You’d think I’d recently become a stay at home mom with this feeling I keep getting of needing to be doing a job I get paid for. Lately, it seems like just about every time I have a moment to sit and relax, I feel like I should be going to work on a task I have yet to determine. It’s not housework, not checking Facebook, email or blogs, not parenting related, not doing the bills and not a 9-5 someone-else-is-my-boss kind of job… more like a work in my free time, I am my own boss and it’s a “job” I like.
I keep having this incomplete thought like “oh, this would be a good time to work on….” and it never gets completed.
I’ve never had these feelings before. I usually revel in any quiet, alone time moments and enjoy mindless tv watching guiltfree, putting my feet up to enjoy a coffee in peace or sitting outside to watch nature. My mind doesn’t go blank, but I sure never had this feeling like there was something else I should/could be doing… at that particular moment anyway.
But lately, maybe for about the last 2 months or so, I get this nagging feeling. It’s so strong, I could actually get up off the couch, but then not know where to go. What the?
It’s like I’m getting a glimpse of my future. The future when I FINALLY figure out that something I can do in my free time to make some money, but something I enjoy that involves my artistic side… not medical transcription or those other work-from-home jobs on computers that you ultimately have some sort of “boss” to report to.
I’ve tried writing a book… dipping my toes in the water of becoming a novelist. Nope, not happening.
I’ve tried to paint original works of art on canvas (like to start an Etsy page for). I couldn’t even get one completed (it’s still on an easel in my bedroom) and thought I should at least have half a dozen ready to go before attempting to sell. And if I complete something I really like, I want to keep it. I couldn’t even figure out what name to use or what my logo might look like.
I’ve tried crafts (specifically with pinecones) and for all the labor and cost of shipping, nope, there’s no money in that for the effort.
Sometimes I think I’d make a great freelance editor, but I don’t have the qualifications. I’m great at spotting what is incorrect or could be worded better in everyone else’s work, but I fail when it comes to following (or realizing) proper grammar (though I’m better than I used to be… I think). I’ve been editing my hubby’s work or home business emails, things for my mom, and even edited an entire book a friend of mine published (without an editor), but that was unsolicited and of course, unpaid.
I’ve had plenty of experience selling items on craigslist or Facebook groups, but that is always temporary as I don’t always have something to sell. Plus, there is the hassle of setting up meeting places/times and risking no-shows or dealing with crazy people. Most of those sales just mean I finally have cash in my wallet… not really an income large enough to bother to deposit to pay bills with.
Inspired by the oohs and ahhs my husband’s Tupperware lunches of dinner leftovers from his jealous co-workers, I thought about creating a lunch service where I just make some extra of whatever we have for dinner to create some ready-to-eat lunches for his co-workers at maybe $5 a pop. They would totally go for it, but when you think about it as a business, I’m sure I’d be breaking some health code by using my at home kitchen and having my 4-year-old playing on her tablet on the same island I’m prepping the food I’m selling. I’m sure I’d be breaking about 20 laws, even if I did report it all to Uncle Sam. And then there’s the fact that I don’t actually enjoy cooking.
So what is this magical money making I-am-my-own-boss work-from-home job I long to do???
I wish I knew. I really do.
Or maybe I do know…
I’ve been told I should restore painted items as a business. I’ve repainted my own wooden outside door decorations (as the southern sun is evil and fades everything). Last Christmas my mom sent me this sign that had been battered by the outside elements for YEARS. Some of the picture was unidentifiable, so I had to use creative license. I had to sand it so the surface would be flat, but when I did, it took off the existing paint. But I thought ahead and took detailed pictures of what you could see prior to sanding/repainting it.
Since it was for my mom, she didn’t care if it was slightly different from the original. Really, I just tried to fill in and enhance the existing painting. But when your mom is your “client”, you really can’t go wrong.
But what if I did this for complete strangers? Their standards would be higher. What if they don’t like what I do? What if, although I put on 2-3 layers of sealant, the sun still fades it in a couple years (which can be expected)… will they come after me for a refund?
I also only use acrylic paint. That might not work on various materials. Would people even want this service? Most would just trash the décor and buy something new instead. If it’s a $5 item, they can’t justify paying me $10 to fix it up when they can buy new for cheaper and $10 might not be worth my time, effort and supplies to fix it. See the issue?
And would my artistic skills be good enough? I have doubts there too. But I’ve always been really good at copying. I am a copycat artist. What (legal) good is that for unless to make what already was nice again?
I feel like I could be like a Joanna Gaines (from HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper’) type, but way, way, way, WAY scaled back… no fame, no cameras, no multi-businesses… just how I assume it was when she started as a “nobody”. Just 1 client at a time, utilizing her creative and design talents in her spare time. But I’m not a designer, so not exactly like that, but utilizing my own talents for artistic restoration/reproduction.
~~~~~~~~~~~~24 HOURS LATER~~~~~~~~~~~~
Artist are their own worst critics, right? While searching my before & after photos of the work I’ve already done, my son’s friends were here and noticed the pictures and took interest. They were impressed at the work I’d done (and these are 8, 10 & 11-year-olds).
I got past all the worries, thought of a name and created a business page on Facebook!!!
I stayed up until 2 am designing my cover page and profile picture & filling out all appropriate info.
And now I’m thinking about starting a blog about it so I can document each piece I work on.
My next step is sharing my page info on my closed neighborhood fb page and offer up free (or reduced price if it’s a detailed job) restoration so I can get some more before & after pictures for my page.
So I did it… I’m starting my side business. This is NOT where I saw this blog going. I guess I needed to write it out to make it known what I was supposed to do.