PDA

View Full Version : No idea how long I can keep this up


spark
01-29-2011, 06:07 AM
Right now I'm doing fine, but I suspect by the end of next month I'm going to be pretty thoroughly burnt out.

In January I've made one full mascot suit, a suit head, two pairs of feet, one pair of hands, a good dozen tails, (hard to count because I don't bother to take pictures of tails at this point unless they're fairly unusual) half a dozen pairs of ears, and TWENTY-ONE various plushes, mostly very small and simple, but three of them were quite large and complicated. On top of all that sewing I've also done seven commissioned drawings, one short story (I may never take a commission for a story again, ugh.) and worked a little bit on a couple of personal projects that I sometimes think will never get finished.

And the month isn't done yet, I've got three days left, and quite a lot to do in those three days. (Two more plushes, a tail, and three drawings.)

Next month is going to be just as bad too, I have a TON of projects I need to finish.

I'm hoping that in March I can take some real time off, but if I don't get enough done in February then I won't be able to.

This much business is good, as far as paying the bills goes, but man, I really don't know how long I can keep this up.

BeeMused
01-29-2011, 10:26 AM
:hug: The bane of self-employment! Not daring to say no to a commission! Been there, done that, burned the t-shirt.
May I suggest some things to prevent burn out? Schedule regular breaks and time off, like noon-1 lunch break or whatever works best for you. And give yourself a day off at least once per week. You will get done more in the long run.
I personally work best with a short break every two hours. The complicated stuff I get done best in the morning, right after lunch I do the easy and boring things. It helps that I now actually go to work each day, but I still bring home work sometimes.

spark
01-29-2011, 06:13 PM
Heh. I'm not really looking for advice, or I'd have posted this in the advice area. Just blowing off a little frustration, is all. I'll manage, I always do.

Seshat
01-29-2011, 06:14 PM
On the up side, the bills are getting paid! :)

dalesys
01-29-2011, 11:54 PM
Sending some virtual beer: Chasing Tail Golden Ale. (http://www.utahbeers.com/chasingtail.html) :cheers:

spark
01-30-2011, 02:16 AM
:D That is hilarious! Although I don't drink these days. (When I did I was a wine gal, not a beer drinker. Beer always tasted kind of... I dunno, like bread gone horribly wrong, or something.)

Mr Hero
01-30-2011, 05:11 PM
*Reading topic title*
I ask myself the same thing.

spark
02-18-2011, 12:20 PM
Well, I'm actually doing very well on getting it all done, but getting paid is proving problematic. I'll have one major project finished right at the end of the month, (well, assuming that the tracking that says I'm getting my supplies on Monday is correct, otherwise I may be kind of screwed,) end of the month is good, that's when I told the customer it'd be done and that's when I need the monies... only turns out the guy can only pay by check, so I have to finish it, then he approves the finished photos and mails me the check, and like... a week later with how the mail's been lately I get it, and then I deposit it, and then I wait for it to clear, and by then the rent was due a week ago. *sigh* Stupid money, why do I need it? I don't want anything to do with it.

But at least I'll get it all done! And I won't be tossed out on the street or anything, we'll just have to dip into the joint savings to pay the rent. Which is sort of bad, and I don't want to do it, even if I can pay the money back soon. Money is supposed to go into a savings account and stay there, darn it!

None of this would be any problem if the idiot with no money management skills had paid me when he said he would! I still haven't seen a cent from him. I just now sent him a politely-worded ultimatum, but I kind of expect he'll continue to avoid me and I'll end up stuck with his costume. Anybody want to buy a radioactive husky mascot suit?

wagegoth
02-18-2011, 09:29 PM
You should probably move to PayPal or a similar payment system. Accepting checks, especially out of the area checks, is such a long, risky process.

spark
02-19-2011, 03:50 AM
Er. I do take paypal. Have since I started business. But if I'd turned this guy down, I'd have been out a nearly $3k commission. For that kind of money I'm willing to put up with some inconvenience.

I think I should probably stop posting here. I REALLY don't want people advising me on how to run my business, I don't like it, it annoys me. I just wanted to blow off some steam, but I guess this is not the place. It's nice that you guys want to be helpful, but that's not why I'm posting here.

Kanalah
02-19-2011, 11:14 PM
Dang and here I thought I was the only one that got the "yay I get to scam an artist!" types.

Seriously, I've gotten paid with bad checks more often then I can count...or had quilts stolen outright, or waaaaay back when I was just getting started and selling hand-quilted quilts for $20 :cry: I'd go ahead and ship the quilts out when they told me they'd already mailed a check. And of course, people telling me "no thanks." when I email them the total due after I finished thier custom quilt. (this was before I had mandatory down payments.)

Yeah. Older, wiser and a ton more jaded. Hell my scam rader goes off at normal customers and I just watch them a lot closer.

I recently had a lady contect me asking about shipping overseas to an army base. Yeah I double and triple checked everything, since I'd heard of quite a few scams going around Etsy like that. Everything was kosher, but I'm glad I get the "heeby-jeebies" about stuff sometimes.

I don't want you to leave Spark! I love hearing stories from other crafters and commiserating with the special kind of stupid we have to deal with.

I think it's just human nature to want to help our friends. I get business advice on almost a daily basis. Mostly from my mom and grandmother..."retail gods" ROFL! :roll: :lol:

DeltaSierra
02-20-2011, 03:11 AM
I LOVE your stories - please don't stop posting. I think your talent is absolutely amazing.

FenigDurak
02-21-2011, 02:43 AM
Please don't stop posting! I'm about to start a custom garment business/design label and I'm learning so much from your experiences. Yours and the other crafters on this site.

spark
02-21-2011, 03:57 AM
Heh. I guess I'll stick around. It's nice to be loved. :D

It's just one of my huge pet peeves. I hate getting business advice in general, and I hate it a million times more when it comes from somebody who doesn't run a similar business. Mostly because I get way too much of it. The number of people who want to tell me how I should do things is staggering, and some of the "brilliant" ideas I've been given are, well, incredibly stupid, and that's putting it kindly, so the whole subject just gets my dander up, even when it's not stupid advice.

I do appreciate that people are trying to help, but knowing they're trying to help doesn't make it annoy me any less, you know? It's like those people who make the "it must be free" joke. You know they're just trying to be funny, but that doesn't make you actually laugh.

I've been doing this as my full-time, sole source of income for five years, and part time for longer than that, so by now I really do have most of the bugs hammered out.

I have a system that works for me and I've NEVER once lost money because of a bad check, so it's not something I'm concerned about, just, you know, mildly irked that I need to wait for the check to clear, is all. (I did once have an absurdity with a Canadian check that would have cost more in fees to cash than the check was worth but even that got straightened out eventually.)

I do lose money for one reason or another, now and again, but every business in the world loses money now and again, it's just what happens. I pulled an idiotic thing a few weeks ago that cost me about $30 in shipping. :rolleyes: But I've always managed to make ends meet.

wagegoth
02-22-2011, 11:00 PM
spark, I didn't mean to irk you. My parents have always owned their own businesses, and I've avoided doing it myself for many of the reasons you post. Personally, I sometimes sell on eBay and I've gotten to the point where I refuse to accept anything but PayPal. I used to accept money orders, but after waiting on some of them for weeks, I quit doing it.

spark
02-24-2011, 01:19 AM
The thing is that my business runs very, very differently from selling on ebay. My customers often wait nearly a year after placing their orders for me to make their items. How could I possibly grudge them a week or so while a check arrives and clears? And they're committing to spending thousands, often money they've saved for years in order to order their costumes. It's very different from the world of the casual $.99 impulse bid

Advice from others, even people who've run some kind of business, is not necessarily going to be helpful. Running my business the way an ebay seller runs theirs would ruin me.

And I did say, rather explicitly, that advice was exactly what I didn't want. As I said, I know you didn't do it to annoy me, but that still doesn't make me want the advice.