Now, Natalie has an amazing story and she & her husband are working on ways to step back from their day jobs and lead a life that allows them to share that story, to follow their passions, as well as be a large part of their children’s lives. Sound familiar? Now sitting down and talking with Natalie was so inspiring because it reminded me why I am doing what I am doing. It’s easy to get lost, at least for me, in all of the minute details of life and spend more time looking at where my feet are walking instead of taking in how far I’ve come and enjoying the view.
Yeah, it’s Monday. Did you hear me? I said it’s MONDAY! Time to rock another week, bitches!
Today I wanted to take a little time to talk about where I am as a business and how I got here. Now I know that all of y’all out there aren’t business owners. That’s okay. Maybe I’m crazy (if you read last week’s post then you know I am), but I like to think that a significant amount of what is written here on Mondays goes past just business owners and speaks on some level to everyone. So hang in there with me, won’t you?
A couple weeks ago I sat down with a new friend, Natalie from The Greatest Treasure.
It’s been just shy of a year now since I left my job and launched Holey Socks Art full-time. My job was stressful and taking all of my energy, all of my good, all of my KELLY away and leaving me short fused and not present for my family. In addition to that, I found myself becoming more and more upset by the fact that my kids would soon be attending school for 6 hrs a day with an additional 3+ hours of childcare to follow. That meant that for 9+ hours each day, 5 days a week, from the ages of 2-12 years old my kids would be under the guidance of someone else. Not to mention that when they did get me at night they would be sharing that time with cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, homework and whatever else came our way. Those would be hours lost I would never get back.
So I quit.
Don’t let me fool you, it wasn’t easy. My husband had just left a failing business and started anew at another salon and we had no guarantee that we would be able to make enough to survive. Instead we had courage and we had faith. Not faith that God would “$$ make it rain $$” or even give us success in what we were doing. I don’t think he’s ever promised us riches on earth. Instead we had faith that God had given us these gifts (both our talents and our kids) for a reason. Faith that we were capable and willing to do whatever we needed to. That might very well have meant failing miserably and getting a new job a couple months down the road. But for both of us, we knew in our hearts it was worth the shot and I knew that I would endlessly regret not at least trying.
Starting a business with no capital and no business experience isn’t ideal. I like to think that passion and commitment go a long way to filling in the gaps along with YouTube. I spend an extraordinary amount of time “teaching” myself all that I don’t know. Some days I fail. Some days I win. Some days I’m the worst student in the world and don’t really listen to all the instructions before I start and royally mess up. What I do do is start. I show up.
I’m happy to say that last month was my best month yet! I made nearly half of my old monthly salary in profits. I know it doesn’t sound like much but for me it’s huge! I recently had a guest post accepted by Scary Mommy which lead to an invitation to do a post for another site. I had over a dozen sales. I was contacted by a boutique in Spain who would like to potentially wholesale some of my products.
I don’t mean to brag but it’s my success and I’m celebrating it. Yeah, it might all fall through and next month’s craft fairs might be a flop. But I’m still going to show up. I’m going to try. I’m gonna give it my damnedest and anyone who knows me knows I’m stubborn as hell and won’t give up until I have to. Until then, I celebrate. That’s an important part that I often miss.
During all this, the Hubs also took a chance and started The 2Bits Man, a male grooming products company, with two of his friends. Why? Because it was something he was passionate about and because he loves what he does and wanted to create a product other barbers, stylists, and men would love and that worked. Was it easy? No, but nearly a year later they have a product they made exclusively for Sandborn Canoe Co., have made the top of Amazon in their category, and had their first 5 digit month in sales! A new record for them.
Today, Americans are working more and more, forgoing vacations and incurring more and more debt than ever before. What for? “Stuff”. Lots of “stuff”. Cars, vacation homes (we don’t take vacation to go to), clothes, jewelry, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, I love “stuff”. Shit, I make “stuff” for a living! Don’t let me stop you, by all means. *Wink*
What I saw and what my friend Natalie is seeing is that there are other ways. I’m not saying that being a working mother is wrong. I’m not saying you can’t have a cubicle job. Not everyone is able to make such a drastic choice or even wants to, I understand that. What I am saying is that there are other ways if that doesn’t feel right to you. What I want people YOU to think about is if you are making time for what you love. Are you keeping your dreams in sight? Is there something you aren’t doing because you’re too afraid? Are you remembering to celebrate your wins?