I can’t lie…. These last two months have been fucking hard. The whole point of starting this blog was to chronicle my journey to success (or failure) in a very deliberate and detailed way. My plan was to write once a month, but that clearly hasn’t happened.
So, it’s time to get this writing back on track and fill you in on the last two months. First things first: I got a job. Like a legit, full-time someone else pays me/I answer to someone else (boooooo), salary plus benefits, you’re a grown-up now job. Fucking Nuts right? And the exact opposite of what an entrepreneur “should” be doing right? Hear me out…
The business is growing. Exponentially. So much so I’m questioning if I even have what it takes to be a boss, a business-owner, a success (like, am I really capable of all this?) I’m at a crucial intersection of continuing as I have been, and really generating just enough money to pay my bills through the business, or affording it the room to grow in the direction it seems to be naturally evolving already. Of course, there are pros and cons to each:
Keeping the status quo means only taking on as much business as I can personally do and/or manage myself… at this point that would mean turning down good, sometimes amazing, business opportunities because I don’t have the personal bandwidth, resources or time to execute them. As a single mom and someone who has struggled with finances my whole life (and who still has some very lofty personal financial goals), turning down GOOD money (I know first hand not all money is good money), no matter how much work is entailed has never been an option.
On the other hand, expanding the business means being able to grow, not only personally, but to grow and build something that is greater than my own personal abilities and resources. Something greater than me. When I started freelancing, I never anticipated getting to the point I would need to hire employees. But now here I am, presented with an opportunity to grow the business, create jobs, impact my community and the larger economy. And let’s face it… I’ve never been one to back down. Period. Long gone are my days of being the pushover little girl who just wanted to please and be liked by everyone. And even though going this route carries a massive amount of responsibility and risk, I just can’t see myself retreating.
So, how does getting a job actually help me overcome the latter challenge?
- I’ve been in debt my entire adult life. For most of it, I was horrible with managing money, and my bank account and credit scores still show the scars. Before selling my house in CO (which even being able to buy took years of discipline and working on my credit), my monthly bills were over $7500 (that’s just the actual bills, not food, not gas, not fun). Selling the house and moving to Dallas allowed me to reduce my overhead to about $5500, and I’ve since reduced it even further. However, making the business pay my personal finances, no matter how much progress I was making), was crippling and stagnating the business. I needed to alleviate that burden.
- I’ve always wanted to build wealth through real estate. It’s why I bought my first house in CO and why I want to a personal house again, and buy investment properties. My company is nowhere near the point it can pay me a salary, let alone enough to save a down payment for even one house. Add to the fact that getting financing with only self-employed income is a near impossibility, and I knew I need something to make myself look like less of a risk, at least on paper. Securing a regular paycheck does that.
- My health sucks. Not being melodramatic or a hypochondriac, I just haven’t really had health insurance or access to affordable healthcare in my entire adult life. I haven’t been to a dentist in 17 years. Every issue I’ve had, I’ve paid for out of pocket, including a 5k+ knee surgery in 2017(?). Since starting this job and securing health insurance, I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in both knees, have started a treatment plan for the multiple displacements in my back and pelvis, and starting making a small dent in the 3k+ of dental work I need to have done.
So, what does this have to do with my business? As backwards as it sounds I got a job to EXPAND my business, to address the financial and medical issues I have and that keep me from fully focusing on my business. Ya’ll know what I mean: when you’re stressed about money, when you don’t feel good, when you’re in pain, you can’t be your truest, most effective bad ass self, how the hell are you going to run a company?
And the crazy thing? Almost everything (in my professional life at least) has been clicking since. It was like I turned on a faucet and momentum starting gushing through the previously clogged pipes. I started the job and my business literally exploded:
- I opened an office in a 100+ year old mill that’s been renovated as retail and office spaces. Its not a Spaces or WeWork model, its an actual office in a building that I have sent built-out and designed, personally painted, wallpapered, etc to meet the needs of my growing company.
- I hired two new part-time employees. One to help with the design work load (she’s a fucking rockstar by the way! ALWAYS hire people who are more talented than you). And one to help with some of the administrative/process/client management aspects of the business. She just started yesterday, but I think she’s going to rock it, and really help establish some of the fundamentals and foundation the business needs to really grow.
- Designed products for a major NYC fashion label, as well as a Billboard Top 40 artist
I am having setbacks though. You’ve heard of paycheck to paycheck… at this point, I’m literally running paid invoice to paid invoice, and being in the service industry, while I’ve never not been paid, getting paid by most of my clients in inconsistent at best. And when invoices are late, I’m paying employees/bills/building rent with the money I earn through the new job. I said this before, but starting a business is hard… doing so with no savings, no credit, a massive amount of debt, a chid (and no financial support for him) is even harder. Add to that having now two pat-time employees, who let’s face it, at the end of the day I am responsible for, and that shit is a WEIGHT unlike any struggles I’ve had with my physical weight and health during my life. That responsibility is CRUSHING. Throw in my continued struggle with imposter syndrome and constantly thinking I’m capable of more/underachieving…. man… I’m either a self-sabatuer, fucking nuts, or actually on to something… LOL and the only way we’ll know which (maybe all three) is when I take over the creative design industry or flame out and my son admits me to a mental asylum … LMAO… time will tell.
And on that note, I’ve said enough this time. Instead of writing once a month, I am going to try and write less, more often. Wish me luck, lol.