Tag Archives: work life balance

36 Hours In

And already my head is spinning. Do I do yarn bouquets or button bouquets next? What keywords fit me best for Google searches? Does ESPN or the Food Network make for better background noise? I got my next order in the mail today, but why isn’t it showing up on USPS website? Should I get a virtual PBX account so my phone line sounds more professional? Did I remember to track my miles driven downtown today? Would a blog about my new coworker, Noah, get much traffic? I got all the office supplies, but where do I put them until I have an office? Do I want more businesscards or should I do a professionally printed brochure?

Oh, and finally… It’s been 36 hours. Where is the long line of customers?!?!

I’m laughing at that last one, but whew… becoming a small business owner might be what finally takes me to the dark side. Coffee, here I come!

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Walking Along the Lonely Street of Dreams

“I don’t know where I’m goin’
but I sure know where I’ve been
hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday.
An’ I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time
but here I go again, here I go again.”

-Proverb by Whitesnake

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about my decision to go to University of South Carolina. I never understood why people couldn’t grasp the concept of going away to school. Heck, why weren’t they doing it themselves?! My parents told me they were proud of me. My friends were happy for me. My boyfriend used it as an excuse to break up with me. But no one really got my decision. Even my guidance counselor suggested I just attend MATC to save money and the fear of the unknown. (Ah, my first disheartening coworker…) Of course I was scared and cried 450 of the 900 miles down to Columbia, but I never wavered. I knew college in SC was what I was meant to do. Little did I know that would turn into one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned SO much. I made such great friends. I grew up. I had experiences. I got wise.

It’s time to make a wild choice again.

As of Monday, November 28, Mark the Occasion Designs is going to be my only job. With the unbelievable support of my wonderful husband and a mom and friends who have told me they believe in me, I am going to give entrepreneurship a full-time whirl. I have a plan, but that didn’t keep me from waking up at 3 am last night to debate the risks. A good night’s sleep may be a thing of the past, but I cannot tell you how excited I am! As we have discussed ad nauseum, my first show is this weekend. It will be a learning experience (as everything technically can be!), but it will also be the event to fund this venture. I’m not taking out any loans…I’m only giving myself this profit to work from. I’m sure my first $100,000 won’t be far behind. That happens in the first month, right? (Kidding!)

This time around I’m getting a lot less blank stares. “Courage” is being thrown around as much as “congratulations.” I hope I have your support, too, but if I don’t, perhaps this blog can now be a place to teach you to have your own courage. Do something because you want to, not because you should. If you have your mind set on something and know you can make it work, you can!

We have lots of time for me to sell you wedding flowers and for you to give me advice, but for now let’s give thanks to those that believe in us. You can’t ask for a better gift. And reader, I believe in you!

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Day 29: Digging It

I took the last three days off of the day job to test out working from home on Mark the Occasion Designs stuff. Here are some lessons learned.

1. This is going to be a lot of work!
As I’ve talked about ad nauseum, I’m going to be in a craft show November 19th. That was the real reason for the time off; I’m so afraid I’m not going to have enough pieces to sell! To that end, I worked, worked, worked on flowers. I’m still not where I hoped to be even though I sat down and worked for at least 8.5 hours each day. That’s not a little work here, a little Facebooking there…that was straight work. This included no marketing time or administrative work. I’m going to have to prepare for long days if I make this a thing.

2. I can take breaks whenever I want!
I was much more strategic about my time away from my “desk”. Truly, I only stopped to exercise, make dinner, and shower. There was one coffee date in there, but that was a networking activity. So bonus – I may have to start at 6:45 am or go until 9 pm, but if I want to hit up 9am pilates, I can!

On the flip-side, I didn’t have as much time to focus on dinner, throwing in the laundry, or other tasks I thought I might. This could be a function of a looming deadline or it could be reality. This is one for the “con” column as it was an expectation of working from home.

3. I might go stir-crazy.
By Friday I was guilty of taking pictures of the dog and texting Randy a bunch of times. Being in the house without any true people interaction will make for long days. I think this can easily be remedied though. Folks in my classes at the gym seemed chatty and I wasn’t with my normal internet connections. Add in a couple of coffee or lunch dates per week and I think I’d be ok.

4. Make-up might become a weekend-only thing.
The fanciest I dressed the last few days was jeans and a sweater. And, oh was it glorious. In my current life, I change into pjs the second I come home. (Noah hair is a close second to warm and cozy in the list of reasons.) I did make a conscious effort to shower and put on real clothes each day. I made no promises when it came to blow-drying my hair or putting on the full ‘war paint’, but Randy said I was still pretty. Guess that permanent smile made up for the lack of under-eye concealer.

5. I love it. I want it. I need it now.
Bloggy friends, I can’t tell you how much I loved picking what I would work on next. Even as I sewed the 8,000th (ok, the 150th) flower, I still was excited about what I was working on. I loved having Noah as my co-worker. I loved the responsibility for the task at hand and knowing that what I was working on would bring happiness to someone. I loved working in slippers. Just like Mitch in City Slickers, I found my thing. And I didn’t even have to go to the Rockies to find it.

Yeh!

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Weekend Homework: What’s Your Passion?

You may have noticed there was a post up yesterday that disappeared a couple of hours after it went up. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the content. Actually, I discovered I wrote the same exact thing exactly one year ago. Isn’t that ironic? October 20th must be a wistful day on my calendar.

I do want to make sure to still include a link to this article from Liz Strauss’ Successful Blog blog. There are great questions at the end to make you think about where your passion lies. Creating, (event) planning, organizing, daydreaming (workday application: strategic planning), writing, making people smile – these are my answers to those six statements.

What are yours? If you don’t know the answer to her questions, I suggest you spend some time this weekend thinking about it. You might be surprised what comes to you.

Again, many thanks to Liz Strauss for making me think this week. I needed it!

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You Sure About That, Jim?

A couple of you have (rightfully) questioned my willingness to post negative thoughts about my workplace yesterday. Thank you for your concern, but I am confident this is the right place to air my issues.

First and most importantly, I am not jumping ship. Actually, since I’m on the search for what I want to be when I grow up vs. “get me outta here!”, I can see me staying put for a long time. That’s a search that takes years, not days. Your boss and my boss should have the same amount of concern about losing their employees. Also, no matter what the situation, I am a good employee. I will always give 100%; maybe not 110% if I’m not feeling the love, but I’ll give you more than what is expected at all times. I take pride in my work and given my needs for compliments, I’ll continue to strive especially when not being recognized. And finally, most of these people are great. Simply put, I love being with them and will miss them terribly when we’re not working together. On the flip side, I’m learning both to put up barriers and to learn from those that are less than perfect. Yep, those are the folks I can probably get the most out of. It may be “what not to do”, but it’s a lesson none the less.

Now, all of that said, I’m never going to not talk about something because it’s a touchy subject. (But I guess I will use double negatives.) I’ll never be defamatory or tell you deep, dark secrets that may keep me from being president someday, but this blog is an honest perspective on adulthood. You show me a person that has never been unhappy in their job and I’ll show you a liar. I found solace in writing when watching my dad die and find that same relief in writing about lighter, yet still stressful topics. I ask that you, oh reader, my reader, respect that and share your own comments now and then. No excuses-you get to do it anonymously!

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