self-employment is worth it

I get asked a lot about what it’s like to own my own business.

I always tell those who ask that I prefer it over being an employee, even though in the beginning it was scary worrying constantly about money (this never really goes away, either; it just adjusts itself on a wide spectrum). I also worked waaaaaay more hours than I did on someone else’s schedule when I first started.

The relationships you create are the most important part of it all, too, and not just because of the financial support. When there is no degree of separation between you and the client, you give more and the rewards are felt on a much greater scale. The client becomes part of your team, something you don’t necessarily feel when you’re working for someone else. It changes you forever.

Soon, I’ll be interviewing others who are also self-employed. You can find out what their worries and fears were (and ARE), and how they’ve used simplicity to grow their businesses. You’ll hear their stories. You won’t be able to help but be inspired, whether you are currently self-employed, thinking about it, or want to know how to incorporate an entrepreneurial spirit into your current job.

And I’ll also get some more hair tutorials up, I promise!

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where did the time go? (or 15 reasons to ignore your blog)

I’ve been busy:

1. Goofing off with Pooka.
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2. Getting to know Soups…
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3. …while missing Cleo terribly.
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4. Back to school and all its expenses, er, new experiences
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5. Listening to great music
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6. Getting the BENCH going
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7. Meeting with artists and craftsmen
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8. And talking friends into making things (Thank you, Lisa!)
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9. Making stuff myself
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10. Doing some hair and finding an organic haircare line that lives up to the hype
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Neuma is fabulous!

11. Hanging with these goofballs…
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12.Spending time with friends…
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13. …and this handsome guy
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14. Drinking too much caffeine
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15. And celebrating love…
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…in all its forms!

long time – no post

Just when I decided to kick this blog up a notch, my world got crazy.

My business partner and I separated, I decided to start a whole new business in a new location (Free parking! Local artists and craftsmen! A new CPA! Why did I just order business cards for Illuminate?? Gah!), my daughter hit that lovely hormonal stage with bra talks, weepiness, etc., and my old cat Cleo started to show her age by getting sick, losing a third of her body weight, and looking very much like a kitty at the end of her days. That part, by the way, has really sucked.

Most of the summer, the one in which was planned many a camping trip and mountain bike ride along with taking the time to really recreate this blog, has become a John Hughes movie complete with ensemble cast, tears, alcohol, sleeping/anxiety meds, and a really great soundtrack. There’s a bit of heavy petting, a crazy relative or two, self-image issues, and the decision to keep the Oxford comma. Add to that the normal that is my blended family with exes and “other parents” and calendar dates that accidentally get saved as p.m. instead of a.m. and it’s a good time.

So.

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I really am determined to do something with this space I share with you. I have giveaways planned, pictures piling up of the work being put into the BENCH salon & gifts (my new shop located on Boise’s Bench, hence the name), something fun for the kids just in time for school (or Halloween…), and a great cooking page that is a collaboration with The Husband Guy. Just be patient with me, please. I promise we’ll have a great time once the dust settles.

Until then, enjoy this simple video to help relieve some neck and shoulder crankiness. It’s from one of my favorite YouTube channels, Yoga With Adriene. Trust me. You’ll love it.

pivot!

The June 2014 issue of Inc. – The Art of the Pivot – is making me feel empowered. My new shop, the BENCH salon & gifts, is just part of my goal to commit to continuous improvement, something every business owner understands.

My friend Millie Hilgert, a.k.a. Miss Courageous, started an Etsy store years ago, became the darling of Boise’s Saturday market, helped start a store with many members, decided to create her own small shop and then recently moved and restructured that. She knows what it is to pivot.

Another friend owns a small coffee shop. While I have to keep her plans more on the down-low, she has been working on an expansion and possibly a mobile business. With food trucks as popular as they are, her plans sound like the best kind of pivot!

Randy Sandknop started as a client and quickly became a close friend. Recently retired, she is taking her Practice Happiness idea and morphing it from part-time to big time, sharing her life and her photography (see The Story In Your Face). Major pivot!

I’m watching friends change careers, buy franchises, and graduate from college in their 40s and 50s. While many whine about life, these people are inspiring others to make huge changes.

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It’s all about reinvention.

Pivot!

hair. duh.

Gorgeous hair is the best revengeSo, in case you missed it, I own a salon and have done hair for twenty years. Seems like I should be blogging about that, huh? I’ll get to that soon, but until then, I decided to peruse the interwebs and lead you to some other great doers of hair and their blogs.

Kate Bryan at The Small Things Blog does hair and small things blogonce owned her own shop as well. Now she’s lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom who shares tutorials that go viral on Pinterest.

I often hear, “My hair never stays curly!” I have explained over and over that curls need to be set by letting the hair cool after curling. Kate’s two-part video series explains it very well AND she’s doing it on her own hair so you can see exactly what that entails. If this mother of two can do this in a matter of minutes, I promise you’ll get the hang of it soon!

confessions of a hairstylist Confessions of a Hairstylist is where Jenny Strebe gets to show off her many years of experience as both a stylist and as an educational director at Toni & Guy. Because she is one of the bridal industry’s best updo creators and trainers, I thought you might enjoy learning a beautiful take on the classic French braid from one of her videos. Want more updos? She created a Pinterest board of summer braids just for you!

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Enjoy their blogs and their Pinterest boards – they both have a lot to share. While you’re there, take a peek at some of my hair boards, too! You’ll find some of Jenny’s and Kate’s work in them. Whether you’re low-maintenance (like I tend to be) or you want full-out glam, you can find some blogs and YouTube channels to feed your addiction. Let me know what your favorites are!!