Category Archives: The Business

Spring – But Feels Like Winter

Last night I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to write in this blog, even though I’ve completely ignored it for over 1.5 years.  I don’t know where the time goes, but the holidays passed, we both had birthdays, my business turned another year older, and while so much has changed, so much has also stayed the same.

I went to a dinner party recently and it somehow turned into a business group meeting.  There were people there with all types of backgrounds – salsa dancers, pilots, entrepreneurs, product managers, etc.  I started talking to the pilot about a new product he is launching and just different ways he could market his brand – and it went on for hours and hours.  Unintentionally.  It was incredible, and gratifying and so intellectually stimulating.  I left the party that night thinking about how much I miss marketing and giving marketing advice, more than that, being part of an overall marketing strategy.

The reality I’m facing right now is this: while I love love LOVE what I do and I love the relationships I’ve made, I miss marketing.  Traditional marketing.  I realize that so much of what I’m doing now is marketing in the sense of social media and affiliate, performance marketing, but it’s difficult to market yourself.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that, even 4.5 years in the game.

When I started this business, it was 100% unintentional.  I found a niche basically because I created a product that didn’t exist and I posted it online, to an incredible response.  I am and have always been motivated by action and results, so it only made sense for me to try it out.  I made a plan – I prepped and transitioned out of my marketing manager role for an entire year – and then I took the leap.  I got swept up in the possibilities, the challenge, the creativity, and the limitlessness of being a woman entrepreneur.  I am and will always be grateful for what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve built for myself, and for the success I’ve had – but for the first time I’m starting to wonder if I should keep the business, or if it’s time for me to move on.

That’s a really harsh reality, mostly because there is no reason for me to stop what I’m doing.  I could be traveling the world right now and leave my shop on autopilot and I still wouldn’t have to worry about income, or bills, or anything monetary.  But it goes beyond that, and facing that truth is something I’m struggling with at the moment.  I don’t know if this means that I’ll be in a different working environment by the end of this year, or by the year of 2-3 years, but I do know that it’s definitely a possibility.

And while all of that freaks me out a little bit, it’s also extremely exhilarating and liberating to make my own decisions, at my own pace.

With all of that said, I’ll leave you with a photo from Costa Rica – my favorite trip last year.  I’ll eventually post about all my trips last year along with photos (there were a lot!) – eventually.

IMG_5441

10,000 orders later….

Somehow life and work happened and I’m now at 10,000+ sales in my tiny little Etsy Shop.  Who knew that this was possible and so quickly at that!!  It’s crazy that my stomach still gets in knots when I see that I have new feedback.. 10k orders later and I still worry that someone will have something bad to say, haha.  I guess that ultimately means that I still care today as much as I did when this all started for me.

Of course there are still some days when I miss the routine of commuting to/from work and going out to lunch with coworkers and sharing weekend stories, and really just having these huge marketing projects and campaigns that I was responsible for – the stress, the execution, the relief, all of it.  In a sense I have some of that and more these days (lucky to have friends who are also entrepreneurs with schedules as flexible as mine), but it’s also very interesting.. and awkward to say the least when your biggest marketing campaigns and strategies now include marketing yourself.  I have mixed feelings about it and I probably always will.  Par for the course I guess.

Anyway, I screencapped this because it’s definitely something that I should remember and rejoice and celebrate. <3

goldtinsel 10k

Daily.

 Work is amazing.  No, that’s an understatement – work is incredible.  But work is also extremely stressful, time consuming and at times tedious, but work is incredible incredible.  Did I mention incredible?

It’s hard to believe that only 2 years ago I made the decision (this very day) to leave my fulltime job.  Granted, I didn’t fully leave until Jan 1, 2014, but it’s still kind of amazing how much I’ve done and how far I’ve gone since then.  Also, just 3 years ago I was celebrating my 500th sale.  2 months ago I was celebrating my 5,000th sale.  Today I’m celebrating over 7,000 sales.  If that isn’t growth for you, I don’t know what is.

I talk about work all the time because it’s about 75% of my daily life.  I definitely miss the days when I first became self employed and I had 1/2 days off with not much else to do but clean the house, cook, decorate and shop – and these days I can barely manage a night off.  I know all of that has to change eventually, and I’m doing better at outsourcing some of my work and having hired help, but it’s hard to not be completely in control, esp. when I gave up so much to do what I’m doing.  This brings up Europe and what I’m going to do about work/ my shop during that 5 week hiatus.  I keep trying to rationalize closing shop for the entire 5 weeks, but that’s a loonnngg time to go without having any income, esp. while I’ll be spending so.much in Europe.  I know that I could have my sister (who is ultra reliable) run shop while I’m gone, but this is my baby.  What if something goes wrong?  What if she misses a step?  What if things completely fall apart and then I’m left more stressed out than ever, without the ability to do anything about it?  And – of course, what if nothing bad happens at all and shop is smooth cause she’s taking care of everything?

Anyway, it’s been a crazy long stressful week and thank goodness it’s Friday tomorrow.  I just want to relax and not work for the weekend.  Not sure that’s entirely possible but a girl can dream. ❤️

On another note; booked a trip to Vegas for a short 4 days and I am uber excited to lay by the pool & not do much else.  Matt and I also booked a flight for my sister to come with us, so she could get away from life & enjoy the sun beside us.  Absolutely so grateful that we are able to do these things for the people we love. 

Freelance problems

Sometimes you have projects that require all of your time, effort & creativity.  I’m currently working overtime for a project that was paid for months ago, but I only got the info this week, AND the event is this weekend.. Saturday (insert crying eyes).

Needless to say, it’s really difficult to be in this position, trying to get everything done efficiently, on-time but still have quality standards!  The perks of working for yourself is that you have the option of accepting and declining projects at your choosing.  However, that’s definitely easier said than done, esp. when you’ve become acquainted with said-client.

And while there’s a down side to all of this (like not eating all day, haha), there’s also an upside.  I might cringe at the thought of printing 1000+ pcs, but I also love that I am ABLE to do it.  That I can actually finish a project this big and have it done well.  That when I say “okay, yes, I’ll do it,” I can actually actually do it.  It’s weirdly satisfying. :)

I have tons of photos that I’ll be posting of various past and current projects – tons of stuff I am so so proud of, but for some reason just haven’t shown for one reason or another.  Hopefully my next post will contain more than words and some eye candy.

Back to proofing and printing and designing I go.. <3

Sunday nights.

Our vacation came and went, and now I’m home – back in the swing of things.  It’s currently Sunday night, a little after midnight, and I’m doing what I always do — working into the wee hours of the night because I spend Monday mornings hanging out with my mom (which means nothing work-related until about 3pm).

Needless to say, our Vegas trip was exactly what I needed.  We ate (of course!), lounged at the pool for waaaay too many hours, gambled, shopped, and basically did nothing but relaxed and played and had no set agenda.  I even won $118 off of a $2 bet, but the next day I lost over $200, so not really much to brag about there, haha.

The only thing about coming home from a trip (even a short trip) is that mounds and mounds of work await you.  I truly never thought that things would be this crazy or hectic when I started working for myself fulltime.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s a blessing completely in itself – but it’s a LOT of work as well.

This week I have a ton on deck – 2 HUGE wedding suites that need to be finalized, printed AND shipped, a branding and logo suite, some ad banner graphics I need to finish, tons of freelance mktg work, and of course – fulfilling all my orders.  It always stresses me out when I think about all of the deadlines and how I’m going to manage, but then M comes into the room, picks up some scissors and stays with me (working) for the next few hours.  What a sweet man – and what a blessing it is that I get to do what I love (& with someone who loves me and completely supports me to no end).

Besides all of this work related stuff, I moved my office into my guestroom (because it’s much bigger), but I haven’t completely moved out or in – meaning, I’m working out of 2 rooms at the moment and it’s becoming quite.. ridiculous.  I just need to find 3/4 hrs and complete the job, otherwise I’ll be stuck in this transition for awhile.  It’s driving my crazy because my printers & supplies are everywhere.  I just need to find some time… just a little bit of time.

PS – I’d like to go on vacation again.  Like, tmr please :)