Whoa! The last four months has gone by so quickly!  Back in July 2019 I left my corporate job and decided to make the jump into running our own business from home.  Although I had been working on Diamond Ridge Designs off and on for almost 3 years, it was time to take the jump and start taking this side gig seriously.  I went through the learning curve of understanding how a CNC plasma cutter worked, how to fix it when it broke down, how to design in Inkscape, and how to program in SheetCam.  I have learned a lot, but most of all I wanted to share what I have learned over the last four months running our business from home.

  1. Little tasks add up big time.  Tweaking a design, fixing a fan, making a bad cut, cleaning the shop, posting to social media, building a website, marketing your business can swallow up huge amount of time.  I have been able to manage a few of these items by following my tips I posted about Procrastination vs Productivity.  Before I left my job I thought my life was pretty full of things I needed to get done, but now, it is fuller than ever.  I need to work on building processes around me that will help me in the future.  The actual work of designing, building products, taking pictures, pricing and posting them in reality is a pretty small portion of it all. 
  2. More trips to the hardware store. When I worked in town, I would make the trip during lunch or after work and it was no big deal.  I can’t tell you how many times I have had to make multiple trips into town and although I can write off the mileage it is still frustrating when I forget something for a build.
  3. You don’t have all the time in the world. Before I left my job I wrote down all the goals I wanted to accomplish. I had a list of actions behind each of them, and have been slowly working through them.  But once I quit, reality hit hard in regards to the length of time these goals would take and that was something I didn’t take into account.  Building a store and website was my first big goal and it took three months to finish it. 
  4. Checklists are your best friend.  I can tell you the biggest help I have found to achieving my goals has been making checklists.  I look at it every single day, and make sure I am checking at least one thing off my list (…Write 3 blogs this week, check).  Making a list clears my head, reorganizes my thoughts, and creates a path to achieving my goals.
  5. You made a plan!  Guess what, it’s going to change.  Week to week, even though I have a checklist, I am constantly readjusting to make things happen.  Maybe the dishes need to be done, clothes need to be folded, or a kid is sick.  Be flexible as you will have to potentially add these items to your to-do list to get them done.
  6. Have patience.  Gaining traction takes a lot longer than you think. After I was finished with my online store & website, I thought the doors would open up from all the people around me, and the cash would just start flowing in, but it didn’t happen.  Building a business takes time.  Appreciate the little wins.  I recently just started feeling comfortable with knowing a product may not be perfect, but I can at least be proud of it.
  7. Doors open and doors close.  After I left, I had a previous coworkers reach out and say congratulations, good luck, and best wishes, but I had a few who completely ghosted me.  Focus on those around you who bring joy into your life because their company is far more enjoyable. Try to confide in those you trust most and have faith it will always work out.
  8. Get out of the house.  Most days I find myself keeping my nose to the grindstone and other days where I can relax a little. Being cooped up in the house can be uneventful as well, try going for a walk, reading a book, or having coffee with an old friend.

I hope you enjoyed the read. Please take and use them as you please. Now go punch today in the face!