Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Wearing Many Hats, Money & Working Solo

As a artist/crafter/small business owner/blogger, I work alone. It sounds kinds of nice, not answering to anyone, but overall, being an island is extremely exhausting.

Everything I need, from product concept, to design, to production/printing, to finishing, to packaging, to's all just me. I'm lucky because internet access makes all of that a LOT easier than it was 20 some-odd years ago, but it's still a lot for one person to handle.

Social media is a wonderful tool. We can save money on advertising by being our own advertising! Saving money sounds great and all, but what you don't realize is how much harder your have to work to get people to notice you while keeping your own production up and costs low. Free time is pretty much non-exsistant when you're a one-person production and yet, I always feel like I should be doing more!

When someone does a lot of things the old saying is they "wear a lot of hats." I have a face for sunglasses, but hats? They never look right on me.

Silliness aside, I wear a LOT of hats. This is a little sample of my weekday schedule, it's been intense, but it's been paying off. I'm seeing a lot more page views and sales!

Current Big Project At Work
  1. First there is my main job, which is an hour away from home, where I am the only employee, and I work 9-5 Mon-Fri (9-4 on Fridays right now in the summer with our new summer hours. Thank goodness.) I am a graphic designer and digital printing consultant, but being the only employee in the facility, I do everything from filing, to answering phones, to production, to being tech support and personal assistant handling their messages and stuff not pertaining to business. When we're slow it's manageable, but when we're busy it's exhausting in and of itself.

    Then I have...

  2. My Etsy shop, Poison & Antidote - updates with a new product maybe once a month, and gets about 10-20 orders per month to be filled and shipped off across the globe. I'm trying to add new items more frequently to keep my inventory interesting, but right now I can only manage it a few times a month. 
  3. My food blog, Sometimes Foodie - updates once daily, sometimes twice if I can find the time. For this blog I take photos, edit the photos, and write up the reviews. It only takes me, maybe, an hour to get a new review up each day, but finding time to sit down and do that every single day alongside everything else is also tricky. Right now I try to sit down on the weekends and write up a week's worth to try and keep up.                                                                                               
  4. There's THIS blog and my art Tumblr Page, Poison-and-Antidote-Shop - updates...sporadically. For a while I was doing great with daily updates here too, but that quickly fell to the wayside. I don't make much money with the Tumblr or this blog so I tend to drop it and focus on other things. Instead, this has kind of become my venting place. I like to post here when I've overwhelmed by everything else. 

  5. I have 2 Instagram Accounts, Poison_and _Antidote and Sometimes Foodie which I try to update a few times a day.
  6. I have my YouTube Page, which ideally gets two new videos a week, but it wasn't until last month that I really started sticking to that upload schedule, and now it's fallen by the wayside. (Again.) 
  7. Art Shows and Cons - which are few and far between due to lack of time, limited tables, lottery, and inability to take days off work. I really want to do this more because I make a lot of money and get a lot more exposure, but being the only employee at my job means very VERY limited time off. My bosses are in and out all day and I am often running this place completely alone. So if I call out, there's no one here. 

  8. Commissioned Work, Client Work, favors for Friends and Family outside of my normal job. Right now I am printing and doing stuff for my Step-Dad, my sister, my Boyfriend...while it all makes me really happy to do it for them, none of them know how to set their files up for print, so I end up having to rework them a lot to get the jobs done. 

  9. Red Bubble, Teachers Pay Teachers & Spoonflower, which I update randomly here and there and give me a few dollars every month
Even with all of those things, I'm barely making a living wage with my side-income, and I still have a lot of things that fall to the wayside that I wish I could keep up with as well.

Like my personal website, which desperately needs to be updated and is almost always getting hacked by lame 3rd party ad pages, my Behance page needs to be updated more and advertised to hopefully get more client work, my LinkedIn which is also neglected and work related, my Deviant Art page, my Store Envy, my society6....

I'm spread thin, and I should give some things up to focus more on others, but I feel like a failure letting things go. Plus, I'm planning on putting a down payment on my first home very soon, so I need all the income I can get to make that work. I just...I get overwhelmed and feel like a failure if I can't do what I want to do. That's something I need to tackle, but I need to do that while keeping all this going or else my plan for getting a house all falls apart.

 ♥ etsy ♥ storenvy ♥ facebook ♥ sometimes foodie ♥ Society6 ♥ redbubble ♥

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