THE LATEST THINKING
The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.
Housewives, Start Your Businesses!
Starting a business can improve your confidence, bank account and health.
Four years ago, I started my own business and while my income hasn't been spectacular, the changes in every other aspect of my life have been. If you're currently a housewife, you're in a unique position because you're not supporting your family, so you can start a small business and build it over time. All it takes to get started is an idea for a product or service that you believe will fill a need.
The desire to open a teaching art studio had been percolating in my brain throughout the years I was raising my kids. During that time, I attended art school part-time, helped as an art volunteer at my kids' school, and later interned at and served on the board of a local arts center. I wrote a business plan for my shop and my husband supported me in renting a space and giving it a go.
Then I balked. Making the commitment to sign a lease, pay monthly rent, insurance, expenses, etc. freaked me out, and while I was worried about working long hours with three kids still at home, and concerned that an art business wasn't even viable, it was the fear of the financial investment that derailed my plan.
So, I started Doodle Art & Design as a mobile art business instead, at the school where I'd been volunteering. A year after that, funded by my profits, I opened a tiny art studio in my town. I'm now in my fifth year and my mobile lunchtime program has expanded to two more schools, my studio business is growing, and I couldn't be happier, and for reasons way beyond what I would've thought.
It turns out that I don't get that excited about my revenue, although I'm thrilled to be profitable and happy that I can pay my expenses. I love planning and running my classes, attending to social media, and doing the communication and accounting required to run a business. At the same time, it is stressful and I needed to be on my game.
So, I began exercising seriously in order to have more energy and to fit in my tiny studio. It's only 120-square-feet and can't accommodate a fat art teacher. As I got in better shape, I started eating healthier which led to me giving up alcohol. To counteract the anxiety that naturally comes with running a business, I stopped drinking coffee and now I feel pretty darn good.
In addition to all that physical and mental goodness, my husband and I discovered that since starting Doodle Art & Design, we've been saving more of his salary. Because I've been so busy running my business, I don't have time to shop for much more than groceries each week. My pricey art hobby is now my livelihood, so those costs are paid for with "doodle money."
But the best thing about starting my own business is that I am excited to have created something from nothing, that is all my own.