I'm really lucky. I have a lot of friends who have creative jobs where they work freelance or are self-employed, either full-time or part-time. I'm lucky because they understand all the things that come with working from home and working for yourself. things that other people just really don't get. they think they get it, but there are always those moments where they say something and you go "you have no ideas what it's like to be self-employed do you?"
I've been having more and more encounters like this. and at first I
thought it was funny that people had such a weird idea of what running
your own business involves. but now, not so much. now, I find myself
biting my tongue when someone expects me to be able to just go out
somewhere at short notice because I don't have a real job or a boss.
sure I can just drop everything - that is one of the bonuses of working
for yourself. if something urgent came up, or I got a once in a lifetime
offer, then yeah, I can just go out at a moment's notice. BUT when I do
that, it means that the next day I have extra work to get through, so I
have to work harder and longer to make up for it. and that is the part
that people often don't understand. it's just me (and Freya too now, but
still) so if I don't finish a job, it will still be there waiting to be
done, along with a million other things.
I work crazy
long hours most days. like 9am until midnight most days. but I still
try to make time to see my friends. I work long hours when I can, so
that I can take evenings off sometimes to see my friends. however for
some reason people focus on the time I'm not at work. "oooh you're out
AGAIN?" is something I get a lot. 'again' meaning, for the second time
in a week. ignoring the fact that although I've gone out for two
evenings I've still managed to clock up 80 working hours that week.
compared to their 40 hour week.
and yes, I know it's
my choice to do this job - and don't get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my
job. I don't mind working long hours, and being anti-social, and never
being able to switch off, because it's my choice. what I do mind is when
people act like I'm somehow taking the 'easy road' by working for
myself. if this is the easy road, then I wouldn't want to be on the hard
road! also, I'm not asking for pity. I don't expect people to feel bad
for me working long hours. I'd just like sometimes for people to think
about what they're saying before they say it!
also the common misconception that what us crafters/handmade business
owners do isn't really 'work' as such. a lot of people truly believe I
just make some jewellery when someone orders something, pop it in the
post to them, and then repeat. oh and take photos of silly stuff for my
blog/instagram. when in fact I do EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. at any one
time I am; designing new products, keeping track of supplies,
controlling stock levels, making new stock, updating my blog and other
social networking sites, replying to customer emails, networking with
bloggers and people on twitter, working on new design elements for my
blog and website, booking craft fairs, creating new packaging, posting
out orders, doing accounts, photographing products, updating product
listings, trialling new designs, liaising with the laser
cutters/suppliers, developing ideas for photoshoots, contacting
magazines and other press. the list goes on and on and on, and it's
every single day. if I had a pound for every single time someone said
to me 'oh wow that sounds so fun, getting to make stuff every day' then
I'd be able to buy those chanel half-tone sunglasses I've been eyeing up
for like a decade. making stuff is a big part of my business, as I turn
over quite a lot of stock, however in comparison with the myriad other
tasks I deal with every day, it actually takes up a small percentage of
my time (and partly because Freya has taken on a lot of that, bless
does anyone else get this a lot? how do you deal with it without really offending people?