Thursday, August 19, 2010

"WOW . . . TIME . . . WHO KNEW?

Jackie Wampler
When Megan and I first decided to start Five and Nineteen Blackbirds back in June, I knew that we'd be learning a lot--I just didn't know quite how much. Lists, scheduling, and reading are three big areas that have changed a lot over the past two months but time still seems to be the most frustrating thing that plays into just about everything.

Starting out I figured things like licenses, taxes, etc. would be the hardest thing to figure out and overcome. Imagine my surprise at finding time to still be an issue all these weeks later and a complex one at that.

Since I have only a part-time job, I just figured that for me there would not be a lot of time issues after the business was up and running. Now I realize that there is not enough time that just sits there waiting for me to use it. I must say I've learned a lot from watching Megan. She manages to juggle all the aspects of her life pretty well. And she's always quite calm.

My life changed somewhat. The first thing I still do is, of course, make a list. Megan and I are still both big list makers and we tend to love to cross things off and take great satisfaction in that. I am a different kind of list maker now. I can make lists long or short, simple or complex but the big thing is that if it doesn't push our business forward every single day, why have it on my to do list (no matter how much fun it is to do). I try to decide what is important and then prioritize for each day. Not all that easy. Now every single thing that gets crossed off that daily list furthers our business in some aspect. That was a difficult lesson for me to learn.

While I've loved the to do lists, well, I've never been a real big fan of a schedule. Loving the freedom of having time to waste, I've always gotten my work finished--in my own time. But now I've found that a schedule instead of hampering me allows me to not spread myself too thin and overwork some days, to allow a big enough block of time to get things finished, and best of all to get my right amount of sleep so I'm not cranky. Scheduling seems to be an idea whose time has come.

Reading, reading, reading--now instead of reading mysteries so much of the time, I'm reading books on copyrights, business procedures, taxes, accounting, etc. It is truly amazing what one can learn from a book! At the very least I can learn the right questions to ask. Some times reading can even help me to solve a problem I've been having.

There is much hard work left to be done (like better computer skills for me--oh, my) but I'm pretty sure of one thing, and I think Megan agrees, it is just plain delightful to own our own business.

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