This is my life... today anyway...
Recently in Texas they passed a cottage food law. Basically, this means that we can now, legally, sell baked goods out of our homes. There are restrictions and limitations, but it's a start... a wonderful start... it's an opportunity for so many of us to earn some money for our craft... pay our bills (and taxes!) and do what we love.
It's my hope to make this home based business successful. My hopes and dreams for this to work are two-fold... first, and most importantly, it allows me flexibility to be there for my kids. I get to pick them up after school... help them with their homework... go on their field trips... and just be present in this very short, but crucial, time in their lives.
Second... it's what I love and am truly passionate about doing it. I would love to open my own shop one day, but I feel like my time, for now, needs to be devoted to my kids as much as possible.... I am hoping to grow my business at home...and, by the time my kids are old enough to be more self sufficient and need less of me... I 'd like to be in a position to open my own place.
In the meantime, I am doing my best to get by. I'm a single mom with an ex who seems to think the terms of our divorce decree are merely suggestions, which he continually ignores. He sees them, at best, once every couple of weeks. There is no set schedule of any kind (not one that he adheres to anyhow). I am their mother, their father, their tutor, their housekeeper, their chauffeur, their confidant... I am their stability. It's overwhelming at times...I'm so afraid I will do it wrong.
I'm trying desperately to make a living out of doing what I love. It's a tough road and most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing. I keep telling myself "do something... anything"... as long as I'm trying.. giving it my best effort... I feel like that's something...
Baby steps, Elaine... baby steps. As long as you're moving forward... not stagnating in the same place or, God forbid, going backwards, you're moving in the right directions. Just keep moving. (I finding myself thinking of the scene in "Finding Nemo" where Dori is saying "just keep swimming, swimming.. just keep swimming"...) That's how I feel most of the time... Like I'm doing everything I can to just keep swimming.
So if you feel like you're really good at something... like it's what you were meant to do... how do you turn that into a business? One that is successful enough to pay the bills? I feel confident about the cakes and cookies I produce... I take a lot of pride in my work and I really, really want all of my clients to be over the moon with their creations. But how do I get the word out? How do I send the message "Hey! I make awesome cakes and cookies and you won't regret ordering from me!" It's not like in "Field of Dreams" where, if you build it, they will come.
So...for the first time, ever, I've made an active effort to promote my business. It's the week of Valentines Day... I create three cakes that I have promoted repeatedly. I have to say, the number of orders most certainly constitutes success in my book. Now to just keep it going. Thanks to everyone who ordered... I hope you're cake exceeds your expectations and you all have a romantic and wonderful Valentines Day! I appreciate every single person who has supported me in my endeavors. You are all such a blessing.
So, for now, I will "just keep swimming"...