Journal: Hard Choices

I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I’ve had to make some hard choices the last few months. Please know I got your emails, I heard what you had to say, and I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet. With my current financial situation I’ve had to rearrange my priorities. Writing here is good for me. It matters to me. You matter to me. But, I’ve had to move Fibropreneur from the top of my to-do list to the bottom. This reprioritization is temporary, but I don’t know how long it will last.

A few months ago our larger student loan bill suddenly came back into repayment. Apparently, it was never supposed to have been deferred in the first place. The terms of our consolidated loan required both of us to be in school for it to be deferred, but the government hadn’t followed it’s own rules. When our loan was sold to a third party, they reviewed the terms and put it into repayment. After reworking our budget, we were still able to make ends meet, but only if my jewelry business completely covered it’s own bills. The security cushion was gone.

I’ve always had the security of knowing that if I got sick, wasn’t able to work, and sales slowed, we could cover my business bills with our own funds if necessary. Currently, my business revenue is directly linked to my ability to list new items in my store, engage and market on social media, sell at shows, etc (something I’m trying to figure out how to change). There have been a few times over the years where I was sick enough for long enough that I had to fall back on that financial cushion. This last summer with my surgery and the following illnesses was one of those times. Now, if I can’t cover my business bills, we will personally be in the hole.

I know the stress of having to earn the money needed to pay the bills is something that every adult deals with, but this is the first time that I have had to bear that stress. It feels childish, I feel childish, just now having to face it at 33, but it’s extra scary when I have no idea how long my health will hold out.

At first I defaulted to considering getting a traditional job, again. But, every time this happens and I go to work for someone else, I work myself sick. Sometimes I can make it a year, sometimes only six months, once I even made it 2.5 years when I had a super understanding boss, but in the end I always work myself sick. It just doesn’t work.

Instead of getting a traditional job, I decided to work longer and harder for myself. I would prioritize my business over everything except my health and family. I would work evenings and weekends. I would pick up every show I could. I would do this until my business could regularly make ends meet on it’s own and had enough of a cushion to be safe. I still might work myself sick in the end, but maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe having the flexibility to work around my health and set my own schedule would make the difference.

That was almost three months ago. I’ve been working every evening and weekend that I haven’t been sick. I’ve done 4 shows in the last 3 months. I spent most of my Thanksgiving vacation working and I’m debating whether or not I’ll be working my Christmas vacation too. The only reason I’m able to justify writing right now is that I woke up early and my husband is sleeping in the spare bed in my workroom (because he is the best and switched beds when I wasn’t feeling well last night).

The good news is that my business is gaining traction. Part of it is the holiday season, but the rest is all the work I’ve been doing. My biggest fear is making it January through March, because they are traditionally my slowest months of the year. I’m doing everything I can now to take advantage of the season to get my business through the next few months until sales naturally pick up again. I finally feel like I might be able to make it. I hope I can make it.

Until things return to normal, I’ll only be able to post here when I find a rare bit of free time like this morning. My dedication to Fibropreneur has not changed. My plans for Fibropreneur have not changed. Please keep emailing and commenting, but know that if I do not respond right away that this is why. Please know that what you have to share matters to me. It helps me. It inspires me.



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