The burn out is real. Running a tiny business is hard work. I want to acknowledge my privilege, good luck, and all the amazing things I have in my life, but I also just want to take a minute to vent. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I wake up every week day at 5:45, go to the gym, take a shower and eat breakfast. by 7:45 I’m working on emails, social media, finances, photographing, scheduling, website maintenance, ordering, shipping, and general organization. I’m lucky if I’m in my studio by 9. I work in my studio (or other jewelers shops) from 9-6, or sometimes later, go home, shower, eat and sleep. If I have enough energy I do social things. I try not to work on the weekends, but it’s difficult when there’s always something to do.
I love what I do. I love making beautiful things that people can wear. I love working with other jewelers, learning new skills, and meeting new people. I love doing jewelry repairs and seeing my customers smile. I love working in my studio all day and spending time with my amazing studio mates. I feel like it is such a luxury and privilege to be able to do what I love every day.
But the reality is that I’m working all the time. I don’t really have any other hobbies. I’m constantly stressed out about money. I’m constantly checking my email and social media to see if I have any new orders, and to get the happy brain chemicals when I get a new like or comment. I can’t turn it off, cause if I’m down, my business is down. When I take a day off or go on vacation, I’m still checking and worrying about all the work I’ll have to catch up on when I get back.
I try to enjoy the little things. I try to organize my life and daily schedule in such a way that I don’t have to think too much about it or stress out about scheduling. I try to live as ethically as I can because I care so much about the world, humanity, and animals. I am grateful every day for my mental and physical health, abilities, and well-being. But sometimes the heaviness of it all gets to me and I just want to hide under a rock.
I used to work at a full time job making engagement rings. I would mentally check out for 8 hours, assemble 20-30 of the same engagement ring, and got paid decently with good benefits. Sometimes I think about going back to that, but I just can’t. I didn’t like being a zombie for 40+ hours a week. I would have panic attacks on Sunday nights. Even though I was never worried about money, I didn’t have any time for myself and my art.
Now, although I make my own schedule and I love what I do, I’m always worried. About money. About my future. About my health. About the health of the planet. What can I do?
Thanks for reading. Here’s a photo of my newest work. Most are available here https://nina-raizel.com/fancy-earrings-handmade/