Here's the snapshot of my day-to-day world. I have two spirited young boys. We call them The Feral One (age 4) and Snaggletooth (age 2), though the missing tooth is becoming less noticeable with the addition of the forehead scars and black eye. The boys are home with me for all but five hours a week. They are wild and keep me quite busy. Building a business with small children in tow is an adventure as well as a daily test of my sanity. I generally keep my creative projects far, far away from my tiny beasts. When I try to combine play time and creative work time the result looks a lot like this.
Thanks for helping, my boys! (More on this redo project later). Furniture painting projects and at-home crafting projects are limited to those few hours each week when the boys are at pre-school or weekends when my dear husband can take the tiny beasts off of my hands.
But, a glorious thing has just started to happen. My boys are finally starting to entertain each other. During the day I now have little moments of time, 10 to 30 minutes here and there, where I can work on non-art projects. I redid my website over the last couple of days during these little windows of calm and quiet time and after the boys went to bed. Amazing.
I've also been able to spend time focusing a bit more on a plan for growing my little business. It's been an interesting process. I started with a pretty solid plan, but as with most things in life - especially those things involving small children - plans morph. Figuring out how to my ideal vision fits in with my reality has been interesting, to say the least.
I've started listening to podcasts and following the Facebook feed of The Mogul Mom. I feel a bit dorky and cliched focusing on the "momprenuer" aspect of all of this, but I can't help it. The boys do take up most of my time, and I can't separate my business life from my at-home life very easily.
My original business plan was pure business. I had set financial goals and clear strategies for growth over the next five years. While I haven't completely scratched that plan, I have amended it quite a bit. It is no longer a business plan but rather a life plan. Instead of my financial goals driving everything I now have financial, artistic and personal goals playing equal roles. While my financial goals are based off of commissions and sales, my artistic goals are about recognition and involvement in Austin's art and design and also parenting communities. My personal goals include things like life flexibility and keeping the craziness in check.
Integrating my life and artistic goals into my business plan has been refreshing. I somehow feel like I am no longer wasting time doing whatever I am doing at the moment. I'm not taking time away from one priority but rather focusing on one of my other priorities. Avery O Design is not my only business, nor is it separate from my other business. Snaggletooth and The Feral One both make it possible and give me reason to paint, design and be creative. Whether I am making a creative space for them, being inspired by them or even involving them in a project, it's all business, and you know what? It's all good.