First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me in this new endeavor thus far. Those of you who were my first customers filled me with such glee and much needed morale that yes, I can do this. Those of you who have offered encouraging word have bolstered my confidence more than you know. After fulfilling some custom orders, I have been back to work on rounding out the stock in my shop. Through perusing forums and advice columns, I do realize it is important to make products that your target customer desires. That being said, I do this because it is a passion, I love to create, and it is an artistic outlet for me. So, to a certain extent, following my artistic whims of the moment is part of the process. I could make the same item day in and day out, but I feel my shop and my creative body of work would be much more reflective of who I am as an encompassing menagerie rather than one redundant "best seller."
A dear friend of mine and fellow business owner whom I trust, K, shared her wisdom and experience with me yesterday. "Find a balance." Starting a new business can be all consuming. Yes, I am a budding entrepreneur, but first I am a wife and mother (and I also have a 'real' job as a nurse!). I have small children who deserve to see more than the back of my head as I work on the computer. This season of life is precious and fleeting. I have years and years ahead of me without children pulling on my pants saying, "Mommy, watch this!" Putting too much focus on building my business has the potential of pulling my attention away from where it should be...relishing in the joy of my dear children who want nothing more than to spend every moment with me. I know they won't always feel that way. All that being said, my wise friend also empathized with the sentiment that, this is ME. Not mom, wife, but ME as a woman and who I am. Pouring myself into my work feels good because it is what I love to do. I have found in my relatively short three year tenure as a mother that finding a little "me time" makes me a MUCH better mom.
So, here are my take away thoughts for the day (some, courtesy of K):
- If I haven't spent time with the Lord yet that day, I have no business working on 'business'
- If my children, "Mommy, watch!", stop what I am doing...always...and turn my eyes to them because they deserve my undivided attention
- Save work for when it doesn't interfere with family. Sometimes I can do both (knitting in front of the TV while we all watch a movie), but if I can't, family ALWAYS comes first.
- Use nap-time to recharge with "me time" whether that is working on my business or just reading a book with a cup of tea
If you are struggling to find balance, I hope this helps a little. To be honest, this post is much more for me to get my thoughts out on the subject of balance. But if it helps anyone else find a little, what a blessing!