Friday, July 20, 2012


Do you ever feel like your life is at a crossroads?  You are standing in the middle of the intersection, but there are no signs to tell you which way to turn?  I've encountered this throughout my life and I feel like I am there again.  While I am not a fan of GPS devices (I have been known to have pretty good arguments with my Garmin), I do wish life came with one.

After I lost my job last November due to my health issues, I decided to focus on doing my jewelry 100% of the time (instead of as a side business).  Did I expect to become the next "it" jeweler to Hollywood stars and the uber rich overnight? No (but don't get me wrong, I would take it).  I know that running a small business takes time to build and that it would be a lot of hard work and it would be lean for awhile.  I am not afraid of hard work and I'm not afraid of making sacrifices.

What I didn't fully understand was how nice having a regular paycheck really REALLY was.  While I love being my own boss (okay, kind of, we all know the Feline Union runs this joint) I find there are months where I really hate the paycheck.  I have also found I miss having coworkers.  I have found virtual coworkers through Twitter and Etsy, but it's just not the same.

Now that I have a diagnosis and a management plan in place (and thank the Lord above for finally connecting me with a knowledgeable doctor who actually cares), I decided to test the job market waters.  I actually had an interview shortly after I applied to a company.

It is at this point in my blog I would like to take a small "commercial" break and bring you this public service announcement.  If you are going to bring someone in for an interview and have them drive 25 miles for said interview (50 miles round trip plus tolls), that's really no small thing.  If you are going to ask them back for two more interviews that same week (now 150 miles and triple tolls) that's a big thing. If you tell the interviewee that you will have a decision that next week, do not make them email you twice over the next three weeks asking for an update to simply reply with a form email telling them thanks but no thanks.  That is not the level of customer service I know for a fact you ask of your employees.  If you tried this on one of your clients, you would surely be fired.  Remember, what goes around comes around.  And now back to our blog...

So here is my dilemma:   Do I continue to test the job market waters?  Do I have faith that my business will continue to grow and just tough it out?  I have been helping my friend two days a week at her antique shop, which I enjoy.  I get to play with antiques and it gets me out of the house (and away from the Feline Union that likes to shake me down for kitty treats).  It's a nice "part time" job and I'm thankful for it.  However at times it makes me yearn for the days where I sat behind a desk and played Corporate Barbie.

At the end of the day, all these variables, all the positives and all the negatives don't point in one direction, which leads me to feel like I'm standing in the middle of the road wondering which way to go.  Lacking clear direction is outside my comfort zone (just ask my Garmin).  What are your thoughts on my current situation, Dear Reader?

Until Tomorrow - Melissa


  1. I once had a job intervew in Missouri, which was no huge deal as most Assembly Line Portrait companies hire you on the spot and put you to work the next day. These people inerviewed me and told me they would get back to me later-at which point I would have to go back to Missouri to pick up the Studio. They did give me the job, but it was a bit odd all around.

    That crossroads thing does seem to be going on a lot these days. Yeah, that whole regular paycheck thing can be a bit addictive. I love having time off to work on new skills and catch up on books and tv shows, but I still need to eat and pay the rent.

    I've always been a fan of self help books, but I've never been able to follow any of their advice myself. However, maybe it could work for you. My favorite self help book at the monent is Making Ideas Happen.

    Since you are selling items you might want to read a book on building your email list. A list filled with names of actual buyers is a good thing to have.

    Are there any jobs in the area of your art? Maybe at a crafts mall or a jewelry store where you could see what people are buying and create similar items for your Etsy shop?

  2. I understand the crossroads thing. It can be really, really uncomfortable! It's an opportunity to explore all of your options, though. Every time I think I'm out of options, I sit down and brainstorm and about ten more come to me. Sometimes it's not a matter of one path or the other, but of noticing all those tiny little side paths just waiting to be traveled.

    Descartes has a fantastic idea, looking for jewelry-related jobs. Especially if you could work for a jeweler! And if you can't find one to work for and miss the socialization, you could always try to organize an in-person jewelry club. I'm thinking of doing that, actually. A place to share and learn and promote each other... and laugh and eat food and gossip. ;)

    And if you want, I can send you a list of the selling-related blogs I follow. There's a whole lot of information there. For instance, Marie Forleo ( and Mayi Carles ( are just full of great business ideas.

  3. Jon and Sarah - thank you for your comments. I do love Jon's idea of working for a jeweler. I would probably need to find a boutique or jewelery gallery. I did a small stent at a retail jewelery store a few years ago and it was horrible. They had a non-compete in place so that if I was "caught" selling jewelry on my own, I would be fired (no never mind what I do and what they did are two totally separate markets). Secondly, they claimed to be all about customer service but the manager that transferred into the store two weeks after I started wanted us to lie to the customers if it meant closing the sale. I gave my notice a few weeks there after.

    I am sure the right path will become clear when it is time. I'm just not very good at waiting.