Hi again! After a relaxing week away in beautiful, sunny Florida, I’m well rested and ready to work!
It felt good to be home. I love my little cottage. Walking in Saturday night, it smelled like it had missed us. Like home, but patiently waiting. It was missing the freshness of having the door opened a few hundred times between playing outside and in, and the faint smell of laundry in the dryer or breakfast cooked earlier in the morning that always seems to linger. It needed a big warm hug. So, on Sunday I did just that – bazillion loads of laundry, cleaned and organized my entire office and kitchen, cooked meals, did all the dishes, cleaned out old boxes from the basement, and even put together a baker’s rack that had been sitting in a box for months (so much energy thanks to a few days in sunlight). After I finished I just stood around admiring my hard, productive work, feeling very pleased with myself. My house looked so good! And only home one day? Well done, Chrissy.
Then I returned to reality and remembered my lessons from last week.
Sunday really wasn’t as productive as I had imagined. During my crash course in sales accounting last week, my very knowledgeable in-laws kindly explained that about 90% of what I do is non-productive. That’s because 90% of what I do involves battling technology, organizing little numbers on silly spreadsheets, and blabbing on and on about nothing of much importance, (aka. blogging – and my words, not theirs!). In Sunday’s case cleaning and organizing inventory of ingredients was very non-productive. There were no sales at the end of the day. No cash exchanged.
- Productive = products = sales = success.
- Non-productive = something else = no one cares.
This is business and most new businesses fail in the first year because of
(1) lack of capital,
(2) lack of industry knowledge, and
(3) lack of organization (this is where productivity versus non-productivity falls).
I thought I had at least two of the three figured out, but turns out I barely have one (industry knowledge, in case you were wondering).
Productive work is the act of making the product that will then sell and bring in the big bucks. Non-productive work is everything else, including keeping track of sales and inventory (even though you need that to run a business profitably).
- Making dinner = productive
- Creating or finding the dinner recipe, making the list to purchase the necessary ingredients, and budgeting the money to shop with = non-productive
- Making body care products = productive
- Creating recipes, buying and organizing ingredients, and blogging about body care (or about being productive) = non-productive
It’s simple enough. But after my lessons in sales, I’m a bit dazed and confused. Despite thinking I was super organized, I now realize how much non-productive work I need to catch up on (accounting and cost of sales). How much productive work I need to accomplish (making products and getting it out on the streets). And how very little time there is to do it all successfully as the One-Woman Show.
As I begin this series about starting your own business, I’m wondering if it’s possible for me to be productive (making and selling) while also completing my non-productive responsibilities (everything else to do with running a business) and actually be successful. I really don’t know, and the past week did not build up my hope, but I still love this crazy idea, so we will find out together, my friends. In the meantime, in upcoming blogs I’ll share a bit of what I’ve learned. I’ll also keep you updated on the NEW goal I have of taking the initiative and being more “productive” than ever. We’ll see how that goes.
(Wait! How the heck does a liberal introvert take the initiative in sales?!)
Here’s what to look forward to in upcoming blogs:
- Basics on what you need to start your own business: from writing a business plan, business structures, and registering with the state, to creating a domain name, building your own website, and accepting payment (and sales tax).
- Then on to capital, accounting, quarterlies, inventory, and labor.
- And finally all the other stuff, like being organized, buying wholesale to bring down production costs, and branding your products (or service).
I still don’t have it fully figured out, but I’m all about the process. You’ll get a firsthand look at what it will take when you lose your mind decide to go for it and try to make a living from what you love to do.
Much love and happiness,
Ps. Don’t worry, I will continue writing other less nerdy, more body care minded blogs too!
Pps. I may still be dreaming a bit about Florida. (Non-productive, but well worth it!)