Good morning and happy Friday! I am pumped to announce that we have our next MML Dream Reporter on hand, Maggie of Maggie Rose!
[Insert cheers and applause here.]
If you read Wednesday’s guest post by Maggie here on MML, you’ll know that she is exactly three days into running her e-decorating business and Etsy shop full-time. I chose her as the next Dream Reporter as I think it will be wonderful to see the perspective of a business fresh from the Midnight Hustling path. Sharing this perspective I believe will be helpful and inspiring to those who are Midnight Hustling, self-employed, or even tossing the idea around that one day they might like to do their own thing.
So without further adu, I give you Maggie Rose (she’ll be here each Friday).
Maggie Rose’s Dream Report: Week One
Hi everyone! I am so honored and thrilled to be the new Dream Reporter! As Jess said in Wednesday’s post, I have been a longtime reader of MML and have taken so much information and inspiration from the site that I am excited to give some of that back now. Thank you all for your sweet and supportive comments on that post. The first few days of full-time entrepreneurship have been strange but in a good way… I kind of feel like I’m getting away with something!
For my first post, I thought I’d share a little bit of history of my business to get you caught up.
In late 2007 I started my blog (then called Magchunk – obviously not thinking in terms of branding a business yet!) all about interior design, entertaining, and fashion. The blog grew steadily, hit some plateaus, then started growing again. Some readers asked for design advice after liking what I had to say and show from my blog. After e-decorating became a new buzz-word, I began advertising my services, probably sometime in early 2009.
In 2010 I’d had just about enough of my job. I’d moved to Seattle, was commuting 4 hours each day, and had just been cut back to 4 days a week. I’d been reading inspiring blogs like MML, When I Grow Up Coach, White Hot Truth, and IttyBiz. I finally decided that my love of interior design was well-rooted enough that I could potentially make a business out of it.
In May of 2010 I registered as a business in the State of Washington and City of Seattle. I chose to register as a sole proprietor, but someday I will need to upgrade to an LLC. That summer I also began working with Michelle Ward, a licensed life coach who specializes in people in creative careers. Michelle was a huge help in identifying my work efficiencies, personal roadblocks (like procrastination), and a great cheerleader. I also made some amazing friends through group coaching. These three people, along with other supportive people in real life and in the blogging community, are what I consider my “tribe” that I can turn to with questions or doubts.
As soon as I was registered as a business, I also opened a bank account for Maggie Rose Interiors. I plopped in $200 of my own money and it’s been self-sustaining ever since. I wrote a short business plan – I didn’t stress over it because I knew I wasn’t going after investors at this time. I had a designerÂ create a logo and business cards for me and I took out some ad spaces on other blogs. I also guest posted on 10 different blogs in 2010.
I should point out that until November of 2010, my live-in boyfriend of 5 years, Ryan, was unemployed. He’d been laid off only months after we moved in together and did not qualify for unemployment checks. At the time, it wasn’t possible to plan leaving my job.
When Ryan started working again, I began to take the business even more seriously. It had grown enough that I didn’t feel that I could take on anything else without creating more hours in the day. I wrote a growth plan for 2011 – over 5 pages long with charts and tracking devices for revenue, expenses, readership and activity goals, and long-term goals. When Ryan was promoted to full-time and we knew his employment was secure (about five months ago now), we began planning my departure from work in earnest.
Without sharing our entire financial position, I’ll tell you that I was able to set aside money, but not as much as I might have liked in an ideal world. We were able to take care of some large expenses before I quit, and I had all my doctor, dental, and eye exams before my insurance ended. Things will be tight, and I may end up working a few hours a week at one of the several coffee shops in our neighborhood. That would be fine – what I don’t want is another full-time career-type job that wants more from me than I’m willing or able to give.
And that more of less takes us up to Wednesday, when I had my first taste of freedom! I’m happy to answer any questions in the comment section, or take suggestions for topics for future posts.