I have been absolutely Podcast- obsessed recently… It’s my guilty pleasure-way of “working” on my business even when I can’t physically be working on it. (driving, laundry folding, dish washing, all podcast time!)
If you are looking for a good listen and have an interest in entrepeneurship, my top 5 favorites for business advice are 1. Andreea Ayer’s Launch Grow Joy show, 2. Brilliant Business Moms with Sarak Korhnak and Beth Anne Schwamberger, 3. After The Jump with Grace Bonney, 4. Dave Conrey’s Fresh Rag Show, and 5. Explore your Enthusiasm with Tara Swiger.
If you are not familiar with Tara Swiger, she is an expert at craft marketing, and a small business coach who leads online courses for women (and men) who are trying to create a path for their handmade businesses. In a recent podcast episode she made reference to assigning a dollar amount earned as a potential goal (or “destination”, as she puts it) as a way of further defining one’s path on their map to success. For example, a person looking to earn six figures with their business might have a map that includes working with manufacturers, liscensing agents, and wholesale accounts, as opposed to the person who wants to earn vacation money might have a path that includes art shows and postcard mailings. No amount is “wrong”, just a personal decision. She also talked about defining what that money in your dollar amount you decided on represented- for the vacation money earner, was it Family? Contribution? For others who wanted to earn a larger salary to quit their day job, was it representative of Freedom? To the person who wants to be able to send their child to camp each year, was the money representative of Parenthood? By giving the money meaning, it would give your map more definition. Of course, I started turning the wheels about that question for myself.
I won’t tell you exactly what my weekly dollar amount “destination” is, but I will tell you that it took this podcast to realize it’s significance. I’ve always had a ballpark idea of what I’d like to make per week as an artist, and I actually had to laugh at myself when I realized that it is almost exactly what I used to make when I had a full time job WAAAY back before I had children and before I worked for my husband building his business. That was almost 10 years ago! I guess my subconscious doesn’t adjust for inflation. The truth is, the amount doesn’t really matter. My husband is, and probably always will be, the breadwinner in our house, and he’s darn good at it. I’m not really contributing any money earned toward anything specific for our family, so the question was; what did that amount in my head represent?
It was none of those things I listed above in Tara Swiger’s examples, freedom, family, contribution… it was something even more personal to me. To me, that amount represents respect. Earning a salary like I used to before becoming a stay at home mom is, in my mind, the final answer to those akward “So, do you work, or do you just stay at home?” moments that I never became comfortable with in these past 8 years . Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have done it any differently, and I’m not in the least bit interested in landing a 9-5. I’m still at home, but I’ll confess that I’ve been coveting for years now the change in status from stay-at-home, to work-at-home mom. That’s not something that is easy for a SAHM to admit- there is always this strange ballet between Mothers who earn money and those who don’t, fear of judgement, yet unable not to judge themselves. Notice I don’t say those who work and those who don’t- that word “work” has alway been at the center of my discomfort. Is work without a paycheck not as respectable in society as a whole? I’m admiting to you now, that when it comes to my own judgement of no one else but myself, I fear it isn’t. So that is where my number came from, and I’m not sure if it’s healthy or not- you can let me know in the comments! Sorry for the deep thoughts- back to back podcasts will do that to you…