So I've decided to enter a contest from over at the lovely Tania Dakka - Copy Fiend's blog. This is what she has asked us to do: "Write a blog post about where your business is right now, where you WISH it was, what obstacles you face, and what you would do to overcome them, if you knew how."
Right now my business is in what I would call a good place. I've been in business for roughly 4 years, with 1 year of that being just a part-time hustle. Recently I've decided to split my business into three income streams. One being offering OBM, or Online Business Manager services. This is regular, monthly income and is limited to two or three clients MAX. Most of the time this is done for 20-40 hours per month, per client. OBM services consist of managing launches, marketing, rounding up interviews and designing systems for their business.
The second income stream I have is the Tech Admin services that I offer. This is per project based and I can only take things on when my OBM schedule opens up. This can range anywhere from just an hour a week to up to 10 per month in some cases. This kind of work ranges from Newsletter assistance, to WordPress websites/troubleshooting on to basic Administrative type tasks. Right now I'm not accepting much of these types of things because I'm knee deep in OBM work which not only pays more, it's also more challenging for my brain. I still keep this around as a service though as if I can spare a few hours to help someone, I always try.
The third income stream I have is passive income. This ranges from affiliate type things that I involve myself in ( Such as the things listed in my sidebar ) to other things like books I've written ( I took them all down to revamp ). I'm working on getting more of this type of income so I can work less.
Typically I work 4-5 hours per day BUT lately it's been a whole lot more. I always find that I work more hours during any transition such as adding on a new service or bringing clarity back to what I do.
The obstacles I face in my business are:
I am a work from home parent. My other half goes to college full time and works part time at the county we live in. I basically parent 7 days a week alone and my other half is gone 16 hours a day because of school and work. This will change in May when graduation happens. Any childcare help I get is limited. We've tried hiring in a few times ( wow I'll have to write about that, how to hire in when you work from home - this apparently crazy talk here in America ), tried sending Papaya to school ( She has a love hate relationship with it ) but we are going to home school so we aren't pushing the daycare/preschool thing. This isn't really an issue per say. I get my work done, sometimes slower than I like and sometimes I just want some time to myself to really savor the work I spend my time doing. I'm a big believer in doing things you love so if you do that, you really should be enjoying almost every moment of it.
Let me say, that running a business from home is wild and some days I feel like I work in a mad house. 3 year olds are not forgiving, clients NEED stuff to happen and baby sitters can be unreliable. Other days are great, and I just smile so big because of what I've been able to accomplish. I know self-care is super important to make those smiley days happen more often. This scares me because I don't know how to put myself in line to be taken care of. Will I just repeat my old habits or have I finally learned that I need care too? I know I need to get back my "me" work time and they ( the lovely other half and beautiful papaya ) can adjust. I've had to be super creative in where I work ( dining table most days ) and do things like 10 minutes of yoga here and there to keep myself from wasting away into a giant bag of potato chips. That leads me to my next obstacle...taking care of myself.
Regardless of whether you run a home business or not, You MUST take care of yourself. I can't really comment on doing this while you work outside the home as I can barely remember those days but when it comes from doing it as a work from home parent, it's HARD! I'm not afraid to admit here in a public form that there are days where I look up and it's 5pm and I haven't even had a shower ( I do am showers to wake me up ). My hair is a big ole greasy mess and I've eaten pasta salad for breakfast with a protein shake for snack. My kid on the other hand has been fed, cleaned, loved, taught, cuddled and is well taken care of. So why is it that I have plenty of time for her, but not myself? That is something I'm learning to work through.
In the midst of this, I have a health related issue. I've lost my hearing, which is something that is pushing me to adjust not only how I work but also how I care for myself. I don't enjoy just limping along, so this process of figuring out how to make it all work is both challenging and exciting at the same time.
Where I wish my business was:
Let's face it, every business has room for improvement. In my case, I'd like to hire someone on to take some of the admin work ( working on this! ) but I know that takes a huge commitment. I'm looking for ways to scale my business and really GROW without taking on more hours. I also want to expand my business and marketing knowledge, rather than go with the aim and fire plan which is about learning on the fly. I have ZERO business school experience and while I know that isn't everything, if I were more savvy I know my business would just feel different.
I also struggle with the confidence monster, and that too is a work in progress. I will say I've been able to improve that on my own throughout the years and I do feel that most people struggle with it when they first start out. No business is perfect, and getting to learn about yourself is what makes it so much fun. Ok enough about me, I'd love to learn where others are in their business and where they wish they could be!
If you are interested in entering the contest too ( prizes people! ) click here to go to Tania's Blog post.
**PPFT, I COMPLETELY failed to mention that I now mentor and coach. See, it is a madhouse!