29 March, 2012

In Which Shizz Gets Real

I was once asked (rather rudely, I might add) if I ever felt I was being misleading by 'filling up your blog with bunnies, rainbows and cutesy words when everybody knows how much being a small business owner sucks'.  At the time, as you can probably imagine, I chose not to answer this particular inquiry (although I will say that writing about positive, fun things helps me to stay positive...). 

So, this week, as I'm feeling like everything is falling apart, I've decided to 'be real'.  Enjoy.

It’s as if my life’s become a series of blog posts and photo shoots.  When I’m not working, at the gym or on an event, I’m designing events for clients that don’t exist so I don’t lose my edge.  I’m reading blogs, magazines, books, creating a digital presence, practicing my sketching, reaching out to other industry professionals, staying up late to write blog posts (like this one). I’m the one that decides which jobs to take and which ones to decline.  I’ve got a household to run, a marriage to enjoy, not to mention a social life to resurrect-all on top of a full time job.  It.  Never. Stops.

I feel lately like I’m losing my voice.  I feel like my vision for this company I started, this company I love is getting lost in all the compromise and I’m tired.  I’m tired of having to remind myself and everyone else that this is my company.  I’m tired of constantly explaining that this is not a hobby.  This is not a co-op.  This is a business that will help feed my family, help fulfill my dreams.  Some days, I don’t know why I’m doing this.  I don’t know why I can’t just be happy in my little office, with my little paycheck, making someone else’s dreams come true, just like millions of people all over the world.

In a lot of ways I’m extremely lucky.  I’m pursuing my passion.  I have a wonderful husband off whom I can bounce ideas.  He’s interested in helping me create a suitable design space; he talks me off a ledge every time I am an emotional doomsday prepper.  He reminds me to stand up for myself when I feel my vision for Goldiluxe is being threatened.  Without his support, we (Goldiluxe and I) would be screwed.  I also found an amazing design partner, someone who understands me when I can’t get the words out of my mouth.  She can take my distracted ramblings and turn out these incredible works of art.  She makes me feel comfortable in my leadership role even when I’m terrified that making tough decisions and having difficult discussions will ruin our amazing friendship.  Without her, I don’t know what I’d do…

But even so, no one else's signature is on the papers I filed with the state, no one else is writing contracts...then re-writing them when they feel it's too harsh...then re-writing them again when they've realized an iron-clad contract is a good thing.  There's no one there when accountants need to be met, lawyers seen, accounts opened, marketing plans planned, spaces investigated…you get the picture.  At the end of the day, this business, along with the fiscal and emotional burden and success fall squarely on my shoulders.  That’s a big, terrifying responsibility.

But would I change it?  Would I abandon Goldiluxe tomorrow if given the chance for an easy, clutter-free life?  Not in a million years.  Even though I’m feeling lost and a little blue right now, I know there’s lots of amazing happiness just around the corner.  Sometimes, I just want to feel heard.

So you tell me, how do you make it work when you feel like giving up?

1 comment:

  1. First of all, I think using the word "sucks" in relation to owning a small business means that perhaps someone isn't in the right business. Stressful? Yes. Heart-tuggingly scary? Shyeah. Headache-inducing? Most definitely. Worth it? Absolutely.
    But "sucks?" That's a pretty heavy word for something you love enough to make your living.
    As far as rainbows and bunnies go...do I want to read a blog dedicated to beautiful events and design when the owner talks incessantly about how much it sucks to do it? Mmm...no. I'll read your rainbows any day. :)
    That being said, a post that reminds us that there's a real person behind the business is always welcome, and was probably uber therapeutic for you.
    When I go through a phase where I feel like my blogging is just cranking out written crap into the universe that no one cares about, I usually find that if I just keep on doing it, something always comes along to refresh my passion and my confidence.
    It's not a very original piece of advice... but it's effective. Keep on keepin' on, I guess!
    Anyway, good luck with your phase of down-trodden bunnies and black-and-white rainbows... sometimes you've just got to be in a rut so you can find a new way to pull yourself out, right?