When Life Doesn't Have It Together

I honestly never ever intended on becoming an "Solopreneur" or "Mompreneur" or whatever other clever terms I have had thrown at me.

Like I said before, I knew I needed 2 things. I needed some grocery money and I needed a larger house for my family. My 2 babies are sharing a room and Scarlett wants a princess room while Carter believes his room should look like the Batcave. Jack is getting older and needs more space in general. And frankly, while I have all the faith in him in the world, I know better than to not be prepared to have him live with me as an adult. I was determined that I would nickel and dime it until I saved for this "dream home".

My Kindle App suddenly took on a whole new meaning in that I was bound and determined I could "read" my way through this. I read more books than I could count on how to sell on Etsy. On customer service and business taxes. On logos and branding. I thought ok, I got this.

So, let's discuss some adventures in the making of When Life! Because as you will see I clearly did not "have this!" 😊

To begin with I have an Etsy account and am a huge fan of the platform. In my mind, it made sense for me to start there. As I said before I cannot count the number of Etsy "How To" books I read and still to this day have notebooks filled with all the nuggets of knowledge I acquired along the way. I immediately began to research vinyl, vinyl machines, t-shirts, basically anything that had to do with making shirts from home. Again, HOURS were spent devoted to this research.

In addition to all the books on starting a home business, starting a t-shirt empire, business taxes, I read a lot about the importance of business branding. I became obsessed with the subject and shifted gears and (again thank goodness for Kindle) began downloading every free branding book I could find.

As a mom, I got real creative as to when I could carve out the time to read the abovementioned books. I left early to take Jack to school and read waiting to drop him off. I left early to get him and read while I waited to pick him up. I got up early and stayed up late reading. I read during nap time. I set bad examples for my children as they would burst in on me in the bathroom on the toilet reading (but why can't WE bring OUR iPads in here!). 

By the end of November 2016, When Life was official.

My next step was developing a logo. Any skills my husband had acquired during his short stint taking college graphic design classes had been pushed to the very back of the vaultt, like way back there. It was back to the Kindle! There were several books I read that recommended websites where you could hire artists and graphic designers on the cheap and I was all about that. I started looking around and thought I had found the answer to my prayers! I won't name the real site and as you read on you will see why; so for now let's call it The "F" word. I tried out a few designers and settled on one.

I am going to spare you the fine details of going back and forth with this person until I felt like he understood what I was looking for, but one thing is for certain, when I said I wanted Concept X to TIE in with Concept Y I did NOT mean that I wanted a damn neckTIE hanging from the tree in my logo. Really?! That should have told me everything I needed to know right there, but I get it, you don't speak the English you claim to in your bio, and I don't speak your language, so let's try this again.

Finally, I got a logo that I thought looked pretty good and settled on that. I got mixed reviews from friends and family. After much thought, I decided to let a friend of the family, who happens to work in graphic design, to look at the logo and see how it could be tweaked.

In the meantime, I had decided that the logo had become the most important aspect of the company to me. I thus began the process of trademarking. This by the way was one of the most mind-blowing processes to me. I'm sure it really is not all that complicated, but to me navigating these waters was more difficult than calculating chemotherapy or infusing cells for a lifesaving transplant. I am so thankful for such a patient attorney because I am sure I asked more questions (some more than once) than most people would have. Every other email ended in either "I'm so sorry for misunderstanding, not understanding, not remembering what you said, what does that word mean, asking the same question again;" or "Thank you for being patient with me because I misunderstood you, didn't understand you, forgot what you said about something, not knowing what some word meant, and for asking the same question again and again."

During this time, my mother in law's friend, the graphic designer, was kind enough to let me know that my logo was not authentic as advertised and that she was able to find the same designs from the logo online and in Adobe. This screwed my ability to trademark said logo and I was pissed. The old charge nurse in me reemerged and I began firing off messages and emails to the designer, the "F" word, and even Adobe. I wanted to speak to the President of some department and I didn't care which one. This was unethical, I want my money back, I was scammed, I just wanted to make you aware! Customer service was automated for the "F" word site so I got the same email over and over. I learned a hard lesson but a good one that has served me well to this point. Cheap is NOT always better and working with people face to face or locally is the way to go when you are able to.

This was somewhat of a turning point for me. I realized how impatient I had become with everything and if I was where I was supposed to be then I needed to let things unfold naturally and not try and make things happen faster than they should. So, I prayed constantly for the right people to be placed in my life to show me how to do this work from home thing. I made a promise that I would always take my time and do things right and not try and take the wheel from God if I was asking him for help. My watch is on a way tighter schedule than Gods I discovered, but I stuck to that promise.

I found a local designer who during our first conversation asked so many questions and was so seemingly critical of what I wanted in a design and where I wanted my business to go, I thought yep he is the one!

We met the next week and When Life took a completely different direction.


To Be Continued,

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