Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the balancing act

bedside reading
two books i've started to read to school myself on running my own *successful* business

sometimes i get a bit sad that i seem to do more admin work for my little business than i do creative work. i have been sketching new ideas for the shop, longingly wishing i could enter into a few blog pillow contests, running my hands over uncut pieces of fabric that are just calling my name, and drooling over some of my craft books dreaming of what i want to create next. but it's just not happening. instead i sit down to the computer in the morning to answer business emails, create ads, edit photos, create listings, make phone calls, and on and on until i look up and realize the next door neighbor can now see me huddled over my laptop because it's dark out and i forgot to draw the shades. i guess it's all part of turning something you love into something you can draw an income from.

i've had a lot of days like this lately and feel i'm at the point where i really need to force myself to stick to more of a schedule. while i'm almost always being productive, i do wonder if i could be more efficient or just better at balancing the different types of tasks at hand.

being my own task-master is one of the hardest parts of working on my own ("put the cat down, write that email you've been dreading, don't sleep in, and for pete's sake do NOT turn on the tv katrina lynn!"). in an effort to motivate and school myself though, i've begun to read a couple books written for freelancers, artisans, and the DIY generation: the anti 9 to 5 guide by michelle goodman and the boss of you by lauren bacon and emira mears (i've also seen a lot of press for creative, inc. and the handmade marketplace but no personal reviews....has anyone read them/would recommend them?). so far, they are both getting me to think more critically about a lot of aspects of my business including how i work and what i need to do to grow and be successful. plus they show how other women have managed to do all this successfully and so they are powerful motivators!

until i get to the point where i've soaked up all the knowledge i can about running my own small business (with balance AND efficiency) i remind myself that, at the end of the day when the neighbor is peeking into my studio, this balancing act is one i much prefer to the cubicle job of my past that i came home crying from and where i was tempted to knock my head against my computer screen on a daily basis (ok, so i actually did do that once...me + office job = soul sucking experience). and sacrificing for this, though difficult, is also going to be worth it!


Angela said...

I hear ya!! It is so hard to find a balance. Today was my photography day (see I DO have a schedule) but I ended up stripping the sheets from the bed, doing laundry, going to the grocery, email chatting with another blog friend, and making lasagna... still have not taken one photo!! BUT Aubrey is working in his studio tonight so I will work in mine. (after I go pick my niece up from dance class)

I guess the first step is to make the schedule... because some days I really do stick to mine...it's just really hard for me to accomplish things if my house is dirty - it distracts me too much.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is - make a schedule :)

Rachel said...

Yes, this is so tough. I want more time to design, and less time working on taxes. Sigh.

thestoryofkat said...

haha! i laugh only because i know exactly what those days are like!! i have all these high hopes of getting stuff done for my shop but then end up doing chores and errands up the wazoo because it IS hard to work in a dirty house with all these other worries hanging over you. so good to know i am not alone :)

maureencracknell said...

I have given up on finding a balance for now. My plan has always been to turn the making into a real business once my youngest is in school, so I have about a year and a half to figure out how to make that happen. The hardest part of all of this for me is to get the hubby on board -- he never uses the computer, so when he sees me on it here and there throughout the day I can tell he doesn't get it?

DK said...

It's way hard to keep to a schedule, I have issues with it too but I've started to really get my ass in gear this week by breaking it down into smaller things. I can't go on to the next til I'm totally finished with the current... so far it's helping me get my prototyping done way faster.

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. There is so much more to running a business than just the talent part of it. And for me, I need to find clients or projects before I can DO my talent, so there's that aspect as well! I will definitely have to check out these two books. One that I've read and found very helpful is called "The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed." It has some great tips about how to make the most of the money you're bringing in and be efficient in your record keeping, admin, etc.

Meeling said...

That's a tough one! I'm with you guys on not being able to get stuff done if I need to tidy the house or do errands...I think a schedule is a good idea, but then sticking to it might be another matter all together!!

Hope you have a great and productive day! ;-)