Career Speech: Operating a Home-based Business

Today I want to share the informative career speech I wrote last week for my Intro to Communication class. If you have chronic health issues and haven’t taken the leap to become a Fibropreneur, this is especially for you. 🙂

Fifteen years ago I was just like many of you: I was in my first year of college, trying to decide on a major, planning to graduate and join the traditional workforce. Four years ago I realized the traditional workforce wasn’t right for me, quit my job, and decided to turn my hobby jewelry business into a full-time career. Today I recognize that working for myself is the best career choice for me. A home-based business can fulfill a unique set of needs not met by other careers. My home-based jewelry business meets my needs of a healthy work environment, creativity in my work, logic and learning, and connection with others. As someone with multiple chronic illnesses, my health is my highest priority.

A home-based jewelry business fulfills my need for a healthy working environment. Flexibility at work is key for my health. Although I try to keep a regular work schedule, I have the flexibility to adjust my working hours based on my health needs. I can take partial and full days off as often as needed for my health without fear of losing my job. I can also choose to sleep in and start work later in the day if I had trouble sleeping the night before. I have also built flexibility into every aspect of my business. For example, I have an order processing time of 1-3 days to allow myself a buffer if I am not feeling well, and I also limit custom orders so that I have minimal deadlines in my work. Reduced germ exposure is also key for my health. The Jan 2013 article “Germs Spread Fast at Work, Study Finds,” reports that 80% percent of sick employees go in to work. My immune system does not work as well as it should, and working primarily from home reduces my exposure to germs. A healthy environment gives me the energy I need to do my work and be creative.

A home-based jewelry business fulfills my need for creative expression. In addition to my own website, I use for my storefront – an online marketplace focusing on handmade and vintage merchandise. According to the Etsy Values and Annual Impact Report 2013, there are over 180,000 full-time entrepreneurs selling their creative goods on Etsy. With 29 million buyers on Etsy, it has the best traffic of any handmade marketplace online. Etsy itself is a creative environment, but making jewelry fulfills most of my creative needs. I create elegant, whimsical jewelry for girly geeks who love to show off their fandoms and want to add a little happy to their day. I have the creative freedom to design any jewelry I desire, but most of the time I try to keep my customers in mind as I design. I get to create with a variety of materials and techniques, and I am always playing with new ones. In addition to being right-brained and creative, I am also left-brained and logical.

A home-based jewelry business fulfills my need for logic and learning through operating a business. My jewelry business is technically classified as a microbusiness – which is defined as an enterprise having fewer than 5 employees. According to the Microbusiness Factsheet for Washington State from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, microbusinesses account for 88% of all businesses in the US and 86% of all businesses in Washington State. I am the sole owner of my business; I currently have no employees, but I do have one paid contractor who writes product descriptions for me as needed. The daily work of my business fulfills my analytical nature and love of learning. Processing orders, accounting, inventory management, and daily administrative tasks all satisfy my love of order, numbers, and planning. In business it is important to always be educating yourself in order to stay current; taking classes and reading blogs, articles, and books all satisfy my love of learning. In addition to good health, creativity, and logic, I have a strong need for social interaction in my career.

A home-based jewelry business fulfills my need to connect with others through selling and social media. Good communication skills are critical in business. My jewelry business uses intrapersonal, dyadic, and mass communication. I use my communication skills daily in all aspects of my business, such as business planning, customer service, and marketing my jewelry. Although my business is located in my home, I can still fulfill my need to connect with others. Selling my jewelry online and at local events allows me to connect one-on-one with my customers. When selling online, I connect with customers directly through email and the Etsy message system. When selling at events, I connect with customers face-to-face while they are shopping at my booth or table. Using social networking sites in my business allows me to connect with many customers on a daily basis. My business is currently active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I connect with customers by sharing photos, blog posts, interesting articles, new jewelry designs, and more.

A home-based jewelry business fulfills my unique career needs of a healthy work environment, creativity in my work, logic and learning, and connection with others. The decision to leave the traditional workforce and start my own business was one of the hardest I have ever made, but it was also one of the best. If you are unhappy in your current work, I hope you will consider starting your own home-based business. Happiness is worth the risk.


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