Happy Holidays friends and an especially Happy Holidays to me. I have just embarked on a new adventure…Self-employment. EEEK!
This new adventure has been in the works for about six years now, when I first started making and selling jewelry on Etsy. I read the “Quit your day job” stories on the Etsy blog and dreamed of one day being able to work from home doing some kind of creative business. My online business has been slowly and steadily growing. My problem has always been that I have never had as much time as I needed to spend on my jewelry business and my blog to be successful enough that it would support me financially. It’s a catch 22 really. How do you find the time and money to work on your business when you have to work a “real” job?
I have been very blessed and made some smart choices over the past six years since I moved to the United States from Canada and started my new life with my husband. Our little house is completely paid off, I am completely debt free and the only bill I have that comes in my name is my cell phone bill. My husband takes care of the utilities (which are quite affordable when you live practically in the middle of nowhere) We split costs like groceries and other necessities. We both like to save our money like little squirrels hoarding nuts so we have a safety net in case of emergency.
I have been working in the shipping and parcel delivery service for the past six years. I started working at a Mailboxes Etc. type of place when I first moved to America. Then I got a job at one of the largest parcel delivery companies in the world. I won’t tell you which one but you could probably figure it out 😉 I loaded trucks in the middle of the night for a year. Then I had a baby. Then I got a promotion to be a supervisor on the evening shift. All the while I was plugging away as best I could with my jewelry business and my blog. The thing I noticed was that when I put the time and energy into my business, I got results. Unfortunately with a “real” job and a baby I didn’t have the time or the energy to do much of anything except make it through the day without ripping my hair out.
Now that my daughter is two and is getting more and more independent I am freed up to spend more time on my creative business. I had been unhappy with my “real” job for some time. The upper management was so bad and it trickled all the way down to me. As they say sh*t rolls downhill and I got a whole lot of crap tossed my way. I have had my share of bad jobs, trust me. I used to do bikini waxing for a living. I left that job to work at a call center. You believe me now don’t you? I’m a pretty tough cookie and I work hard, but everyone has their breaking point. I had many nights where I called my husband from the bathroom at work sobbing because I was being treated so terribly and I wanted his support to leave. I always had his support, but I was the one holding myself back from pulling the plug. There are a lot of justifications for staying at a job you hate. The pay is good, you like the people you work with, any other job you are going to get is going to suck too because it’s called “work” for a reason.
I was lying in bed for most of last weekend, reeling from the prior brutal week and feeling anxious and depressed about my situation. After a good chat with my parents and my husband I thought, “what if I just didn’t go back?” So I decided that I wouldn’t. I called my boss, told her that I was too stressed and it was negatively affecting my personal life and after three and half years working there they would have to find someone else to fill my position. I hope one day everyone I worked with will have the opportunity to do that too because it feels amazing.
I have been doing so well with my business and December is by far the best month of the year for sales. I always wished that I could have more time during the holiday season to work on my shop. I wondered what I would be capable of achieving if I had the time. During the past six years of only working part-time on my business. I have managed to make tens of thousands of dollars in sales, I have had my work published in two magazines, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Go Daddy and Danica Patrick in The Big Leap contest. What can I achieve now that I have the time, saved the money and gained six years of experience running my own online business?
I guess I am about to find out!