When this COVID Pandemic began I was terrified about what would change for my business. I had some really tough times around this time last year, and even considered shutting down my business for good. Being an entrepreneur is stressful, but the most rewarding job I have ever had. I knew I wanted to fight for my business, but I felt burnt out and sick of being stuck in one place. I fought through the burnout, and ended up having my most successful year ever. So by the time 2020 rolled around, I knew I was ready to make some big changes
Over 80% of my sales came from in store, or market events. So when the store was ordered to be shut down, I panicked. I was unsure how I would keep my business alive without the security of my store. But at the end of the day, I knew I had to do whatever it took to make this new normal work. I started making some very short term plans, including continuing to work with the marketing team I hired in February.
I started spending more time focusing on website sales, pouring over statistics from all of my advertising, and trying to become more active on social media. I set up live talks on my instagram to talk to other local female entrepreneurs about how they were doing, and just trying to do everything I could from home. April flew by, and I ended up having a great sales month, which was truly shocking to me. But it was also exhausting. Between working through the businesses issues and keeping it running, I totally let go of my mental health.
So in May I took a bit of a step back. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, and after a long talk with a fellow business owner Danielle Mercurio, I decided it was time to work on a project I was becoming more and more passionate about. Foremothers was born from this idea, a project I am launching June 1st for female entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area.
I did lots of work on my apartment (one that we planned to move out of in May, but had to hold off until it is safe to move). I wore lots of sweat pants (even on my birthday) and spent pretty much all my time at home.
So what have I learned since quarantine began on March 15th? I have learned that my businesses is capable of maintaining and even riving during big changes. I’ve learned that my time is valuable, and that I don’t have to keep justifying how I spend my time. I’ve learned that I no longer have any interest in making $20k a year, because I have learned so much, and my knowledge and my experience is valuable.
I am still figuring out what all of this will mean for Tesoro. Will my store survive? Should it? Should I do my best to innovate and make this business work without a store? Should I focus on new projects since I have learned so much from Tesoro? As the future remains so incredibly uncertain, it is hard to make any real plans more than a week or two out. So instead of letting my type A planning insanity take over, I am trying to slow down and give myself a little grace. It feels so counter intuitive to slow down when everything is so scary and unpredictable.
But at the end of the day, maybe after 5 years, it’s time to see what is serving me best in this business, and maybe it takes something this intense to make me take a step back and evaluate what is in front of me, instead of sticking to what I have done in the past.
Thanks for checking in, and thank you for continuing to follow and support my business. Every single one of you makes a difference.
Proud of you! you should get into motivational speaking!
These have been difficult times for all of us small business owners, trying to figure out what is the right and best way to move forward as well as keeping our sanity. You channel creativity and I am certain that whatever way you ultimately decide to move, you will do so in new and innovative ways.
Best to you, always.
Beautifully written and such a great reminder we can’t do it all, and we have to make time for ourselves. You can’t share anything if your cup is empty!
Hang in there! I hope to see Tesoro on South Street open & thriving when this stupid, ugly virus is gone. I really enjoy shopping with you. 😊