Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quit your day job: the reality

I didn't leave my position in December with blind eyes at all.  It was an incredibly hard decision to make!  One of the reasons being that I was not at all deluded into thinking that I'd be making money hand over fist with my little business, which would require very difficult budget cuts:  eliminating a phone line (the land line went first), downsizing cable, giving up favorite treats (chocolate, sigh), etc.

When you're in an office away from home for eight to 12 hours a day, there are expenses you forget to anticipate when you make the shift to working from home.  Like bottled water (though I usually brought my own bottled water to the office - have you ever seen the results from a bacterial culture performed on the water spigot of the office water supply?).  Kleenex.  Or ... the other kind of tissue.  :)

I work longer and harder now, more than ever.  Often, the last person out of the office would stop by and let me know they were leaving (or vice versa - and I was often the last, or second to the last, person to leave), which reminded me to close up shop and go home!  I used to work hard/long because I believed I needed to earn my salary.  Now I work long/hard in order to generate income!  So, even though my kitties remind me every evening to wrap things up and feed them, after dinner is served all around, I have to remind them that I need to earn their kibbles, so back to work I go.  :)

Knitting was once my hobby - a way to relax after a very long day at work.  I still don't get to knit as much as I'd like, because creating and designing can actually be a small part of your handmade/indie business, with other necessary things to do, like finances, marketing, photography/listing, contracts and other legal stuff, order fulfillment, production, testing new ideas, sourcing supplies (and better deals on supplies), researching potential new accounts for wholesale/consignment (and contacting them), etc.  I'm hoping to actually KNIT tonight, thought it will be knitting in order to test a new pattern I'm nearly finished drafting.  I'm also focused this month on patterns and prepping for Stitches West (whee!)!

I don't know if there's ever a point where an entrepreuner, particularly of the tiny/indie biz ilk, gets to relax, sit back, and say, "there, I can now comfortably relax while the money rolls in."  I gladly volunteer to be a test subject for that!  But knowing me, I would just find something else to occupy that time.

All of that said, I am filling my gas tank less than once a month (WOW and YAY), saving HUGE amounts on things like cosmetics and hairspray, eating healthier (no snack machine to tempt me), and in charge of my own destiny.  Being the boss of me is more than kind of awesome.  THAT said ... I wonder how hard I'll be on myself with my annual evaluation.  :P


Cottage In The Sun said...

I am looking forward to seeing your annual evaluation in a year! I didn't know that you were officially all your own boss - congratulations!

karen said...

I expect to see you in the "QYDJ" feature on Etsy soon!!

Congrats on quitting your job and making your dream job a reality.

You can DO it!!

We are all hooting for you!

allison cecil said...

You may work harder and can't make a meal from a snack machine any longer, but I know you must be happier. Which in my book, is what it is all about! You're living the dream B!!

Angelina Fong Designs said...

Congrats on making the big leap! It's something I dream of doing someday. I can't wait to hear more about your new adventures!

Kitty Grrlz Knits & Spins! said...

First, congrats again, and second, this is all SO TRUE - especially this - "Now I work long/hard in order to generate income!" It's a whole different ball game when your hobby becomes your livelihood and sometimes it isn't as easy as people think. Though, I agree, it is totally awesome! ;)

Brenda said...

Thank you, friends! :D

Lisa said...

I'm just totally in awe of your bravery!

knottynaomi said...

rooting for you in every way. takes some balls to walk away from a steady income.

man...i was mentally exhausted after reading your list of all the admin things that you have to tend. are also doing something you love. really happy for you! you go!

eNVe said...

you go girl!! :D If I was closer, I'd bring you some chocolate. :) Can't wait to see what new goodies you have in store for us!

Sharon said...

Quitting the day job is such wonderful but scary idea. You are brave and adventurous for taking the leap.

Isn't it amazing how quickly all your time gets sucks up by an indie biz? It's really a challenge to create life/work balance when working for yourself at home. Best wishes for a great year.