Self Employed or Unemployed? First Month Thoughts

The question I struggle with everyday: Am I Self employed or Unemployed?

I mentioned yesterday how keeping a schedule & treating my days as work days has put me in front of my goals & not just working towards them.  It's been an exciting month but it's also been a roller coaster ride.

Each day I wake up excited to set to work on the things I want to do & in this past month I've gotten more done than I ever could have.  I am convinced that I've done more this month than in what I could do in 3 months before.  Specifically, I've worked on a variety of products but I (we - Zach & I) decided to start up a vintage shop of which I inventoried what we had, discussed with Zach our aesthetic, came up with a logo, shot, edited, & posted photos, wrote out descriptions of our 20+ current items, set a launch date, & started advertising.  Are you kidding me? I've done more for that single part of the business than I'd ever though I could do.  I've been more organized with this than any other part of my life!  

Additionally, in about a week & a half I created a custom Storenvy storefront - the base is there, but there is still a bit I need to tweak & do think that I should hold off until the first of the year when I get it the way I really want.  This month I've finished up my ebook and written countless guest posts promoting it & about newsletter tricks.  I've written countless other guest posts promoting the Five Sixteenths blog.  I've spent all day crocheting away making cool things for my shop, re-shooting my ceramic work, listing, evaluating, etc.  At the end of the day I've put in 8 hours + of work.

The reason I ask myself am I self employed or unemployed is because the return I'm seeing is only how proud I am of myself & not in monetary value.  Right now I am focusing on a base from which to leap from while still trying to pull in some dough.  I've been lucky in the past (and right now too) in that I can run my blog & my shop off of the sales I've made...but I considered that a successful business for probably about 6 months.  That was when I had a job that could fund my making habit, my loans, my rent payment, etc.  This month I have made sales & my small goal of about a sale a week has almost held up (3 sales out of 5 weeks...good but not great!) but I still feel it's not enough.

I know starting small is the key & little milestones are worth celebrating.  Believe me, I celebrate little things everyday because everyday I surprise myself!  Six years ago when I joined etsy I thought it was going to be this instant success.  I was a freshman in college & a tiny baby.  But in six years I've come a looooooong, long way to discover that it's a lot of work!

I've always been a hard worker.  When I've needed something I've worked for it.  When I wanted a job, I got a job.  I don't sit around & complain about why things aren't coming my way, I go out and make it happen....but I still haven't figured out the right kind of hard work to make money off of my dream.

Having a lot of new ventures lining up in September means there are things coming that I haven't experienced before.  Will people want the eBook? Will people find our vintage collections interesting?  I don't know!

So everyday I wonder am I self employed or unemployed.  I wonder if I should get a part time job to at least have a steady source of income.  But then I feel like I'll be making no money at my part time job AND no money through my dream job because I'll only be able to focus on it half the time.  But then if I get a full time job I'll be back to only working on my dream when I have time & having this month to focus on my dream has be so helpful, fun, exciting, amazing!  So, like every post recently....I am torn.  As September comes near & moving into the house becomes a reality.....I just don't know what to do.  I want to have a steady source of income & do the responsible thing and part of me wishes I'd have been more monetarily successful this month to give me just a little hope that I might be able to do this on my own.

The best part of this month has been having my weekends back.  Before, I used after work, weekends, days off, & anytime I could squeeze in working on my dream.  Which is fine, when you're single.  When I met Zach, things changed.  Suddenly I wanted to spend time with Zach but found I also wanted to continue to work towards my dream.  It was more than a want though, I needed to to both of these things....not out of obligation but out of an extreme desire to be with who I love & do what I love.  These two things seemed to fight for attention & at first I didn't know it.  I wouldn't pay attention to Zach or I'd be working away while we watched TV instead of just being with him.  I'd count down the minutes until a movie or show was over so I could get back to work, work, work.  I assumed & still assume that this will be a necessary evil when I have a real job.  To me, its this huge mess of unfairness towards Zach & unfairness towards my dream.  I never did a good job balancing the two & when I go back to a real job it will be a constant source of stress for me that I wish I was better at balancing.

But, this month I've been able to go to 'work' every day while Zach is at work & when he comes home I can put things down.  I've got the weekends back & we can go to the zoo, go to the lake, hang out, go camping, etc because I'm not thinking about the work I need to do.  It's been great! But I  feel I am not being responsible by wanting to pursue something that may or may not make me the money I need to be a part of a responsible couple.  (I hope that makes sense.)

But then I think why is money the most important thing?....I want to be happy. To me happiness = success......but now I'd like to see a little bit of pay off for my happiness.  I am proud of myself, I have met my goals for this month, I've done things I never even dreamed of (coded that storenvy store!) and most importantly I feel like I can balance my dream & my life.  But still it doesn't really mean anything when it boils down to the fact that I can't pay for things.  Saving up & then knowing your savings will get smaller before it gets bigger is hard and I really don't like it.

I just want to say that I am not writing this so that you feel sorry for me or for a pity party, or to say I can't do it, for words of encouragement, etc....I am writing it to be honest.  These are the feelings I am struggling with this first month of unemployed, self employment.  I like to keep this blog as sort of a journal too so that this time next year I can look back & see where I've come.  I am also very thankful for the support of my family, of Zach, & of Zach's family for letting us layover here for a little while.

I guess I need to wait a little bit longer to see how September goes.

On a lighter note....can you believe August is over!?!?!? Where did the time go! I've already lost my tan!  But Zach has Labor Day off....any ideas on what we should do? Now that I have weekends free?  Oh, and I am excited to start working on a super minimal blog design for a friend.  I am in love with minimalism.....but can't seem to do it for myself!!!

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  1. This was such an inspiring post to read, it's amazing you are doing what you want and following your dreams! I hope that I am able to do the same thing too. Xoxo

  2. I loved this post. My husband and I have two kids and so me quitting my job to pursue my passions wont happen until he has a job that can support us (he has a job, just needs more pay) but if it were just us two I’d be more likely to throw caution to the wind and say “lets do it!”- so I say keep doing what you’re doing :)

  3. Thank you for posting this. It makes me feel like there is hope as I'm starting to put together a shop of my own, but it's still terrifying. You should let me know when your vintage store opens & I'm there. I would love to support you in any way I can. Keep it up, you're doing a great job. Your pay off will end up being big, I just know it. :)


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