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.