Recently I received a DM on Instagram from a fellow designer asking how I handle the slow periods. My first thought; ‘why on earth is she asking ME’. I realized I’m misrepresenting myself online. I love what I do, my clients, and this life. But it’s not easy.
A few months ago I spoke on a panel at UGA and the moderator asked me to share with the students some of my business struggles, specifically financially. I was caught off guard by the question, but I’m glad she asked it. That question, and the DM I got have made me want to share more with you to demystify this job. This entrepreneur thing isn’t all sunshine and roses. Yes, I can take bikes rides or go see a movie in the middle of the day, but sometimes I’m awake at 4am stressing about money. This ‘be your own boss’ gig seems so glamorous, and yes, it can be great, but it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m going to be honest and vulnerable and I ask you to honor that.
Here are some ugly truths about my entrepreneurial journey:
• I’ve had to borrow money from my parents for rent. That does NOT feel good at my age.
• I cried when my CPA told me how much I made in 2018. I believe my exact words were; ‘I work too damn hard for this’.
• Last year I took a small part time job cleaning offices about ten hours a month. I took this job with the intention of paying down my debt quickly, but usually this is the money I live off each month.
• I have a set amount that I pay myself each month (my salary), but in reality I haven’t been able to pay myself fully in about 10 months.
I hope it won’t always be my reality. Please understand my heart in posting this. I hope to share a little bit of my reality and de-glamorize this being your own boss gig. It’s amazing, but it’s also really dang hard.