A note to the 9-5 person from the Small Business Owner:
I used to be just like you.
Get up day in, and day out, get my kid ready and head to work, Monday through Friday. Sometimes even on Saturdays if I got the overtime! I would enjoy my weekends with family, friends, and had a normal life.
One day, I decided I wanted to go after a dream like most Small Business Owners. My guess, is that 9 times out of 10, we small business owners aren’t aware of all the small things we will face when we make the decision to work for ourselves.
Let me explain.
You see, I remember being that 9-5’er thinking.....MAN! That Small Business owner has so much fun! They get to go to fun networking events, get to set their own schedule, and pocket all the money they get! Wooooo weeee!
What I didn’t know was the reality. Those fun networking events are a hope that at some point we MIGHT meet someone that will somehow "know someone" who might think of me or my services in the future.
And sure, we set our own schedule, and yes we sleep in, but only because at times we are up at 3 am updating our website while everyone sleeps. We set our own schedule because we generally work around everyone else’s schedule, and even when 5pm hits… the work well, it just doesn’t stop there. I can't tell you how many times I have put my daughter to bed and got right back to work.
I know what you are thinking, but all of that MONEY? You get to keep all that money! This is where the big lie comes in.
The reality is, small business get hit hard with leases for space, business, selling, food, and even water-use permits. We have to pay accountants and taxes sometimes MUCH higher than employment taxes. We have to hire lawyers to review our contracts costing us time and money and when we finally do bill or charge our clients… (Because we also sometimes do our own accounting)… we DON’T GET PAID FOR 30-60 days!
You see… Larger businesses who employ us don’t care that we still live paycheck to paycheck. They just care about their NET Terms. So even if we issue an invoice we have to BUG them for payment.
That’s it! Add Bill Collector to my list of duties! HAHA
Sure it sounds like fun in theory. But a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. We have to hire repair people, have supply and equipment costs, contractor costs, gas and electric costs, transportation costs, and those Negronis during Networking… yeah they hit our bottom line too.
… AND on top of all of that, we have our Regular life drama. You know… like flat tires. *rolls eyes*
We do sometimes miss the mundane things like having a group of people to chat with at the water cooler. “How was your weekend Stephanie? Oh yeah? You are almost due Jess?” Ohhhh the days…
The point here is, I know you all know someone who is on their small business grind. Who posts a lot on your Facebook about their new business, their products or services for sale, whether its homemade Frida cookies, handmade bags and wear ables, or original works of art. These people are grinding. HARD. At 1 am when you are sleeping, at the Farmer’s Market when you are enjoying your BBQ at home, or in the Kitchen when you don’t feel like cooking on Mother's Day.
Guys... without a brick and mortar, a restaurant, or a store where you can walk-in, there is NO WAY some of us can make a living. It is important to remember that while your work is at an office, 90% of our work comes from the Social Media most people use to repost memes, connect with friends, and yes even support small businesses.
Support your friends, acquaintances who have their own gym, their own catering business, their own jewelry shop, barber shop or salon, those we create works or art, who cook for you, clean for you, and cut your grass. The items or services you buy from them could be the difference between whether their business survives another month, or whether their kids get shoes this semester. Seriously.
And if you can't support a small business help the ones you trust spread the word by sharing with your friends. You don't know if one of your friends is looking for the perfect earrings for her wedding.
We LOVE what do we do, we wouldn't be sharing it with you if we didn't.
We love being able to share our talents, passion, and journey with you, and we appreciate all your support. If given the chance I promise you, we would all do it all OVER AGAIN!
The small business community is a tight knit one that supports each other... I don't know about you, but my personal favorite is seeing small business owners collaborating together. Sharing passions and business to promote one another.
And If you are one of us... crazy enough to follow your passion and want to join us, you will have a whole new family of support too!
So share away, buy local or small business and don't forget that the holidays are coming up too! Too soon? LOL
Oh and small business owner... I see you. Keep hustling baby... because this month, will be better than the last because of that hustle! #CantStopWontStop
Lastly to my fans, followers, and supporters... Thank you for making my dream come true, week after week, month after month, dia tras dia. I feel blessed.
Signed at 1:45 am... after updating my website ;)
~ A Small Business Owning Single Latina Mama. xo