• Sofia

Thoughts of someone building a Small Business

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Deciding to ditch the world of employment and bringing up the courage to do your own thing, is a thought that never really occurred to me up until a year ago. Growing up I had chosen the traditional route of pursuing a University degree, for the simple, and very uninspiring reason that it was perceived to be the correct path, that all my friends around me were taking as well. I had given up on creative interests I had in my teens, such as fashion- and graphic design, basically thinking I wasn’t as good as some of my talented peers. The traditional school system didn’t pay attention to our particular individual talents of course, which may have been useful in encouraging me to take a different path than the one I chose. In any case, I ended up with 2 degrees from decent Universities. My education taught me some things: Critical thinking, coherent writing (let’s see if I can prove that here :)) and the importance of continuously reading, to suck up that knowledge, but also to simply exercise the brain. It also taught me that the content of my studies was something I certainly did not want to do professionally, by the end of which I was certain that my soul would die if I was to pursue a career in politics and diplomacy, which became the main focus of my general studies. I like to think that spending years of my young life and accumulating dept wasn’t for nothing. Everything supposedly has a purpose, even if it isn’t clear yet what it is.

A few years and jobs down the line, I hadn’t accomplished much professionally, in large also because of giving birth to two lovely girls. Motherhood consumed me, in the best way possible. It was all I really cared about and those two souls have shown me more about myself than any school had ever done. I have so much to thank them for. Mostly, however, they lead me to myself. They forced me to get to know myself, to feel myself and to listen to what this ’self’ is telling me.

Last year it was clear, I no longer wanted to do random jobs, that work around a mother’s schedule, which I am semi good at without any particular passion invested in them. I knew only a few things for certain. I wanted to be flexible enough to be there for my children, I dI’d not want to be tied to one geographic place and I want it to be authentically ‘me’. I always envied those people who had such obvious artistic talents and radiated this confidence that said “this is me and it couldn’t be any different”. I have never felt this way, having neglected and abandoned any artistic skill I might have had when I was young. This was the time where I would change this. I would reinvent myself. Why should I keep admiring people with skills rather than simply going ahead and acquiring desired skills myself. So I did, and now I find myself months later, with a skill, happily making beautiful things, feeling utterly satisfied after sanding and polishing up a piece, that is purely....“me”! Now what do I do with this? I need to make a business out of this that at the very least pays the bills. In short, I am to become, not only someone with a skill, but a small business owner, in charge of...well, everything that a business requires. Where to begin...

Defining goals:

First I need to think about what I would like to achieve. Since I am treating this as part of a journey my goals are quite small and are only set in the time frame of the coming year. It is much less scary to define something small and tangible, which I believe I can do, rather than “dreaming big”. But mainly it works for me, because the big dream isn’t very clear to me anyway. The only big dream for me at the moment is finding my way to a meaningful, creative life that I can proudly call mine. In addition to this, I want to be an example to my daughters. I want them to see their mother as a woman that follows through with a vision, with her beliefs and principles. I am aware that for some that doesn’t seem like much of a dream, but to me this is everything.

Getting organised:

Up until now I haven’t been terribly organised at all. I am someone that likes to be flexible, easy going and unattached. I suppose, I want to maintain some of this, but without propper planning I cannot hope to succeed with running a small business alongside being a mother and perhaps even being active with other projects that interest me and I believe worthy investing in. So here I am, in early 2019, with a Filofax and journal, doing weekly meal plans, social media plans, slotting in time for creating, reading, shopping, kids clubs, blog writing and keeping track of finances, to mention the main things that occupy my mind. I know, in this day and age, who needs a planner when we have smartphones, iPads and laptops. Personally, I’m just a pen and paper kinda gal.

Following through:

Now this is going to be the exciting part in which all those doubts start flooding my mind. My first thought is, how on earth am I supposed to do all this with my youngest in nursery for only 3 hours a day? Well, let’s just wing it, I say to myself. Good thing I’m reading Michelle Obama’s book, a wonderful example of an inspiring power woman, who can do it all. I am nothing like her, but she is an example to me in many ways, not least being a woman and mother of vision and discipline, two qualities, I wish to prove to myself, I have as well.

Summing it up...

It’s an exciting new journey that I am eager to explore and to master. I am curious to see what I will discover about myself and what doors this will open. I am ready to face the unknown and take each step at a time.

My daughter said to me recently: “Mummy, I really like that you are famous”. I realised that she thought, having an online shop makes me famous. What I took from this is that she was proud to have me as her mother. It meant the world to me and my biggest drive remains to be the woman my daughters look up to and can be proud of.

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