FAQ: Do you run your jewelry business full-time?

There are many of us small-business owners out there who are still working at a "Day Job". Only recently did I cut back my hours at the DJ to have more time to run my handmade jewelry site Peggy Li Creations -- and it was a very tough decision!

Now, I had spoken to life coaches, gone to small business seminiars, got my tarot read, anything to help give me guidence on what to do with my growing jewelry business. I think there was a couple of factors that were making me hesitate to fully embrace my little business:

1) Financial security. If you really want your business to work, this is a MUST before making a drastic business decision! A life coach once said that if you're making as much money with your business as you do your salary, you are close to being able to transition to the business. But not to forget things like health insurance and other benefits a salaried job provides! Create a business plan, visit your local SBA office and learn learn learn.

2) Disappointing family. I come from a background where the careers of Doctor and Engineer were pretty much the only careers of merit. To have artistic aspirations and not have a traditional "job" are quite intimidating (see #1).

3) Passion. Was this something I really wanted to do? Was I able to embrace the accomplishments I had achieved so far in my business and accept that I may really want to design jewelry for a while? Strangely enough, hard to do. To go off and run your own business is a lonely thing to do. My brother's friend called it "entrepreneurial lonliness". I needed to give myself permission to risk (see #2).

How did I reconcile these feelings? I was lucky in that I had a DJ that has allowed me to go part-time (for a while, I was thinking I'd work at the local coffee shop to help pay the bills!). One thing was for sure -- I couldn't continue to work 24/7, it was driving me nuts. Something had to give, and a major revelation was coming to the realization that I didn't want my business to be the part of my life to change!

Part time is wonderful -- I still have that community of work/coworkers, plus I have a little more time to work on my business at normal business hours! But the rest is up to me -- setting new goals, using my time wisely, and not getting complacent. Now, more than ever, my passion is my business, and I need to make it work! And those choices are entirely up to me.

2 comments:

Charlotte said...

I can relate. After 17 years of corporate, I'm really wanting to start my jewelry business. I don't find much on the web about relating to the experience. I just have so many questions and I think I've used up my friends : )
I think the scary part is...can I really make a decent living off selling my stuff on my website?

Anne said...

Peggie,

You hit it right on with ALL your points. It's a complex and demanding endeavor to say the least. For me, I don't have the skills to get a DJ above minimum wage unless it's in the design field. With 2 little kids it's just not an option to work 50-60 hour a week elsewhere. I like your #2 and didn't expect to see that one mentioned at all. Best of luck to you.