My Current Thoughts on Being Employed

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?

xoxo, Moe

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  1. I think it's very nice to hear something so honest, Moe. I think a lot of the time, we think to ourselves that life has to be a certain way and when we find it isn't or can't be, we feel as though we've failed. But we haven't failed. There is no master plan to life and I think you're right, its really ok to just go your own way, change your mind, have a rest from something for a while. Good for you :)

  2. This hit me right in the gut. I've been working hard toward re-opening my etsy shop, and I'm terrified of failure. Right now my entire stock is at a month-long art gallery sale but I've been too scared to go and see if anything sold. I enjoy blogging and creating handmade items but I always seem to fail. Am I just not talented enough? Or do I not try hard enough? Am I always setting myself up for failure?

    I just want to be happy in life and feel like I succeeded.

  3. I know how you're feeling. I felt like such a loser when I had to close my first pulpsushi.com shop down because it wasn't going anywhere and I couldn't commit the time to promote it the way it should. It really is a lot of work and it take a VERY long while to see the end result. Having a full-time job (even if you hate it...at least I hate mine) does provide some security and helping me get out of my debt that being on my own just wouldn't be able to. I still have that dream though! Even if it means keeping a part-time job in order to pursue it but some things need to be taken cared of first before moving on to the next step. I'm saying this for both of us. :) Good luck!

  4. There's been a few times in my life where I worked so hard and felt like I couldn't do it all.. but I ended up getting everything done eventually. It just takes time. When we're self-employed it takes time and you're right about the financials. Last month was awful, but this month I made so much cash it was unbelievable, the highest I have ever, ever earned from being self-employed (or employed for that matter) and I only work part-time at home with two toddlers. It takes a lot of work and a lot of time to succeed. But some advice I can give to those who are wanting to be self-employed is to keep going. Just keep going. Just keep going. Somedays will be rough more than others. Some months will be worse than the month before, but it does get better. You keep working. You keep adding more products. The more you go, the more you improve, the more you make, the more you'll grow, the more you'll sale, and the more successful you'll be. Unfortunately for us we may still be dirt poor since our good months off-set our bad ones, but since I worked my butt off this year (with two toddlers at home with me), I gave myself an average of a $4.00 an hour raise compared to what I was making last year. And an employer isn't going to give a raise like that out to any employee (especially in this economy) unless it comes with a new higher-paid position in the same company. I agree the self-employment isn't for everyone. And I'm very thankful for that because I buy my groceries at the store like everyone else. I need those people in those jobs and other jobs. But I know that even though I may be a team player, I know that others don't see me as a team player in an employer environment. They see me as a threat because I'm so work-driven to succeed and learn my job. To understand it and to accomplish it and be an expert in it. And once I'm done with my job and the day's half over, I end up taking over their job duties because they're months behind and that's where they see me as a threat. And that's what makes a great ingredient for an entrepreneur is the drive to succeed, to keep going and to keep pushing. (along with a really awesome financial plan for the bad months).

    I've been telling others this, but my parents started an Etsy Business this last Spring and another Etsy business this summer and they have grossed $40,000 in ONE of their stores in SIX months! Not kidding. But then again my parents have been entrepreneur for 14 years prior to this so we have a bit of a business-knowledge behind us. But the fact is that they're using their skills and talents in hand-making creative objects and the outcome is a top-quality product. If something doesn't sale, improve the design. Make it better. That's the way things go. Then once you do you'll start seeing more sales.

    I can probably go on about this forever. But the end point is for those who want to be employed, that's okay. For those who want to be self-employed, don't give up. Keep plugging away. Improve your listings. Improve your products. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Keep adding more products and better products than before. Just keep going! :)


Hi there, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I love &value each & every one! If you have a question, I will respond as soon as I can. Don't be afraid to shoot me an email! If you have a blog, I will pop on by :)