I'm pretty sure I've already mentioned this: I hate the idea of disappointing people. By that, I mean I hate to disappoint the people who put their trust in me. A lot of that goes back to when I was a kid.
It's a very long story, but the short of it is this: I'm the only girl out of three children, and was born smack dap between my brothers. Now, before you scream out "MIDDLE CHILD!" I'm gonna have to provide you with a little more context -
My older brother is over a year older than me; my younger brother is closer to 9 years younger.
There is also a longer, but funny story behind that one, but that is for a later date.
The point I'm trying to make is that for most of my childhood I was expected to take care of others. I was not only the girl of the family, but I also a big-sister; it was my job to help look out for my baby brother, the same way my older brother and I always looked out for each other when we were little. And, due to the more unusual age discrepancy between us and him, I was taught a few more skills growing up that a lot of kids today don't learn until high school.
By the time I was 10 I knew how to do my own laundry, work the oven, and could easily make my own breakfast in the morning. I also knew how to feed and burp a baby, change diapers, test the bath waters, change diapers, how to hold a baby properly, and change diapers…
So. Many. Diapers!
Being 'responsible' was just how I was supposed to be. But it does come with it's pitfalls.
Fast forward about 20 years, and sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with more work than I expected. All because it took me a long time to learn how to say 'no.'
When I first started this work as a side-hustle, I would basically accept any work I could get that came my way: alterations, repairs, crocheted hats, drapes and curtains, cushions and pillows... anything that you could plausibly put under a sewing machine or in the knitting bag.
While I don't regret those jobs or my choice to accept them (the hands-on experiences of each have proved to be worth their weight in gold!), what I have come to regret is that, as a result, I ended up encouraging a more laissez faire attitude when it came to scheduling commissions. And it’s a system of running things that just no longer works anymore.
Because I'm having to update the bulk of my operations - scheduling included - it's left me with a lot more work to do than I initially anticipated. But work that is necessary if I want to move this career from a side-hustle to a fully-realized career. The downside, however, is that at times there weeks, sometimes months, that go by with no paying jobs coming my way. And then, after those few weeks and months, everyone and their cousin seem to stop by with one or two things that need to be done.
And thus, my work load seemingly triples overnight. Ouch.
One thing you have to bear in mind about my job is that, while it is self-employment, it still requires a work-life balance to maintain. One thing I didn't fully respect until recently is that I actually do have a life outside of my work and career. Even if I spend 8 hours a day at my computer or in my studio, I still have meals to prep, a family to check in with, friends I need to get better with checking in on, and now a puppy who never wants to leave my side. Ever. Not even at the door to the bathroom.
Anyhow, the "scheduling-conflict" as I've come to call it recently, is the first major system I'm hoping to resolve. That's going to require a lot of marketing, a lot preparation, and, possibly, a lot of hard conversations with my existing clientele.
Even though I'm excited about my new plan, I have to recognize the possibly that some may not be into it because it's so much stricter than what they're used to. But it's a system I have to stand behind, because it works best for me so that I can ultimately put my best work forward.
I truly believe that I am where I'm supposed to be right now in my career, though it's certainly far from perfect. I feel like there's more I'm supposed to do with this line of work, and ways I can help my community with it, in ways I haven't even thought of yet. But moving forward, I have to be the one to take the helm and steer this ship the way I see fit.
Responsibility isn't just about taking care of others. It's about taking the lead in everything you do. And sometimes that means you have to say 'no.'
About the Creator
I'm a bit of a mixed-bag: professional artisan, aspiring businesswoman, film-aficionado, and part-time writer (because there are too many stories in my head).
Check out more of my "stitchcraft" at: www.rigsbystudio.com