I feel like I'm about to be a huge hypocrite, and I hope you'll forgive me. I think I like being employed. And by employed I mean employed by someone else. As you know I've been wanting to live a handmade dream for a while. But the other day I was reading through some of the struggles of others I know who've taken the self employed leap & was breathing a sigh of relief realizing that I don't really have to worry about income now that I am, well, employed. Now, that doesn't mean that I'm not excited to try to do more independent things - there's going to be a lot of refocusing for Five Sixteenths in 2014 (maybe I can keep up momentum? Who knows.)
But I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on being employed after trying so hard to be self-employed. The struggles were real, the experience was amazing, and I totally miss feeling like I'm being successful for myself - but do you ever feel like you're just not cut out for things? At the start I was psyched about working for myself. In the middle I still felt like I was making it. And right before I found my job I just felt desperate.
I do wish my job was more creative & demanding of me in a way I felt successful. I feel like I can complete what I'm tasked to do but it's not from the heart. I do feel like sometimes I'm just working for the weekend & hardly fit in anything I'd like to accomplish any more. A lot of the Five Sixteenths ventures sort of sank & faded away as 2013 went on. Things I loved I no longer do because I don't want to have to please others. I took away custom work for blogs because it stressed me out & it wasn't enjoyable anymore when you have to fit it into 4 hours after work - a long with all the other shiz you have to do - instead of 8 hours a day. We're also going to try to sell out our stock & shut down the 516VINTAGE site because I just can't manage it. It took a turn I wasn't proud of & I'm sad. That was a fun venture that I think would have been profitable, had I not found a job. Additionally this blog just because something I didn't recognize. It was just there, getting filled with words and not so much filled with my heart. That hit me hard.
I even thought at one point of shutting the whole thing down. But I really do love blogging. I couldn't imagine not having this outlet. I mean it's a way for me to share my life with others & more importantly, document it for myself. I love sharing DIY's because I think they are a neat read & inovative, but I also want to look back & see what I was into as I go through life. Seeing where I lived, who I was, what I wanted is really inspiring for me. And I think if you've grown with me or if you've just started reading (and you've popped through old posts) you can see how much this blog has grown - which should be encouraging for anyone wanting to start a blog. I just love blogging, ok!
But back to the Five Sixteenths ventures - I've actually found selling on Zazzle to be the most rewarding. Why? Because I design & you fill in. It's passive. I can pour my heart into something that I like and if you want to you can customize it & buy it. Don't get me wrong, I loved designing blogs & working with others to get exactly what they wanted (in fact the blog The Weekend File is my proudest accomplishment!) but I just couldn't do it after being asked to perform all day long. You know what I mean? I still love designing & trying my hand at things so designing & selling stationery (and other goodies) on Zazzle is amazing for me. Zazzle just added a whole new slew of things to customize & sell so that will be a big focus in 2014. It's pretty much passive - and when other sites haven't been selling (the designs, vintage, & stuff in the Five One Six shop) Zazzle has been giving me at least 3 sales a month. Now, that's not a lot of money but when I'm not doing anything & am still making sales - that says a lot to me. I don't know if that's good or bad, but at the point I am at right now, I like it. I haven't made a new design in at least, I wanna say 6 months but I've been making sales. Sometimes a lot sometimes a little. But I can design & not have to worry about it not working or not being what someone likes. I can have fun & I like that.
As for the Five One Six shop. I'm so going to keep that open. As with blogging I can't imagine not selling my handmade items somewhere. I just think that if someone likes something they'll pick it up and I just want to share it with you all. Additionally, I spent a lot of time customizing the Five One Six storenvy storefront. I mean like 2 weeks of all day coding at Starbucks last year - I was impressed with myself.
So what does all this really have to do with being employed? Well, I can refocus my passions into something that will work for the time of my life right now. Being employed meant change - and while I feel like I'm good at accepting change, I'm not very good at recovering from it. It takes me a long while to get back up. But being employed for me right now means little financial worry. I feel better at being able to pay my bills, save, go shopping, and mainly be a productive part of the this team I'm a part of - the Zach & I team. And let me say he's so supportive. I'm pretty sure I could say I want to go to the moon and he'd support me. But I just felt like I wasn't giving my half of the work or really 100% of what I knew I could devote to our team. So if nothing more, being employed means I can now give 100% to the team I am a part of & that makes me happy. Saving & enjoying life - on the weekends - means a lot to me now. I may not be rolling it dough or doing anything that pulls me in a creative direction but I'm saving & living. I feel like I'm somewhere between calm & satisfied. Maybe I'm just appreciative because I'm not really satisfied.
I hope this little bit makes sense and you don't think I'm a hypocrite for working so hard then seemingly giving up. Maybe its out there for me in the future but right now I can't handle it, and I think that's ok.
Have you ever encountered something like this? Wanting something so bad & working so hard then feeling as if you're not able to do it?