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What and Why I'm Doing What I Do

Friday, March 25, 2011

Insult and opportunity. 
Both occurred this week, making it stressful and emotional time. 
But they also made me answer an important question: 

why am I doing what I'm doing? 

First, the insult: on off-handed remark by a family member really hit a nerve....commenting on my business, they said, "well, it's not like it's rocket science."    {ouch!}

Second, the opportunity: a real-life position came about that seemed to match my qualifications .... would actually put my Master's in special education to use. Plus, it would bring back a bit of that feeling I miss- advocating and working with students with special needs.  

So, hmmmm. 
{print from PaintSquare}

After being a bit torn up by both, I really tried to look inside and answer for myself, what exactly am I doing....and more importantly why. This is my response:

What I'm doing
                        building and running a small business 
                        designing and creating handbags and accessories
                        connecting with a larger community of doers & makers
                        sharing my experience and tips for other's to purse 
                            their handmade journey
         Well, honestly, it started out as a means to make some extra cash.  I really felt it important to stay home with my son and I thought, "hey, what about this?" But it has all really transformed. It's now something bigger and more personal and multidimensional and complex and awesomer than I ever could have expected.  And it's mine. It's something I dreamed and created.  It's not perfect and it's hard and it doesn't make sense to everyone else. True, it's not rocket science. But then again, I didn't choose rocket science.  I don't even want to be a rocket scientist. (so there!) 

My business brings me both challenge & fulfillment. And more importantly, it allows me to stay home and see my child grow.  That is why I do this. 

have you answered these questions? I'd so love to hear your responses too - what & why we're all doing what we're doing.


Alejandra said...

Well, maybe it isn't rocket science. It's not the "hardest" most "complex" thing in the world--but it's a labor of love and something that grows into you and becomes a part of who you are. It's a very personal thing, laborious, and time consuming.. But nothing that should be insulted. I have an aunt who insults what I do rather often as well--"well, you're almost good enough to sell something at a little craft fair.. but start small because you're not quite there yet".. I mean, it's discouraging.. But listen to your heart; you know why you're doing things, and what you're good at! :)

Missplanner said...

I found you through your etsy shop but stay as a follower of your blog because of your positivity, good thoughts and caring personality. As a small business owner, it is much more challenging than people realize. You have to be driven, manage all aspects of a business, push through the daily challenges and remain positive. It helps me to love what I do and you do too. I'd love to challenge all of the "insulters" to do the same thing and be as successful as you. Keep the faith and know that you are amazing! :)

Gardenmis said...
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Gardenmis said...

There will always be others who do not appreciate what you have and are doing. Then again there are and will be plenty that do. The sacrifices a mother makes to be able to nuture her young and at the same time make time to grow her own self is to be admired and applauded. I also am a artist trying to realize her goal of making beauty that others can enjoy and the biggest reason I do it is to create the extra $ to continue to stay home with my children and to fulfill that creative nature without overwhelming my home, lol! Keep on keeping on ~ your work is beautiful and makes you happy!

Live a Colorful Life said...

Ouch indeed! You continue to inspire me with all the beautiful things you make (beautifully photographed as well--I often just study your stylistic photos) and all the background marketing ideas you have. Whatever decision you make, I know we will stay in touch.

Pili said...

Well, nothing except rocket science IS rocket science, and I'd like to see that family member doing what you do and see if they think it's THAT easy then...

People should respect what others do much more!

Just keep true to yourself and what you wanna do!

lesley [smidgebox] said...

allisa, what a thoughtful conclusion you've come to. i have to admit, i have been in the same position myself [my schooling isn't in the same area, but the offer of going back to "real" work has arisen] and when i had to think about why i'm forging ahead with my business, i admit i had doubts at first.
i think that the opportunity to grow your very own business, doing something you love, all the while being able to watch your children grow and witness those day-to-day special moments that happen only when you're there to see them...that is priceless. I am glad to see that you have the same thoughts, and that you were able to get past the negative comments. there are very few people who have the opportunity to create something like you do, and very few who excel at it -- as you do. maybe, behind that offside remark, there was a little bit of jealousy hiding out.
keep doing what you're doing!!

Kelley said...

People can always dismiss any kind of art as "not rocket science." You clearly have an eye for design and color, and I'm glad that you're putting that talent to use, both for fun and for profit. Keep up the good work. :)

The Junk-It Folk said...

Old saying: don't let the turkeys get you down! (Sandra Boynton??) First off, comments like that take you off guard. I had a relative say to me, after I did get a career going in something I loved: wonder how long you'll stick with this? I think I was more shocked that she even had an opinion about my varied work background. My advice: stick with something you love. It's all a juggling game. I'm glad I didn't have a rocket science job going when my kids were little. I would have missed out on so much. Enjoy. Life.

Allisa Jacobs said...

Wow- thank you so much for all the kind words! I really appreciate hearing everyone's thoughts & experiences. I think answering this question of "why?" was really helpful for me as an entrepreneur- thank you for sharing in that journey!

Jen Morris said...

It might as well be rocket science to me! Hand me a sewing machine and some fabric and I'm as comfortable as I'd be behind the controls of the next Endeavour! What you do is amazing. And the "why" only matters to you and your little family :)

Sarah Pecorino said...

Well I bet there's a good chance what that individual does isn't rocket science either. Not just anyone can do what you do: own and run a small sucessful small business by being the sole manufacturer of your product, the sales person, the marketing department, the design department, HR, AND customer service; AND be a great mom and wife. It isn't easy! I have just recently left my full time job to be home with my son and pursue my dream of being a freelance illustrator. It's easy for someone from the outside say that what you do is easy. You just make it look easy :)

Ryan. Beth. Pierce. Paige. Ollie. said...

thought you might like this post from my styleberry friend! :)


Shell1221 said...
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Shell1221 said...

Allisa you inspire people all over the world. Im in london, I am a blogger newbie and I'm LOVIN your blog and all your fantastic ideas. Congrats for being up there with the best and good luck for the new arrivalXXX

Allisa Jacobs said...

Thank you Shell- appreciate your kind words! Best wishes to you, xo