As I sit down to write this, it's important to note that my two year old daughter is sleeping and my incredibly supportive husband is working in the garage being every bit as manly as that sounds. Everything that I've done in regards to my small business has been done around my toddler's schedule and with the unwavering encouragement from the man of my dreams. I feel that it's also important to note that I still have a rather unclear vision of what I want this to be. Better that this time last year, but still fluid. The importance of having a focused business plan with goals is not lost on me. I know it and I understand it but I still let my emotions get the best of me. Probably largely due to the flexibility that I've been gifted (that is still completely crazy to the business side of my brain). Probably also due largely to the fact that I am currently 8 months pregnant and that's not the best time to make business decisions. It's not really the best time to do anything but apparently I still have to act like an adult most days.
It is because of the rapidly approaching due date of our second daughter that I have been starting to pull back on the business front slowly. With the help of my husband, I have set some dates in stone regarding how many orders I'll be logically/comfortably accommodating over the next couple of months. I've set myself up with small projects in preparation for the stall of eatable goods going out. I've prepared some of the behind the scenes first steps to stay relevant in the world even without pumping out cakes. I'm happy to report that balancing my time and managing the demands of my little business has gotten easier. Obviously, I still anticipate new struggles and learning experiences that I can't even foresee at the moment; but I do have an elevated level of self-confidence in my abilities to handle them as they come. The amount of self-growth that I've not only experienced but recognized over the past year is deeply uplifting and I owe it to my family and my clients. To say that I am humbled by my little network is an understatement and it's overwhelming to know that it's only going to continue to grow.
Recently, I've been invited into a small group of entrepreneurs. These business owners' first job is being a mother and it's been a wonderful experience thus far. Honestly, better than I would have expected because moms in general are a strange bunch all on their own - but throw in managing a small business in conjunction with managing a small human and I don't know how any of us have any brain cells left. They are very supportive though and I feel like every time I have the pleasure of being around them I learn something. It's a personal goal to further these relationships this year and that's a goal that I'm actually looking forward to.
This coming year is exciting to me because it marks another year that outpast2 has survived. It's another kind of "mom-iversary" that I'm more than happy to celebrate as my business is truly my (less important) baby. "Less important" because nothing will ever be more important than my actual children, but also because the timeline on outpast2 is a little fuzzy. If you know me personally, this shouldn't be a surprise. I'd have to dig into my electronic past to actually verify when I set up certain parts of it and what exactly my start date was for owning a small business... Was it when I named it? When I secured my domain name online? When I filed my DBA? When I launched my website or started doing social media? When I received my first official client order? (Thanks, Kate!) When I actually sent out my first official client order? (Thanks, Emily!) When I filed my first round of taxes for my small business? I don't have an official "Grand Opening" date because I don't have a storefront. My questions of potential start dates could be dragged out for years. I think I've come to the conclusion in my own mind to just share a birthday with my business for ease of reference. The blog was started some time after my little business was up and running but I happened to release the first edition on my birthday last year. This wasn't planned. I actually don't like the idea of sharing my birthday with anything but it worked out because my birthday gift last year was a stay-cation where my husband took care of our little one and I got time to myself in a downtown Denver hotel. Yes, I missed them dearly but it was undeniably a good decision to have a couple of days completely to myself. That's the only real reason I carved out time to start my blog but once I started I had to see it through. So here we are, a year later, and I'm going to keep rambling to anyone who will listen until I've done it long enough to gain some credibility because that's how blogs work. So cheers to year one. This is where I've started my count and my only regret is that it didn't fall on an easy to remember rounded out year - and that's kind of a win in itself if that's my biggest complaint from the first year of being in business. Looking forward to my year two and all that it has in store.