when you’re down you get back up

July 15, 2009 |  Category:   life

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A broken dishwasher, a dead car battery, supplies not being delivered on time, difficult work situations, too much work, no babysitting and I’m finally feeling the effects of trying to juggle 4-5 projects in a day at once. Sorry for all the complaining, but this is life, this is real. If you’re a freelancer than you know that it’s impossible to line up projects nice and neat so that you can work on 1 while the others are waiting in the wings. But if you’re like me you say yes to everything because you’ve been able to handle it before and schedules rarely ever go on as planned. It’s a gamble. Sometimes it works like a charm and other times it comes to bite you in the ass and every deadline hits you on the head at once. Like now. It’s felt hectic especially in light of the other stuff that is going on around the house, but I’m trying hard to keep things in perspective. In the end, these little annoyances are not important – I just need to get through them.

So without going into detail, Mark and I learned a hard lesson about business this week (although to be honest, we are not 100% sure what that lesson is). The only thing we know is that we thought we were making the right decision when backed into a corner a few months ago even though it might not have been the best business decision if you are strictly talking numbers. Now we realize after trying to reverse it that we might have been a little too naive, too trusting and perhaps caught in the middle of a tug-o-war. In the end, however, we are the ones that end up losers.

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  • sarah July 15, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    so sorry to hear about your bad week. it seems there is a lot of that going around the blogs right now. hopefully things will turn around for everyone soon!

  • Michelle July 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Life can be such a roller coaster sometimes you feel like the jokers revenge ride is never going to end! Remember always go with your gut instincts even when it maybe a hard decision . Take a deep breath…. and a moment of peace for yourselves be well.

  • Lecia/A Day that is Dessert July 16, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Oh Jenna that’s so discouraging – I’m sorry. (My parents ran their own business most of my childhood and it definitely had its ups and downs, long hours, and emotional turmoil, so I can relate a tiny bit.)

  • Lani July 16, 2009 at 1:46 am

    I’m so so sorry! It’s so fun to read about your life when it’s all going well, and now it’s really hard to hear about the burdens I know you’re all going through. Esp. when I’m so far away. Let me know if you need a gramma!

  • Jen Leigh Lim July 16, 2009 at 3:18 am

    It’s always not easy to run your own business.. We had a business before and it didnt survive in the end. The wound is still fresh like yesterday, but we never regret that we took the plunge, just the timing and venue are not right. We believe in our products deeply and we will strike again when there is an opporturnity. 😉 Dont give up. Things will turn up right!

  • Fog and Thistle July 16, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I’m so sorry you are having such a crappy week. I know it’s of little solace, but this too shall pass. When things simmer down, take a mental health day…you’ve earned it.

  • jennifer July 16, 2009 at 7:52 am

    oh, nuts. hang in there!

  • Dee July 16, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Will watch kids for cookies.
    Kidding.
    Sort of.

  • gabriel July 16, 2009 at 10:51 am

    do you or mark work with a freelance assistant or interns on some of your projects? when i’ve had to juggle multiple jobs in the past it always helped to have a few people on board to keep me relatively sane. i just recently started working with interns after years of being asked because it’s another job in itself to train them. but i found it was worth it to ease the burden on my team without having an extra salary to pay.
    i was at a chocolate shop in the city a few weeks ago and asked one of the employees if they ever took on apprentices thinking that would be a dream internship some day for me. she responded by saying that she was actually the apprentice and was studying at the culinary institute at the same time. maybe that’s a resource for extra skilled labor?

  • emeline July 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

    crappy weeks are HORRIBLE. Popcorn and chocolate covered popcorn help. Booze and hugs from your friends do too.

  • emeline July 16, 2009 at 11:01 am

    meant chocolate covered peanuts- although chocolate covered popcorn might also be tasty. 🙂

  • Sandy July 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

    sheesh, that was a doozy! hang in there!

  • Karin July 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Take lots of L-Lysine for the cold sore problem…I promise it works wonders! Sorry for all the stress you guys are going through right now.

    p.s. I was hoping whimsy & spice was going to be at the Brooklyn Flea on the 4th…I was visiting Jennifer (of odette) and I was hoping to try some of your yummy goodies…I’m sorry I missed you guys…I was bummed. : (

  • Andrew Thornton July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Something must be in the water. If we had time, we should write to our senators and congressmen about checking into that. I too am in freelance hell and it’s not boding well for the family unit. I swear I try to wipe up the froth from my mouth at least part of the time and control the rabid urges to kill, kill, kill everything around me.

    Oh well. Good luck with everything! Back to work for me!!

  • Kitty July 16, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    If i could I would happily help you!
    Hm running a small business is hard. We (I work for a mum + dad business) wish we had made a decision differently a few years ago but it’s too late. Still $ comes in $ goes out but $ comes in again. I know it’s not just about money but you just have to ride the wave + not be dragged under.

  • Jenna July 16, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Gabriel,
    Thanks for your suggestions, but unfortunately part of the problem is that there is no place where these interns or helpers can work -not at the kitchen or here. It’s just a matter of logistics and space. Also, my relationships with my freelance clients are such that I can’t outsource my design work. Projects aren’t set up as such – it’s as much about my relationship with the clients as it is about the actual work.

  • Jenna July 17, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Karin, sorry we missed you. We were actually supposed to be there, but we switched it to the Brooklyn Bridge Flea on Sunday instead. bummer

  • gabriel July 17, 2009 at 2:22 am

    someday when mia and claudine are old enough you can make them help with packing the shipments. heck – if farmers from previous generations can have 8+ kids for the cheap labor…
    another idea (i’m just so full of them) – go to ikea on a weekday and drop off the girls at the day care. go to the cafe and do a “stitch and bitch” with a couple of peeps. have them help with any any type of packaging help that can be done at the tables – cutting labels, folding, ribbons, etc. i’ve done paper work there for hours with just buying a juice and no one complains to me.

  • Jenna July 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Gabriel, you work at IKEA? That’s something new I haven’t heard of. but good idea, though I imagine paperwork is a little less noticeable than being ll spreadout with labels and bags. you know what sucks though is that the childcare has a limit of 35 min or something….C isn’t tall enough either yet.

  • gabriel July 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    when i need to liven things up i’ll take paperwork, invoicing, receipts (scissors and tape), etc to other places including ikea. of course taking the b61 bus there adds on to my time but it helps me with the procrastinating i do so easily on this aspect of my work. and as far as i know there is no wi-fi so no internet to distract me. super quiet and sterile on weekdays. i’ve seen other people there reading/working and definitely not having bought anything except for a drink and/or food. i thought the smaland limit was 45 minutes to an hour on weekdays? guess i read wrong. put C in a pair of platforms and pouf up her hair to make her taller? just kidding.

  • NatureCakes July 21, 2009 at 1:10 am

    I know how you feel! I have been self-employed for many years now and I have 5 children ages 2-15. Some days, aw hell, MOST days, I barely make it out of the gate and must stop hundreds of times for child-related events. However, my grandmother used to tell me “This too shall pass. It’s up to you how it passes”. A hard pill to swallow, yes, but truer words were never spoken. I can make it a good day or a bad one, either way the time will pass by. So chalk it up to it being one week out of your WHOLE life and move on :o)
    (My week was less than stellar too. I have to pass up on a very lucrative oppurtunity that would allow us to live on a beautiful beach and immerse ourselves in an active art community, but hubby doesn’t want to move right now…oh well right?)

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