It’s time for a revelation. Are you ready? Starting a business while holding down a full time job is stressful. (Who would have thought it, right?) Some days – like today – I just feel stuck. So, this blog entry is my attempt to push through it.
My personal Catch-22 goes like this: I’m tired and stressed from work, so I want to play a stupid video game and sit in front of the idiot box instead of building the website, researching marketing information, or creating a product line. However, if I don’t spend time building the website, researching marketing information, or creating a product line, I’m further behind than I was before, and I feel like a waste of space at the end of the evening. Can anyone else relate?
I knew that committing to making the business work would mean long days, and it’s not really the hours that trouble me. It’s more about the “business” part of the business. When people think about selling their beautiful artwork and creations as a business, we envision ourselves spending our precious coins of time immersed in color and pattern and paint and ribbon and glitter and a thousand other bits and pieces of decorative minutia.
Unfortunately, the reality is that my hours have been spent in front of a screen trying to figure out where a computer engineer put the tools I need to resize a particular picture and link it to a successive page of the website. Since I’m not really the engineer type, this is often a bigger struggle than it might seem.
In addition, life seems to just get in the way. Have a 30-minute stress-relieving bike ride penciled in this afternoon? Guess again – a student who has been absent for a week needs to stay late and catch up.
Think you’ll be able to knock that blog entry out during lunch today? Wrong – you have to spend the time comforting a colleague who is having a tough day and just wants to quit.
Think you have a solid two-hour block of time to figure out the difference between copyright and trademark AND how to apply for either and/or both? Nope – a family member needs some love and support instead.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I will choose helping another human being – loved one, friend, student, etc. – over working on the computer every time. I don’t begrudge anyone I care about the time I give them. Still, prioritizing people sometimes comes at the expense of what I think I should be doing. I have extremely high expectations of myself and my ability to “do it all.”
Perhaps what I really need to learn is that I don’t have to do it all now. Maybe my take away is that it’s good to schedule my time, but it’s better to be flexible with it, and best to be kind to myself when things go awry. After all, I am here writing a blog instead of retreating into a game. I am doing my best to stay on track and follow the road wherever it goes – through the twists and turns that create a crooked path to success. I need to remember that the goal hasn’t moved, and I’m still making progress. Baby steps forward are still progress.