Works in progress.
Recently I've been trying to get a custom finding made for my jewelry. It's really a simple piece, but I'm having a very hard time finding someone who will make it for me. Cue the frustration.

In my many google searches for a manufacturer, I stumbled upon a company that will hand make your jewelry designs for you. They specialize in helping you keep your designs handmade in the U.S. when you are overwhelmed and can't keep up with orders.

And I thought to myself "How cool! They get to make jewelry for people - that is awesome!"....

Um, wait.  That's what I do. 

How ridiculous is it that I had gotten so bogged down in all of the little details of my business like paperwork, ordering supplies, answering emails, etc etc etc, that I had forgotten such a simple idea about what I do - that it's fun and I think it's pretty cool (even subconsciously!).  I get paid to make jewelry. I employ two lovely ladies to help me make jewelry. What I do is pretty cool and fun. I'm providing work for cool people, too.  Why do I forget that so easily?

Hammering away in my kitchen before I moved to a studio out of the house.
I guess the answer is just as simple - I do a lot of hard things, too.  I make Excel spreadsheets to figure out cost and pricing. I have to calculate how long it takes me to make jewelry so that I can properly schedule weeks of production in advance.  I have to budget properly to pay for my supplies (especially difficult as I get into bigger and bigger orders), and make sure I have the supplies on hand needed to make each order when it's time. I have to write paychecks and pay payroll taxes, business taxes, and sales taxes in multiple states. I have to answer emails daily asking me to make business decisions - big and small.

"Hire our PR Agency to market you!" $1400 a month!?!? is it worth it??
"Do our fabulous show!" will I make a profit??
"Let us redesign your website!" I'd love to, but it's expensive!
"Donate to our auction!" this one is hard because I get asked so often, I try to limit it to only Tennessee auctions but there are so many worthwhile causes...
"Participate in our Flash Sale Site!" not sure that is a beneficial business model for me.
"Do you drop ship?" no but should I?

That's just a small sampling of daily decision making. It makes my brain hurt. When I get home from my studio, I'm totally exhausted. And then I have to give a two year old a bath and coerce her into bed. I'm tired just thinking about it.

But I did get paid to make some jewelry that day, dammit.  I need to start focusing on the fun a little bit more, and take deep breaths and walk away when I am getting overwhelmed with the paperwork stuff. I need to remind myself that hey, I'm going to Renegade Chicago for the 6th year in a row! Kick ass!  I'm in the Uncommon Goods catalog - rock on! I have an awesome employee who helps me - thank God! I sold to Anthropologie last year - nice! I have a studio I can decorate any way I want - sweet! I sell to lots and lots of customers and fabulous boutiques who like my jewelry and reorder it, too - how amazing is that?

How lucky am I that I get to make pretty things all day?

Yep, that's gotta be my new mantra. Starting now.