Things I don't like about working a 9-5 & running a business

Lately I've been getting a lot of orders for designs both custom & premade.  While I looooove being able to practice design & html/css, etc I find it is sooooo hard to do with a regular 9-5 job.

For example, a little bit ago it was my room mate & best friend's birthday.  It just so happened that I was working on 2 custom designs AND just got orders for 2 premade designs.  While I am pretty speedy at updating & installing the designs, sometimes I get thrown for a loop and other times spontaneous life things get in the way.  In this particular instance a birthday party was planned & (of course) I attended even though I needed to get things done in a timely manner for clients.

Additionally, there are times when I am ignoring Zach because I have to work on something for a client during our skype sessions in order to get it done in a timely manner.  I know this frustrates him.  I think I have the opposite thing to procrastination.  I don't waste time, I just feel I don't have the time to begin with.  Life seems to do this thing where it happens spontaneously.  I can't ask everyone in my life to give me 2 days notice of going out to eat.  Playing with 5 or so after work hours makes me feel like I am not doing my best.

I know I can't say to my friends/boyfriend that me working on this is more important that going out & doing things & I know I can't say to my clients "I've got a birthday party to go to after work so you're gonna have to wait."  I know it is about balance, but even trying to establish better office hours (so to speak) doesn't really work out that well for me.  I try to say to myself my office hours are 6pm-10pm but what if I've got pottery, or kitchen band, or a birthday party?  My 9-5 gets in the way sometimes & I often find myself distracted at work thinking about what I need to do after work in order to feel alright about going out & doing things.

There have been plenty of times where I am sitting on the couch head in laptop while my room mates are watching TV because I want to hang out with them.  There have also been times where I've gotten up & left because I was too distracted by the TV or even told Zach that I have to call him back while I work on something.  I feel like it's unfair to the people in my lives, unfair to me, & unfair to clients with all of these things.

I am excited & nervous as hell about taking any leaps into self employment (even though when I move, I'll be unemployed...sorta) but if I do, there will be more time for me & for others.  I can work 9-5 on my business & then take a break in the evenings.  With Zach traveling so much for work though, I may have more time to put into my business than I thought.

An artist came to do a workshop at school once & he mentioned that in order to be a better artist he needed to turn down his friends.  Which is true, because without practice we don't get better.  But I don't want to outright decline every offer.

Sometimes too I don't think that my friends or my boyfriend understand that I have to do this in order to make money.  Just because I am not making a living off of it doesn't mean it's not important.  I have to work toward my goal of making the blog, the shop, my brand, etc successful.  That means I have to ignore someone at some point, right?  I just wish it could be ignoring them while they are gone!  Zach has mentioned to me that he knows sometimes I am waiting for something to be done so I can work on the blog.  He knows that while I am trying to pay attention to him I am actually hoping he gets distracted so I can do something else.  And I don't like that I do that!

Sometimes on Mondays I get into a really good productive mood of waking up & starting work around 9 from my pjs.  I'll be super productive, getting things done, take a break for lunch, then pick it back up.  I wish everyday could be like this!  One Monday I even surprised myself, I was so impressed.  

Zach is so supportive of me launching into self employment & I couldn't ask for more.  But how do I balance my 'real job' with my 'pretend one'?  I try to be upfront & come up with a time frame for clients...I just wish it could all be done faster!  I don't like to leave people waiting a whole day for an email.  Usually a premade design with installation takes about 3ish days depending on edits & a full blog redesign takes about 2 weeks, depending on the edits, too.  I just don't want to be unavailable, if you can't my drift, to my friends OR clients.

I guess this is just a little post on the fact that I feel like I don't know what I'm doing.  But then again, aren't we all sorta like that? Tell me I'm not crazy!

How do you balance your life? Are there things you feel you must take care of being self employed that you have to turn down your friends & family?

ps.  Don't let this scare you! I am up for custom designs & the turnaround is about 2 weeks.  I love having custom designs because they are challenging.  So shoot me an email if you're interested!

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  1. I find that I'm struggling with the exact same thing. I'm 20 years old, in fall & spring, I'm a full time student, part time employee & a full-time self-employeed gal. In the summer months, I'm full time employee & a full-time and a half self-employed gal.
    I just started my own business up, plus the 9-5, plus trying to keep up with family and friends, plus run a blog, PLUS figure out how not to go insane.
    And honestly, the only reason I've not pulled out all my hair & just hid under my bed, is the love and support of those closest to me.
    That and lists. Lots of lists. I make & remake lists OF my lists.
    & This post also really, really helped me: (http://maiedae.blogspot.com/2012/05/balance-tips-for-scheduling-productive.html)
    But you've got this! Good luck :}

  2. You're not crazy at all!! My shop and blog are smaller than yours but still I find it a struggle to fit it all in around my day job.

    I was mentally ticking off on the list the times I ignore people/have my head buried in my laptop/ don't do stuff because I am busily promoting the blog or listing a new item.

    Hang in there I guess - one day you will work for yourself and you'll find a simpler life awaits you there :)


  3. I'm actually just coming into having "side gigs" come up & so I'm just jumping in to learning how to balance this... so far I've made a lot of lists & I plan excessively. and use my lunch break at work to get little things like email & pre-planning done.

    good luck!!

  4. I recently made the leap to being self-employed and definitely spent a year focusing mostly on work. It's been completely worth it though because now I can go out for brunch or hang with friends whenever I like and then work when i get back home. Good luck to you!

    Sarah // SillyGrrl.com

  5. Great post and I'm feeling the exact same way too! I also recently wrote a post about it and I love the quote whereby your friend had to ignore people in order to be a better artist. Its blunt but so true!

    I had the conversation with my boyfriend this morning that sometimes hes a distraction for me. For example, I came home from my 9 - 5 job with blog ideas and things I wanted to make that evening in my studio, to which the boyfriend said "lets go out for dinner!" - How can you say no? I also daydream in the day job about what I'll do that evening in the studio - In fact I'm in work right now doing it!

    So glad, I found your blog / post (via little chief honeybee!) Consider me your newest follower / supporter! :)

    Rebecca // Ireland


  6. I can totally relate on the one hand as I also have a 9 to 6 (SIX!!!!) job and a long commute so there is a lot of time being spent not on my jewelry business. I don't have customers waiting on me to finish something for them though so I can't even imagine what being in that situation must be like. I really wish to be self-employed but finances just can't allow that right now which breaks my heart if I think about it for too long. Luckily I have some flexibility at my day job that will allow me to do non-jewelry making stuff like promotion (for my shop & blog) but it's that kind of work I much rather be doing than what's actually paying the bills.


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