one-girl band- why 'admitting defeat' is ok
G and I moved out of our families homes at 17 and 18.
We decided to shun University and move down to Brighton, and both got jobs to build up a deposit for a tiny flat. When we moved in, I didn't even know how council tax worked (?) and G had never cooked a meal other than scrambled eggs, but somehow we survived and learned a lot more about life and relationships in that first year than we ever would've done at school. We've lived in Brighton since 2012 and to be honest, as much as we adore this city, we've always been scrapping by, with both luck and money.
I was at college for a year with a part time job in Boots (or as I like to call it - Where Dreams Go To Die) and G was at a call centre with such horrible hours I only saw him in the mornings before lessons. We both contributed to rent and bills, but food and fun was always touch and go. When I finished college and we both had full time jobs (for a record of two months), we saw a light at the end of the tunnel and the end of £1 freezer meals. But then, I was made redundant, as you all know, and I've been living on an unstable income since.
As small business owners, online sellers, independent makers, we all experience this worry. The word 'worry' is actually an understatement. More like constant, undiluted panic. I've had many a sleepless night where I've wondered whether I'm doing the right thing by running the shop full-time. However, every morning after those insomniac nights, I sit up at my desk and see a little '1' in my order box. I then remember why I'm doing this, and that worry seems to dissipate. I am in love with this job, and I don't think I would go back to 'proper' full-time work even if I was being paid a billion pounds an hour. Maybe.
We've made the decision to move back in with my parents, when they move down here in the next few weeks, and we're not ashamed really. It was a surprisingly easy decision as the flat we live in at the moment is getting hazardous to our health, and we're running out of belongings to sell when rent day comes around. We want a little break, just a little one, from this constant state of worry. We want to save up a deposit to buy our own place, and as this seems to be the only way to do it nowadays, we're putting our hands up. It will also ease the pressure for both of us, and will help ourselves, our work, our relationship and our future. It's the best move for us, and we can't wait.
The point of telling you all this is that yeah, you probably will need to change something in your life in order for this business to be a success. Being a creative business owner is such a great, satisfying thing to be doing, and it makes us all incredibly happy. Why should we put a stop to that happiness for soul-sucking office work that has a 10k yearly income? If this worrying is taking its toll and you find yourself thinking whether this is all worth it, remember that you love this job, and it's important to you. You may need to sacrifice little things such as your 'pride' and move back in with your parents, or maybe even need to get a little part-time job, but keep going with your business. It's going to all work out if you keep working at it.
So yeah, I'm admitting defeat. Get the kettle on, Mum.
This snippet from a Val Marie Paper article about being an entrepreneur rang true for me, and settled my mind a little bit:
'7. I don’t do the work I do to take home a big fat paycheck. I do it because I love it. I love getting to design. I love being my own boss and so many other aspects of it. The goal is obviously to grow your business to make a nice living, but sometimes you have to choose. I could get a job working for someone else making more money with tons of health benefits, etc. but I don’t. Figure out what is most important to you and what you may need to sacrifice to make your dreams come true. Should you save up for a little while before leaving a full-time job? Should you move back in with your parents? (I did this my first year!) Can you take part time jobs to help supplement your income? (Did this to!)'
If you're sacrificing something, such as a steady income, in the best interests of your business, do let me know and we can send each other some words of encouragement!
Part of the one-girl band series- a series looking at being the one-girl-band behind your small business, plus the trails and tribulations that come with being self-employed.