Posted by Annie Kayser, Working Mommie | Posted in Working Mommy | Posted on 24-07-2011
Tags: balance, business, fear, health insurance, joy, uncertainty, unemployment
Okay, so here it is 3 weeks after my last day at the hospital ~ I’ve had my week long vacation in Seattle with my daughter, I’ve come back and completely engulfed myself in photography sessions (9 in 9 days!), and now I have sat down to tackle the processing of said sessions and began to tackle my “self-employment” to-do list… ummm… yeah. I don’t see the balance in my life that I thought would come from not working “full-time”. I am working “full-time”. In fact, I have no idea how I was working a 40+ hour a week job on top of my business 3 weeks ago! Good, right? Yes… definitely, no doubt. I want this volume of work! But prioritizing my own life is turning out to be a little more challenging than prioritizing at “work”.
Being laid off and coming face to face with my business came with a lot of uncertainties. Here is my list:
1- Health Insurance (BIG DEAL!)
2- Unemployment applications
3- Unemployment income while trying build a business with income, how does this affect me?
4- Cash flow of business income as opposed to regular paychecks every 2 weeks
5- Getting serious about booking clients
6- Getting serious about having the proper forms in place, contracts to protect myself, etc.
7- Beginning to materialize real marketing campaigns
8- Understanding how many clients I need per month / per year to succeed
9- Formulating a TRUE business plan, something that I’ve done in recent years, but was not as detailed as it should be.
10- Redoing branding, to truly represent who I am and what I offer
11- Streamline workflow to make myself more efficient
There is more, I know there is… this is just a sample of the To-Do list that is SO important, yet feels slightly scary because I haven’t yet found the time to tackle most of it. I started at the top. Health Insurance ~ CHECK! Got my card in the mail today. I’ve been so fortunate to work for Sutter Health and have had the BEST health insurance known to man (I believed anyway). Never paid anything, even through a pregnancy, delivery, hospital stay, post-partum care, TWO surgeries, pediatric care… nothing. So to be faced with possibly not being accepted because of “pre-existing conditions” was certainly scary! Card in hand as of today, I feel blessed. I’m okay with paying $40 office visits and a high deductible for everything else ~ it’s worth it to go after my dream. Unemployment, check! Filed and approved. I am running my own business, but since my “day job” was my main source of income, and I was laid off, I am eligible. I have no idea what is in store for me, so it’s tricky understanding the system in this case. I know I need to report what I make from my business to the state and they will deduct what I am paid based on that, and that is fine. It’s just nice to know I have the safety net for a while if it’s not working out for me. Times. Are. Tough. Period. We all know this. Navigating this new realm is well… scary too.
I used to get a paycheck every two weeks ~ that predictable schedule makes it easy for everyone to pay their bills when they are due, have money automatically withdrawn for your car payment, etc… now that has changed as well. If I’m not producing and selling, I’m not making income. This is all on me! Whoa. It has only been 3 weeks (2 if you don’t count my trip to Seattle), so I’m definitely cutting myself some slack. I know that finding the balance will take time ~ finding what pace is right for me… shooting lots, then pulling back to process them all and sending out the galleries close together? Or shooting only a couple, working on those, etc? I’ll have to see what feels right for me. This is so wonderful, but so new! I’m used to being up every night until 1am, 2am sometimes. I now get to choose if I want to go to bed at a reasonable time, or keep working, and that choice in and of itself is FANTASTIC!
I won’t go on about the other things on my list… I just put those there to talk about the multitude of things that I am realizing I must tackle, and not because I have to, but because I can ~ because I have this opportunity to truly make a difference in my life and make this business a reality, and a success story. The thing that I am most excited about, aside from getting to play with kids and their families everyday (because THAT ROCKS), is getting to be with my daughter more. I still keep her on the same daycare schedule, but I get an extra day with her a week. On top of that, my time with her doesn’t feel as rushed anymore. I am so grateful, and truly feel a shift in my relationship with her. I am blessed, and pray every day now that I can keep this up ~ so that I can continue to be ever more present in my daughter’s life… and my own.