Saturday, February 21, 2009

Touch Your Fear, Don't Be Afraid

I've spent the last few weeks in a mental typhoon. At first, I was devastated to learn that educational publishing is being impacted so strongly by this economic crisis and that my job security had fallen victim to it. I then started thinking that this could be an opportunity in disguise for me to finally devote time and energy to Stella Marie. I began getting excited about this, especially as my friends and family encouraged me. A person like me doesn't have the luxury of a trust fund, a breadwinner (I am the breadwinner, actually), or lottery winnings (Although, I should confess that my co-workers and I have been playing it for the past few weeks. I am not much of a gambler, but hey), therefore I was caught in this cycle of working 40+ hours at my day job, then devoting whatever time and energy was left to my soap business. Oh yes, and I tried to have a life in the midst of it all. Being laid off is really the only way I can pop this thing into a higher gear. I am hoping that I don't have to collect unemployment insurance for more than a few months. I'll be working my tail off all year and I will probably have to give up most of my weekends for craft fairs and whatever events I can get myself into. I don't care. In the words of Black Flag, We are born with a chance. I will have my chance.

There is a bit of a caviat to all of this, however. Self employment could disqualify me from receiving UI (if they find out, and I don't plan on disclosing it). The irony is, Stella Marie could not exist without my publishing job. So, how do you explain this to the state of Massachusetts? It confuses me that a person who is highly motivated and wants to have a successful small business (collecting UI for as little time as possible) ought to be penalized while there are lots of people who stay on unemployment as long as they can while they half-heartedly look for a job. States should offer incentives for people seeking full time self employment. I'm going to suggest this to Obama right now.

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Blogger Erika said...

I'm so excited that you're taking this leap. I'm telling everyone I know about your stuff (I love the body scrub I got at the craft fair in December).

With UI, I wonder if you could take a class or two on how to run a small business and then classify all your activities under retraining for a new career. UI will extend benefits for a long time for folks that are retraining.

There is also grant money available for small businesses, I think. It's something to look into.

If it helps, I think you're going to be great and in a few years, we'll all be saying we knew you when. Your stuff just has cool written all over it and people will pick up on that.

It's scary to take a leap and change your life. Being in progress with exactly that, I can confirm it. There's lots of getting used to the "new normal." But what is life for, if not to live it? "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

February 22, 2009 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Thanks so much for your encouraging comment! I have thought about applying for a grant. I think this is one of those rare cases where my being female could actually work in my favor (I believe that there are grants for female entrepreneurs in the state of RI). A course in business could come in handy, too!

What I think is going to be weird is getting used to is creating and managing my own schedule. Having a project management background will be helpful!

I really appreciate your getting the word out!

February 22, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

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