Being a Business Owner

I just have to spill my guts here… I hope you don’t mind.

There is much weight lifted off my shoulders as I write this post.  I just uploaded the final edits to the printers for the Winter 2011 issue of Occasions Magazine.  Let me just TELL you how stressful these past few weeks have been.  Not just because putting together a 148 page magazine is stressful in itself (especially when you only have 3 people on staff) but, because putting together a 148 page magazine, with 3 people on staff, in 14 days is DAMN stressful.  And, let me clarify it was not by choice, but by circumstance.

To make a long story short, in my attempt to delegate and take things off my plate, back in September I hired a design firm that I have worked with for years to layout this next issue of the magazine.  Fast forward to late November, we weren’t meeting eye to eye on the project and I made the huge decision to stop production and start from scratch on November 30th building this next issue.  I worked for 15 hours every single day until last Tuesday when I completed the first draft and uploaded to the printer.  I made that entire magazine on my trusty Mac laptop…. faded keys and all…..Oy Vey.

This past few weeks have taught me a lot of things about being a business owner and though I was more challenged physically and mentally, I’ve got to tell you I’m really glad what happened did.  As if I didn’t realize it before, what happened to me just reiterated that being a business owner is really hard!   Oh to clock in and out… those were the days.

All I wanted for Christmas was to get a Christmas Tree and go on the planned vacation I had with my husband but instead my 12 days of Christmas were spent behind this very computer…and I still don’t have a tree.  As the business owner I had to put aside my personal vacation time with my hubs and hunker down to get the job done.  I just kept thinking about my previous work at Debbie’s Day Spa in St. Augustine.  I worked for Debbie Kresge for 5 years and I remember she would always talk about her role as the owner, decisions she had to make, being a leader,  not paying herself and reinvesting in the business and I just took all those words with a grain of salt.  I never knew what they meant.  I would just clock in, do my job to the degree of not being fired and clock out.  I think about the work I do now and how much MORE productive I could have been if I had just treated that business like my own.  Now I know exactly what she was talking about all those years.  Being a business owner means caring more than anyone else, working harder than anyone else, making hard decisions that no one want so make, saying no, putting your business before your family, and ultimately living, eating, breathing your business for the benefit of your clients and employees… and when you’re out of the red, one day yourself.

It’s so exhausting yet so rewarding to own a business.  I wouldn’t give back the past two weeks for anything, because thinking back on it.. I needed that time.  I’ve come out of what started as a crappy situation (surrounded by lots of curse words… I ain’t gonna lie) wide eyed and clear headed for 2011.   There is light on my horizon for sure.  As 2010 comes to a close I think about all that has been accomplished.  Just with this issue we are up by 25 pages!  My company has grown my leaps and bounds and while included in that amazing growth are challenges for sure, I’m so stinkin’ excited that I am making it happen every single day.  Wow.  Pinch me, please.

Are there any other business owners out there in utter awe of what they are capable of?  Share your story with me!  While I didn’t have any marketing advice to share with you today, I do want to share with you that you are not the only business owner out there doing great things, one item on your to-do list at a time.  We’re in it together.  Let’s make 2011 great and thanks for listening.  😉