I had a friend ask me this weekend how running my own business full-time is going, and honestly I have to reply that it's somewhat mixed. It's been about six weeks since I left my non-profit job to work on piddix full-time. I of course had dreams of 1) making enough money to support my family, 2) getting to spend more time with friends, 3) working out more and eating healthy, and 4) having a better work-life balance. So what's the reality? I feel like me two-year-old when he says "It's haaaaaaard."
Around the time I left my "day job," piddix's sales dropped dramatically. We questioned whether to still go ahead with piddix full-time and decided to take the leap, betting that the increased hours I'd be able to put into it would make up the difference and we could live on savings while things grew. February and March are typically my slowest months and this was especially true this year. Savings were getting eaten up more quickly than planned and it's definitely on the scary side.
Since then, I've come out with several new lines of collage sheets, different items in the shop, and a couple of marketing campaigns. Things are sloooowly coming around. Whether it will happen before savings run out is still to be determined. To make up for the lower income we've also cut back on a ton of expenses and this will be hard, especially, on my family as things like new shoes or a dentist appointment become luxuries. I feel very supported but also don't want to be selfish in my pursuits of new challenges.
On the other hand, I've actually made it to bed before midnight a couple of times--which was unheard of while I was working two jobs. I feel significantly more rested and have discovered that I'm a better mom and a generally more happy person when I get 8 hours of sleep. I've been seeing friends and neighbors more. And the funny thing is that now that we have less income it actually makes me rely on other people more (in a good way). Since we can't afford to hire any extra help, I'll be trading babysitting, nights-out, dog sitting, extra produce, and hand-me-downs with friends and neighbors.
Other highs and lows come and go. I miss my former co-workers much more than I expected and working from home can sometimes be challenging. At the same time I'm so excited about the new work I'm doing, a new book coming out with piddix images in it, the design classes I'm taking, a potential article in USA Today, my new twitter account, and on and on. It feels great to be able to focus on one kind of work instead of spreading myself too thin.
What's next? That's the big question. At this point my main goal is to stabilize income and expenses so that we're not hemorrhaging savings. If that can be accomplished within the next couple of weeks then I see great potential for future expansion. As always, wish me luck.