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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Monday
Dec192011

Eating Cake

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I couldn’t sleep last night.

I made a banking error that had me tossing and turning well past the time I should have been snoozing away. The error was eating at me. It was stupid. I’d made it before. All the more reason to be mad at myself for not learning it the first time. It’s not my personal banking, it’s my TruLu Couture banking. It’s not a big mistake, but it is a stupid one. It’s got me paying fees and fines and smacking myself upside the head, for those fees and fines are money out the door that got me ZERO in return.  Infuriating.

So I got up  in the middle of the night to send a few emails and try to right the wrong; to give myself some sort of peace of mind that I was fixing what I had inadvertently screwed up. I stayed up until all hours of the night managing what will most likely be about a $75 jack up. Yup.

I look at that relatively small dollar number and shake my head in wonder. It makes me remember the biggest single order I ever personally signed off on, which was just shy of $1M. I mean, I’ve managed millions and millions of dollars in merchandise over the years. How can $75 keep me awake at night?

I suppose it’s all relative. The $1M order kept me tossing and turning then, now the $75 keeps me up. Great.

As 2011 starts to wrap up, I find myself more reflective this year than in years past. Perhaps I’m just more conscious of it; there’s more thinking time at hand, you see.  Or maybe this shit just starts to happen when you get older. It’s hard to determine the cause, I just know it’s happening.

I had myself a little revelation of sorts a week or so ago. I realized that I have been spinning my wheels, spreading myself too thin. I’ve been spending too much time on things that are completely peripheral. Tasks. The minutia. I realized I’m approaching my life right now the same way I used to binge-eat. I’d want a piece of cake and instead of eating the piece of cake, I’d eat everything around the piece of cake in order to not eat the piece of cake. Now substitute that piece of cake for my career and I think that metaphor is clear.

In order to get at the cake, I had to remove those snacks circling the cake. Those “snacks” are actual things though. They make up  people, projects, expectations and deadlines – most of which make me little to no money, but take up an exorbitant amount of my time. They fill me up with something that isn’t cake, invoking a sense of fullness, but not satisfaction.

What sucked about this little cake revelation is that I had to make a few difficult phone calls. I had to explain to people why eating the cake was more important and profound than snacking. I had to let some people down in my honesty, but honest I was. I’m sure there will be a ripple effect to some of these decisions. I’ll deal with them as they come, I suppose.

I’ve made some mistakes this year in running my new business, on this blog and in my life. Mistakes in a small business are more blindingly apparent than they are when working for someone else, where mistakes can be fixed before anyone realizes you made one. You can work furiously behind the scenes and emerge shining and sparkling, like it was an effortless task that brought you this nugget of more shine and more sparkle. There was that moment of the big reveal.

Those moments nowadays are few and far between. There’s less to judge myself with and by. Where is the bar to be set? What is the measure of success today? Tomorrow? Better goals must be made with means to accomplish them, that I know for sure.

There are some interesting good things that have happened this year. Save a day where I had a terrible migraine, I haven’t been sick this year. I used to get sick all the time: sinus infections, bronchial infections, stomach flus, laryngitis. I felt like I was constantly battling some sort of something. Perhaps I’m less susceptible now since I hardly ever leave my house. Perhaps it’s because I sleep more and better (with the occasional restlessness like last night). I get to see my parents more often since we live only a few hours away now.  I’m better able to assess my needs versus my wants. Those are good things, right?

On the business front, there have been successes. I got mentioned on SMP as well as several other blogs who believe in me and support me (thanks y’all!). I’ve been told one of my pieces will be in the January issue of Carolina Bride magazine. I’m for sure featured in Premier Bride magazine come April. I’ve sold some stuff and have hopefully, made some brides happy on a day where they deserve to be the happiest they can be.

It’s these small accomplishments that I need to keep me moving forward towards my cake.

And as you brides (past and present) know, a slice of cake can sometimes cost you $75.

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Reader Comments (4)

Yeah, running a business is a whole different animal than working for someone else. On the subject of goals, I just read that the biggest thing that gets in the way is having conflicting goals ... which leads to inertia. That was a helpful hint for me because now I can look at where some of my goals conflict.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Stress is always been a part of our lives, we just have to get used to them but hopefully no more for this coming Holidays..

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterIra

So glad to hear that you have been healthier! Don't beat yourself up too badly - everyone stumbles a little bit, especially in the first year of owning one's own business!

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennie

I noticed a few years ago that my wealthy grandparents worry about the tiniest costs. Like they won't buy ziploc bags because they cost too much, opting instead to wrap sandwiches in fold-over baggies or wax paper. And they never ever buy magazines. Where my very much not wealthy grandparents buy things on a whim all the time.

So maybe you've had financial success in part because you pay attention to those small losses and try to avoid them.

Not to say you should stress unnecessarily over them or spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get around them. But the fact that you feel affected by small losses probably makes you more successful on the whole.

December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCeej

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