Sometimes you have to say NO
So, it’s a tiny bit embarrassing that I haven’t posted in weeks…but I think I have a few good reasons! We went out of town and met up with my mother’s whole family in Austin,TX for the wedding of her youngest brother, my Uncle Kevin. It was sweet, honest, creative and fit the couple perfectly! It was an amazing day to experience and I promise to share some photos of the wedding and our trip very soon! The down side was that I got sick while we were there and have remained sick for the past week. I didn’t want my Etsy shop to continue to stay on vacation, so between catching up, filling orders, going to the doctor, and feeling quite miserable…I just ran out of time to blog. I am starting to feel better and we are getting back into the swing of things, so I wanted to share a little of my thoughts on my future and time management as a freelance designer.
While we were out of town, I put my Etsy shop on vacation mode…this is always very stressful for me. I mean…if the shop is down, people can’t order, and if people can’t order, they go elsewhere, and if they go elsewhere I may have lost that business for good… This stress got me thinking. Who am I and how do I define my business? Am I a corporation? A firm? Do I have a staff….do I want one? My honest answer was no. I am a freelance designer…a sole prop, a mostly one woman company (other than my amazing friend Andrea who helps me respond to convos on Etsy). I want to design and I want to sell my designs. I want to design for customers and retailers and work on amazing design projects (some of which I will share soon!!!). This train of thought led me to another realization…if I am a one woman show…I can only accept the amount of work that one woman can do. I HATE saying no!!! I adore designing and I adore my customers more…so when someone asks for a custom job, I want to say YES….but sometimes I just can’t. There are a few simple facts –
1) There are only 24 hours in a day, and 7 days in a week. No matter how hard I try to change that, I can’t.
2) When I say yes to every design request, my time runs out and I realize I have to say no to someone…and the only ones left are my family.
At some point, I have to say NO to someone…there just isn’t time for everything. I don’t want to say no to my kids when they want my attention to tell me about school. I don’t want to say no to cooking my family a healthy meal because I am too busy. I don’t want to say to no to spending an occasional night with friends or my husband because I am overbooked…and the sad thing is…I have said no to all of those things due to my work schedule. My daughter will start kindergarten this coming year, and I want to make sure we enjoy this last summer before elementary school starts….so I will be using the word no more often. But not to my family.
Does this mean you shouldn’t ask about custom work? NOOOOOO! I have a ton of designs that aren’t in the shop, so if you request a design and I have something to fit, perfect!!! I also have designs on another site I will be sharing soon, as well as my illustrations! There are friends and companies I would love to work with if they ever asked, and I am certain to have requests for projects outside of my normal design work I would jump up and down given the chance to work on…so I still have a lot of “yes’s” to hand out…but if I get a request for a custom illustration or invitation design that I don’t already have somewhere in my arsenal of past work, the answer will probably be no.
I hope you all can understand where I am coming from and as mothers, fathers, or working adults, you can identify with saying no…and make sure you aren’t saying NO to the wrong people in your life.