If you are a business owner, you know there are some good days, not so good days, what was I thinking days, I just want to be a stay-at-home mom days, I love my job days, wow I really did this days, and lots of really really crazy days. Well, these last few days have been a little bit of all of those.
Yesterday, we were packing up our order for Nordstrom when Mark caught a very small error that is actually a gigantic error. The factory switched around our UPC labels and printed the tags incorrectly. Sounds like it wouldn't be a huge deal, but Nordstrom has very strict ship-by dates and Friday is ours. As you would imagine, it is a little tough to have our factory print labels and send them overnight international to arrive in time to receive, attach to the RuffleButts and pack up the entire shipment. So, I spent the morning figuring out how to deal with it. There was a solution, but now I just have to count on a tag supplier and UPS to do their jobs correctly and on-time to allow us to meet our deadline. A year ago, I would have been having a stress overload, but now I just take it as it comes. Don't get me wrong, it wears me down and burns me out at times, but I have learned that almost everything has a solution.
Today, has been the total opposite, a nice relaxing day. Our new hats arrived, finally, and we now have almost no hats on backorder!! I also sucked it up and invested in our own commercial embroidery machine. This was one I put off for the the past few years for multiple reasons, the first being the large investment, but more importantly the time to run it. It is a nice feeling knowing that it is now in my control and I can run our embroidery in the time and quality standards that I like to offer to our customers. It is days like these that I feel the hard work pays off...still stressful, still busy, but I feel like we are moving forward, and that's the direction I like to go =)
If you are a fellow business owner and you are in one of the not so relaxing days, just know that it comes with the territory, and there is an end in sight. Okay, well it's not really an end, but at least a breather in sight. Tomorrow, I'm sure it'll be back to the roller coaster for me, but for today, I am going to go take a little mommy time now and will catch up later tonight.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again...we are a unique breed. Entrepreneurs are just different, often misunderstood. I knew from a very young age that I would one day become an entrepreneur. When I was a teenager and adults would ask me the "what do you want to be when you grow up" question, I always answered that I wanted to start my own business. They would always chuckle with that "Oh you little child, of course you want to own your own business...good luck with that" kind of thing. No one really took me seriously, but probably because when they asked me "what kind of business", I never really knew. It may have sounded flighty or naive to them then, but I am now learning that is the foundation of an entrepreneur.
You don't have to know exactly what business you want to start, you just have to have that little fire inside that says you want to take a risk; you want to do it on your own; you want to plant a seed and watch it grow. More than that, it means that you are willing to take on the instability, the chaos, the long hours, the ability to think ahead of everyone else, the discipline to pass on the gatherings when all of your friends are having fun and you are at the office. You don't have to have the big idea from day one, but you have to be willing to work hard enough to achieve it.
As an entrepreneurial mom, I feel like this adds an extra layer. There aren't a lot of other moms out there who understand where I am coming from. Other mommy friends are hard to come by because I don't have any spare time to invest. I hardly even have time to respond to emails. From the other side, I'm sure it comes across as selfish, but I truly have to choose between personal emails and business emails during the day. My days are so jam packed and now that Aubrey is my top priority, I have to let some other things slide. The good news is that I have finally hired an Assistant, so hopefully that will help me on this never-ending journey towards balance.
So, I have learned in life, that I will never make everyone happy, but for me, this is happiness. I am working super hard at the moment to try to build something for the future. Mark and I are paying the price, working 10-12 hours a day, weekends, and then some to build a life for our daughter. I hope that putting in the extra hours now, while she is young will enable us to spend more quality time with her as she gets a little older. I think I was just born with that fire. I am not satisfied any other way. I just count my blessings that I have found the perfect husband to join me on that journey, and a few incredible friends who support and understand.
This is what I need today, a good kick in the butt! So, if you read my crazy ramblings very often, you know I have the mental stability of...well, let's just say I don't really know the word 'stable'! I guess this is true with most entrepreneurs - I would not describe us as stable - driven, stubborn, intense, passionate, even giving, but not so much stable. Well, today is one of those days, I feel even less stable than usual. I'm not 100% on. I think I'm more like 50% off! I'm snapping at my poor husband, impatient with my sweet and curious daughter, annoyed by the flood of emails, and SO ready for the weekend. Okay, maybe it's not THAT bad. I still count my blessings that I am able to sit here and work in my pj pants today (Emily has the day off and Mark sees my in my 'mom' clothes, probably more often than he would like). I still love my job and wouldn't trade it for the world, but I just need a good kick in the butt today. I have so much to get done, as usual, but I think I left my motivation upstairs this morning...I can't really say "at home" since I'm still kinda sorta at home!
So, the good news...I am pretty excited - I am going to have our offices painted in the next week or two. I think that may help. Our RuffleButts office is located in our home, totally separate from the house, with it's own entrances and all, but still technically, at home. So, the entire office is done with dark wood. Dark wood cabinets, dark wood shelving, dark wood trim, dark wood desks, and I have decided that I need some light! So, I am having all of the dark wood painted white, excluding the desks. I will be sure to share some pictures here soon...hopefully we'll have it done in the next week or so. The only problem is that it is a little difficult to run a business while there are painters here...our new factory shipment is due to arrive on Monday, and, of course, this month's Nordstrom order is scheduled to ship out the following Monday. There's always something, but I just need to suck it up and deal with it. I think it will be totally rewarding and worth it, once it's all done. I also made a wall quote to finish off the office that says "Faith is daring the soul to see beyond what the eyes can see." This will be wonderful daily reminder that I am working toward something bigger than what I can see. Sometimes it takes just a little change in your environment to give you a fresh perspective!