharing your story. It is a good reminder that there are always things that set us back, but they should never stop us.

Sandra Paul
Sandra Paul

October 19, 2018

Oh my goodness, I think I would be curled in a ball on my bed rocking a crying if this lot happened to me! Thank you for posting such an honest account and for reminding me we all have problems and bad days. I’ve definitely wanted to chuck it all in on more than one occasion, so you’re not alone in that at all. Well done for keeping on, keeping on! 👏👏💪💪

Sandra x

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