It’s a hobby until you start making money. Then it’s a business.
Lately this profession of mine has felt more and more like a hobby, not a business. I’ve been putting in about 40 hours a week on top of my full-time stay at home parent responsibilities. Basically working 2 jobs, if you choose to look at it like that. I work during naps, meals and every evening. Usually this work entails sending emails to potential clients, recording and editing podcasts, developing curriculum for staff trainings and getting infrastructure in place for my business.
But here’s the kicker, and I’m hesitant to share this, I have made $0 this year and have 0 clients locked in for future business. And that is absolutely demoralizing.
Sure, I’ve got some solid leads. At this point I have about 8 promising spring time jobs. However, no one has signed on the dotted line and I’m feeling anxious that I will lose their business. Last year because of covid, I lost every single job I had lined up. And while summer camp is looking more and more likely, money is still for hiring consultants/trainers like me. I’m afraid I’ll get to that crucial moment of sealing a deal and get the old “thanks for all the information, we’ll call you if we need you.”
As a small business owner, this journey through the unknown can be exhilarating but also extremely nerve-racking. If this were my family’s only source of income I couldn’t do it. Thankfully it’s not.
I can appreciate “the grind” to the top. I’m from middle class, middle America, I know what you get is only what you’ve earned around here. Maybe I need to be more militaristic in my approach and go all in on this stuff. “It’s either them or me. I have no option but success!” But honestly and thankfully, I don’t have to. My wife has a steady income and I’m already meeting my worldly obligations by being a full-time stay at home parent.
I want to succeed and I’m trying the best I know how, but at the moment I’m just coming up short. Perhaps I’m putting too much pressure on myself for this part-time income or perhaps I’m still going through the motions of building a business and the actual money making will happen this spring and summer. I hope so. For the moment though, I feel discouraged. I’m working hard, doing my best and seeing very little results.