Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

One day when everything seemed to be going wrong and I was exhausted and frustrated I stopped and asked “Why am I doing this?”  Writing is a way for me to process my thoughts.  So, that’s what I did, write out my answer.  The following is resulted from that melt down and I thought it was worth sharing as I’m sure many of you can relate.

Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

Knowing it’s time to call it a day, but still working anyway.

It’s about taking on a custom order that has a one week turn around even when you’re so swamped you really should have passed on it…oh and still doing a quality job on the order.

It’s about having a support system.

It’s about asking family and friends for help (and trying not to feel guilty about needing to ask for help and paying them back in product).

It’s about having a best friend who’ll listen to you (day in and day out) without complaining when you give them your list of things you plan to accomplish that week (Then not telling you that you’re insane because one person couldn’t possibly get all that done on their own, but instead cheering you on.)

It’s about coming home after a 10 hour day at a market and then spending another 4 hours making product because you’re stressing out that you don’t have enough in stock.

It’s about planning down to the minute detail and then rolling with it when it all goes completely different from planned.

It’s about learning from your mistakes.

It’s about remembering to celebrate the good days.

It’s about occasionally stressing out (okay, maybe more than occasionally).

It’s about worrying will you be able to pay the bills that month.

It’s about worrying have you made enough product and then worrying that you’ve made too much.

It’s about admitting you’re not super woman (no matter how much you wish you were).

It’s about the joy of creating something new.

It’s about moving outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, and trying new things.

It’s about worrying about the weather.

It’s about being thankful for supportive communities, sharing ideas, and learning from others in your field, as well as sharing your knowledge.

It’s about being thankful for awesome friends and family that buy your product!

It’s about the customers that come tell you how much they love your product and then go tell everyone they know that they HAVE to buy some.

It’s about taking risks.

It’s about occasionally creating something brilliant and then the next day creating a complete disaster.

It’s about doing what makes you happy.

In the end it’s about doing what I love, because despite the hard, long, and sometimes frustrating days I don’t want to do anything else.  The heartache and rewards, the stress and the calm, the bad days and the good: I love it all.


9 Responses to Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

  1. Vicki says:

    Ah Jennifer – so true… all of it!!

    I’m still in the early days of building my business but I’m aiming high ha ha! Love your blog – I find it really inspiring – thank you!


  2. Lois says:

    You go girl! We one woman businesses have to stick together, Thank you so much for sharing. http://www.cabinofbows.blogspot.com

  3. Mippy/Sabrina says:

    *hugs* Keep rockin’ it! 🙂

  4. Nyta says:

    I read as if about myself) Its had but still so enjoyable)

  5. Dana says:

    Sounds about right! Hang in there!

  6. I love that one: one day creating something brilliant and then the next day creating a disaster. That is so true. Once we think “oh, yeah, I got this whole soap thing” a truly heinous batch results to either shake our confidence or ground us in reality and shove us back to the drawing board.

    Preach on, sister!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I could relate to almost every single one of the things on your list… thanks for putting it so clearly and truthfully… xoxoox Jen

  8. I could relate to all of these things!! You’re not alone 🙂 and as stressful as it can be, my sweet fellow soapmaker, there is nothing better than working for yourself doing what you love and following your passions! I can remember I used to work 16 hour days that would on occasion turn in to 20 hour days at the hospital, then I’d go home to sleep 5 or 6 hours only to dream that I was at work the whole night. (Hey, I should have gotten paid overtime for that!) Now, I dream I’m making soap and designing labels and selling at craft shows. When I wake up, I’m totally inspired and can’t wait to go make my “dream soap”. I love being my own boss and making money with what I am passionate about, but also experience Every. Single. Thing. That you listed above. 🙂

  9. Just starting my small business and I could SO relate to this post!
    Love your blog by the way, I will be definitly reading more and more!!
    All the best to you!!!!

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