If there is one thing in life that I struggle with the most, it's probably the fact that I have a business. That is, the fact that I have a successful business. Even writing this post feels weird and I debated if I should actually write the words successful business. Because it seems super weird.
Like, I have a business you guys. I make stuff. And people buy it. I pay bills with that money. I buy food with that money. It helps to support our life.
But if you ask me what I do, I stumble around the words. Actually, for the longest time, I would include what I used to do. The conversation would go something like this:
Person: "So what do you do, Jess."
Me: "Well, I have an Etsy store. I make things. I make handmade things. But I used to be the Research Manager for a recruiting firm. And I also do social media for a magazine. And I do a lot of stuff at home. And……"
Why? Because I didn't feel like what I was doing was good enough. I didn't feel like my business was worthy. I guess in some ways I didn't feel like I was good enough.
But what I'm realizing is that I am the person who feels it's not good enough. No one else has anything to do with it.
And there's lots of reasons why:
I'm married to a professor
We live in a place where no one even knows what Etsy is
I don’t think I am good enough (I probably say that too much)
I used to make a lot more at my corporate job (like A LOT more. I was actually the person who made the money in the relationship)
And damn it, sometimes I don't think my business is anything. I will say it. (But, like, don’t judge me. OK?)
But what I'm realizing is that I am actually looking at success all wrong. And that’s what makes me feel like by business is nothing.
I can't compare what I am doing now to what I used to do. Especially in terms of money. The reality is that I will probably never make as much as I used to. But when I quit that job it had nothing to do with money. I mean, I know I have to make some money, but if I only cared about money I could probably go get a job some where and make more.
When I quit my job I was searching for so much more than just having a business. I wanted a better quality of life. I wanted to stop feeling like a robot. I wanted to wake up in the morning and be genuinely excited for work.
My goal in life is to LOVE my life. Every part of it including what I do. I want to live life. To experience things. I don't want to request vacation days or work on a vacation. I don't want to have to take emails or calls when I'm supposed to be enjoying myself and my family.
And the thing is, I am doing those things. I literally took two days off last week because my mom came to visit for my birthday.
Side note: don't get me wrong here. Working for yourself has struggles and there are times that I have to work instead of running around and having fun. It's just so different.
I may never make as much as I did. I may never have an office or a shop to work at. I may never have a staff or any people who work for me. But that doesn't mean I'm any less successful (or less of a person).
So that's the thing - success is different for everyone. And how you measure success is different for everyone. For some people it's money and that's OK. For some it's status and titles and that's OK too. For me it's making enough for my biz to sustain itself and for me to have a better of quality of life. And (you guessed it) that's OK too.