Can I tell you a secret?
I really have no idea what I am doing. There, I said it.
I feel like Withnail when he says he's gone on holiday by mistake. I didn't intend to set up a business. I just made some prints for people as gifts, and then boom, a couple of months down the line I'm finding myself having to make grown up business decisions about grown up businessy things. Without a grown up helping me.
To bring you up to speed on how I found myself in this predicament of starting a business by mistake - it all started with my husband Alex. He is a brilliant artist who has been slowly growing his art business www.alexebdon.com alongside working in his "proper job" in the world of media. The "proper job" or the job that pays the bills, always took priority, mainly because we were reliant on it to pay the mortgage. So although he was able to work part time, it was still never enough to really give his art business the time it needed, and he wanted to. As always in these situations, there was a string of events that added up to a decision being forced rather than made, and Alex decided that he would have to give his art business a proper go, working 100% just on the art.
So here's where I come in. I had been freelancing in consultancy work, fitting in around him and his long hours. We talked about making his art business our family business. And hatched a plan where we would work together as a team to grow his business, working together with the shared goal of having a better, happier, healthier, less stressful life with more joy, fulfillment and time together.
Sounds awesome hey? In reality, it really is great. We just need to make enough money to pay our bills, and not judge ourselves by how much money we used to earn. Today is a new day, and we need to celebrate the small wins. Focus on keeping true to ourselves, and enjoying the fact that we see more of each other and our daughter now than we ever had.
So, back to the adulting...
This week I was asked to sell my prints in a real life shop. A really beautiful shop filled with all the things you'd want to buy. And now my prints. I am not a shy person. At all. It's usually one of my superpowers, unflappable, unembarrassable, unshakable. Yet when the lovely people at Holly & Co said they would like to stock my prints, I recoiled into an imaginary shell; like a tortoise being prodded by a small child. I guess I'm still coming to terms with the fact that this is turning into a business, rather than just being a hobby. I know I need to have faith and confidence in my business, my ability and need to succeed. But courage is hard to come by when you are constantly battling your inner self, who isn't that kind to you.
Currently there are a few pounds being made from my prints, which I am so thrilled about. I know that I need to start recording what I sell, and what I spend on business costs. And I definitely need new stationery and folders. But I have no idea really of where to start with the "real businessey" stuff. I've added "make spreadsheet of costs" to the long list of stuff I really should do, so hopefully that will get done. I'm sure that every day I will encounter new challenges, doubts and worries, but hopefully they will be dispersed with joys, celebrations and smiles, which I plan on focusing on. At least trying to.
In the meantime, thanks for taking the time to read this, I'd love to hear from anyone who has found courage, or is struggling like me to find it.
Love Anna xx