Truthfully, Small Business

Wednesday April 24, 2019

Truthfully, Small Business

Before I came on board several years back, someone once told me that Pat must have the best job ever, sitting in the sunshine and painting all day. Four years and many, many hours later, I can tell you firsthand that the day-to-day is nowhere near that idyllic. Or simple. For every minute spent painting in the sunshine, there are what seems like eons of tedious editing, sifting through data reports, planning logistics for trade shows, cleaning up backend processes, navigating the incomprehensible world of taxes, organizing the warehouse. Nothing glamorous here, friends. Running a small business is amazing and fulfilling in so many ways, but it’s no stroll in the park.  

While we’re so grateful to do this good work in our small corner of the world, to create beautiful things for thoughtful connection, the financial pressure of generating enough revenue to cover our expenses and offer our team the compensation they deserve is something we feel daily. At almost five years young, we’re still laying (what we hope will be) a strong foundation for all that’s ahead. There is no pre-set course for success - not even a vague, rambling path that we can meander along hoping to reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In fact, spoiler alert: there is no pot of gold. Every good and lasting thing takes time, which necessarily means that any get-rich-quick scheme is sure to crumble.

Some days, the pressure of it all feels enough to want to scrap the whole thing. It has brought us to tears, and more importantly, to our knees. Would it be easier to slip back into a more stable career, one that offers a predictable and steadily rising salary? To relieve our wonderfully supportive husbands of some of the financial burden they also shoulder for the business? Sure, in some ways. But here’s the place we’re learning to land daily: we can rest because of all we’ve been promised. We’re given the provision we need for today, today. We can trust it will happen again tomorrow, and then every day after that.

Practically speaking, this doesn’t mean that we kick our feet up and wait for the cash to flow in. Day to day, we’re rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands in the dirt, hopeful that there is life in the making. Our flowers may not bloom when we expected or even be what we thought we were putting into the ground. And more than likely, they’ll ebb and flow again, changing with the seasons. The uncertainty of it all reminds us that it’s okay not to know these things and that all we can do is continue cultivating the soil we’re standing on.

To heavy burdens that feel light,