Every so often I get an email from someone interested in knowing how I run my business. Day to day routine, how I store things, how I still have a life, etc. I’ve always wondered the same thing about OTHER business owners, and I’ve decided it’s time to find out!
I’m pleased to announce the beginning of TWO new weekly blog columns. Starting next Tuesday I will post an interview with a different home-based small-business owner each week, and starting today, each Friday I will answer one of the frequently asked questions I get asked often.
If you have a question to ask me, or know a small-business owner you think I should interview just let me know and I will do my best! So here we go…
“What do you do all day?”
The most common people ask me is how I structure my day! I design patterns, sell finished products and manage all my online stores/blogs and ads.
A bit of background before I get to my actual schedule. I am married to a wonderful man who is just finishing his first year as a Junior High teacher and works a LOT. We don’t have any kids yet, so I am home alone often and get a lot of work done in a day. I write this hoping that others with kids at home, or those who work part or full time outside of the home will NOT compare themselves. Hopefully soon I will be dealing with running a business and having a baby running around, but for now it’s just us J
Try to get up. I am NOT a morning person, so some days I’m successful, others I’m in bed until 7:30. On the days I’m successful I spend the early morning on the computer, looking for new crochet blogs to follow, marketing through Facebook and replying to emails. This is also when I usually do my blog-writing (It’s 6:30 as I’m writing this, so today was a good day!)
I ride my bike to the gym sometime between 8 and 8:30, depending on how caught up I get writing or marketing! I take some sort of class at the gym every morning for an hour. I love to spin and I take a weights class as well. On the weekends I run. I’m usually at the gym for about an hour and a half, which might sound like a long time, but honestly, this is the majority of my social interaction for the day. I have some great friends there that I take classes with daily, and I really love it. By 11:00 I’m home and showered.
These are main ‘sit down and crochet’ hours. I always have a big master list of what I need to get done before my next craft show or to send to the store I sell my hats at. When I have a show coming up I make myself a schedule, figuring out how many hats I should be able to make a day and then planning what days I will make them on. Right now I’m getting ready for a show in June and have committed myself to making 4 hats a day for the next 5 weeks. I often will do an extra 1 or 2 every day so that if something comes up in the future I don’t get behind schedule.
Back to the computer to check on emails again. This is also when I start working on patterns. If I’m not working on writing a new pattern at the time then I’m usually working on updating an old pattern.
Hubs usually gets home around 4:00 and goes straight to lesson planning for the next day, so I’m off the computer and back to sewing. I try to use this time to work on new patterns, but if I’m feeling like I’m in a design funk then I usually go back to making hats. I try not to force myself to be creative when I’m not feeling it, and I never know when the mood will strike, so the more ahead of schedule I get then the more time I can take off to design later when I’m feeling crafty!
Hubs is usually done with school stuff by dinner, so after eating we go on a long walk, or to the pool. Sometimes we pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Mostly we just do something together. He’s usually tired and in bed by 9:00 and on days that I was up at 6:00 I go to bed with him and read for a bit. On days I slept in I usually stay up and do my computer stuff that I should have done in the morning!
So that’s a typical day. Sometimes I go out to lunch with friends, or babysit a friends kids so they can go grocery shopping, but I don’t have a car, so I can’t go far. Often Hubs will have more work to do after 6:00 and I spend more time crocheting in the evening. I always get work done on the weekends too, but there’s really not typical schedule to it, it’s just whenever we don’t have something going on! Hubs works a lot on the weekends, but we try to do something fun on Saturday, even if it’s only for an hour or two.
What can YOU take away?
My biggest piece of advice for anyone who wants to run their own business is to try to structure your day so that you don’t get burned out. I have a hard time sitting for more then 4 hours doing the same thing, so I don’t. I break up the way that I work so that I get to do multiple things a day. I also do things this way to give my hands a break. I have no evidence for this, but I can’t imagine it’s good to keep your hands busy with repetitive motions for 10 hours straight.
You may also notice that I spend most of my day sitting. I’m an active person, so all the sitting can be hard for me, which is why going to the gym everyday is important for me. I bike there and then jog for about 30 minutes before my hour-long class starts and then bike home. Unless Hubs and I go on a long walk in the evening (which we do about 75% of the time) I don’t get a lot of movement during the day, and I can feel a huge difference at the end of the day. Even just walking down the street for 10 minutes makes a difference. Be sure to take care of yourself so that you can keep doing what you love!
So that’s it for the first “Ask Me Anything!” If you have a question you’d like me to answer leave a comment or email me and I will try to get to it! Come back tomorrow for a round-up of homemade Mothers Day Gifts!