5 things I love about owning a small business

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I loved my job as an advanced practice nurse in cardiology. Cards is just so fascinating! I’m going to brag a little… I was a damn good nurse, I loved my patients, and my patients loved me. However, something in my heart said that I was meant for more. Call it a divine power (likely), call it burnout from the healthcare system (I don’t think so, but maybe?), or call it that millennial mentality (aka a different way to approach life), but I was meant to do more.

 

So here’s a list of some of the things I can do with Solid Soaps!

 

1. I’m in the driver’s seat (yay, an analogy!).

Don’t get me wrong, I love being passenger, especially during road trips. I play my ukulele, control the music, and veg. But get this: I can do this, too, while running a small business! I can be as productive and non-productive as I see fit. What’s stopping me (aside from finances, a pandemic, and unforeseeable accidents)? It’s liberating and scary when you control the speed. Will I attain ultimate driving status when I set my business on cruise control? Interesting thought...

 

2. I can inspire others.

Have you ever watched something, you’re just captivated, and you want more? That was me and soap videos on YouTube back in the day. How could something so “boring” be so freaking cool??? I feel the same way when I watch cake decorating, dance videos, illustrators, florists, crocheters, and interior designers. Their work is inspiring, and it makes me want to create cool things, too. My medium happens to be soap.

You can do cool, artistic things. Find something you’re interested in, and give it a go.

 

3. The relationships I’ve made are gold.

I did not see this one coming when I started a small business, but the local, artisan community is AMAZING! I had no idea the talent in my own city, let alone my neighborhood. I network with my small business community, and we support each other through shout outs on IG, collaborations at markets, and swapping advice. Find your tribe and connect with them – the results are life changing.

It’s definitely true that it’s a “small world.” I’ve run into patients from my nursing days at my markets, and I’ve reconnected with acquaintances. It’s that note from a new customer telling me that my soap is “the best,” or “my skin isn’t dry anymore!” It’s my return customers that come and see me at markets because they want to smell the new new. It’s the Nervous Nellie who is hesitant about trying my soap, but a free soap sample is cool, and then they find out my soap is baller, and they come back and tell me, and then they buy some soap. I didn’t get these feelings and encounters as a nurse.

 

4. I can give back to my community.

This small biz of mine wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of my community. As a business owner, I can define my purpose. I have SOLID stickers that rock solidarity, and I donate the proceeds to the Austin Justice Coalition and Black Mamas ATX. I’ve helped curate markets, make in-kind donations to schools, non-profit organizations, and events. When you find me at markets, you’ll hear me talk about some of my branding: minimizing the use of plastic, using compostable and/or recyclable packaging, and reusing packaging when possible.

 

5. I can be a good mom (and wife)!

Let’s face it, we live in a world where we revere how much we work, and we’re often punished or feel guilty if we call-in sick or take days off. WTF, mate? Don’t get me wrong, growing your career is empowering and amazing. Imagine doing it on your own terms though! Setting your schedule so that you can have a “slow morning” every now and then (or daily!). Waking up with your kids as they get ready for school, or picking them up early to eat some ice cream. Having a family date DAY in the middle of the week. Sounds amazing, yeah?

 

My fam loves the fact I’m home, too. My kids want to help me cut soap and tell me that every single one of them smells like watermelon. They want to hang out in Stu (my soap studio) because I have yummy snacks and cool toys and a comfy couch (yes, I made my workspace inviting for all). My husband occasionally helps me package orders at 11pm while we sip on Old Fashioneds and listen to an audiobook together. We co-work during the day, and I get to cook in my own kitchen for lunch. It’s these things that I wouldn’t give up for the world.

 

A former co-worker at Austin Heart told me, “The days are long, but the years are short.” That’s my constant reminder that my kids will grow up, and I need to cherish my time with them at home (including the meltdowns).

 

Anyway, there ya have it. My top 5 favorite things about owning my small business.

 

Have a SOLID day.

 

-e