I’ve just spent the last couple hours working on a collection that I am planning to consign at a local shop. I realized as I sat down to put the finishing touches on the blog post that I built this jewelry collection nearly from scratch in the last week or so, which is pretty amazing to me. It makes me feel more confident in my budding skills as a designer.
Jeweler. Designer. Small business owner.
Not labels I would have imagined using to define myself last year. And I have so say, I am not 100% comfortable with them. Maybe more like 50%, which is definitely lower than I would like.
I’m into my first week of *technically* being self-employed (I say technically because I’m still doing a few hours of work for my old job this week) and so far it is going great. I love making my own schedule, getting an early start to the day and taking a break in the middle to go to the gym (we’ll see how long that lasts); focusing my energy on what I want to do.
It’s all wonderful and great and I could not be happier with the decision I made.
And yet, I still find myself somewhat reluctant to tell people what I do. In my head and to those I interact with face-to-face, they are not labels I feel justified to use to explain what I do.
I’m not trying to hide what I do from people, I’m quite proud actually for doing this, for taking a risk and stepping outside of my comfort zone. But it almost feels wrong, like that’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.
Do you ever feel this way?
I find when someone asks me what I am doing now, particularly if they are in the line of work I was doing previously, I don’t start off by saying, “I am focusing on my jewelry business.” Instead, I feel the need to talk about all the other “real” jobs I am doing, the ones that are in my line of work. “Well, I am going to be doing some part-time work with children with autism. And I am also going to focus more of my energy on my jewelry business.”
As if my jewelry business was an afterthought.
But it’s not, it’s my primary job right now.
Yes, I recognize at this stage in my business I also need some steady sources of income, and I genuinely love working with children, which is why I found a part-time job working with children with autism. And I am happy to do it while I focus primarily on my business, which I could not be any more thrilled to be doing right now.
So why this need to be shy about telling people that it’s what I do? Why preface it with the other job?
Maybe it it because I have always done work in the teaching and helping professions, whereas I feel almost selfish doing something that is not helping others. Perhaps it is because the fear and unknown that comes with starting a new business. Maybe it’s that I still feel I am pretending to be an artisan.
I spend too much time worrying about what other people think of me. Really, who cares what they think of my decided career path at the moment? Are people truly going to judge me for deciding to do something that is complete out of line with what I have been doing in my adult life? Of course not. In fact, most people have been downright supportive. My former supervisor, who is someone I have utmost respect for and is someone I consider to be a mentor, has been one of my biggest cheerleaders in this endeavor.
Really, I just need to get over all my insecurities, the worries about what others are going to think, and be 100% confident in my decision. I need to own that I am now a small business owner, a jewelry designer, an artisan.
I am Bev, jeweler extraordinaire!
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