5 things I've sacrificed to start my own business

2/09/2016 06:30:00 am HELEN STILES 1 Comments


Well, a quick review of the blog so far revealed that my most read post recently was the one about the realities of starting your own business. Frankly, I'm flattered that anyone is reading this at all, but surprised that the entrepreneur-angle is of such interest. I don't know whether it's because a lot of people out there are thinking about trying something new (I guess some of us are still clinging onto our New Year's Resolutions) or whether you just like to read about someone else's journey and then bask in the warm glow of your morning latte and job security! 

Anyway, I thought I'd share a little more about my current reality, and specifically the 5 things I've sacrificed to start my own business. I'm talking practicalities here, because if you read my last post on running a start up, you'll know that the key issue is lack of time! No, I haven't fathomed a way to make any more of it yet, but I have altered my priorities to squeeze in as much as possible...so the things I have given up, in no particular order...

1) TV. Ever. It is on in the background most evenings of course, but I virtually never watch anything anymore. I did marathon Breaking Bad at the end of my last pregnancy (thank goodness she was 2 weeks late or we'd never have got to the end of series 5) but I don't think I have watched a single series since. 

2) News. Please don't ask me what's going on in the world, I am laughably out of touch. I could probably take the moral high ground about not watching TV, but my ignorance of current affairs is much harder to justify. I blame the lack of commuting (no tube-time to read the Metro/Evening Standard). And whereas before I'd check the BBC website as soon as I logged on in the morning, now I have so many other things I'm raring to get done that I just don't make time for that anymore. Plus I'm not in an office full of people who are going to laugh at my ignorance, so frankly, who's to know? (Apart from my poor husband whose evening conversation has been reduced to talk of exhibition stands and furniture dimensions – sorry).  

3) The Gym. This one really does feel like a sacrifice. I loved the gym. I would still would love the gym if a) I could afford the membership and b) I could afford the time. In all fairness 3 young children have their part to play in that, and I have been making an effort to get out for a run a couple of times a week, but it's a far cry from my previous long walk, 60min+ workout session, shower and coffee 4 times a week! (Note to self – keep New Year's resolution and make more time for exercise, it does help the brain).

4) Ironing anything other than shirts. OK, it might not sound like too much of a sacrifice, but I could occasionally admit to finding ironing therapeutic. Turning a crumpled heap of fabric into crisp, folded piles can feel sort of productive (if a bit futile when you know it'll all end up in a heap on the floor again within 24 hours). Sadly, ironed sheets just aren't happening these days (I hope my mum isn't reading this...)

5) Sleep. I seem to survive on 5-6 hours most of the time (I just avoid looking in the mirror before applying a heavy dose of concealer!)

If that all sounds too sanctimonious and miserable, then I would just like to confirm that I have gained in other ways (I mean otherwise, there'd be no point!) I have way more time with my kids – breakfast, school runs, playdates and dinner, every day.  Where else could you take your 1 year old munchkin on a photoshoot if not for your own business?
Enthusiasm. It's amazing to wake up in the morning and be genuinely raring to get started. I have never felt more motivated or inspired to take action, learn new things and overcome obstacles. I have been inspired by lots of other mums, business owners, designers and bloggers who are all doing their own thing. I know I'm not the only one making sacrifices to start a business and I have faith that it will pay off. In the meantime, just don't look at my crumpled jeans, mention the eye bags, or ask my opinion on the European referendum! 

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes. Sleep. That old chestnut! Just as I think I've cracked the double-ended candle, the creative juices have me wide awake at 2 in the morning! As for the news... Thank heavens for Twitter! lol

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