{ what a way to make a living }

January 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

Right now I’m a teacher by day and a designer/illustrator by night . Now before you say “oh how nice what a rewarding field” STOP! I teach at an institution which maybe run by the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. But I love my other job and was back doing my art two days after surgery(totally against doctor’s orders) but the time has finally come where I need to go back to my day job. Now to prepare you for what you will encounter I have assembled this helpful guide of the types of people you will encounter on your way:

  • Nosey Nellie: This person does not actually care how you are feeling but just wants to know everything about it so they can be the first to tell anyone who asks.
  • The One Upper: No matter what has happened to you medically this person can out do it usually starts with “well you think what you went through was bad I had to be quarantined for months with a flesh-eating bacteria, the doctors say I’m lucky to be alive”
  • Grim Reaper: No matter what you have this person will tell you the most horrible story of a person they know who had the same thing & it went horribly wrong. “My sister had a hysterectomy and she was feeling fine and then she went back to work and her fingers fell off, seriously!”
  • Office Idiot: Never has any idea whats going on ever. “You were gone?”
  • The Coal Miner: Have never missed a day of work in their life. “Hey glad to see some people can take time off. I broke all the bones in my leg, literally back to work the next day”
  • Self Esteem Killer: “You look tired”
  • Management: “So you’re feeling better, great, then you can finish all this work that no one did while you were away” while handing you a stack of dusty papers
  • Failed Health Class: “Hysterectomy? Is that like a hernia?”
  • Asshole: “I wish I could have 6 weeks vacation, where I get to lay around and do nothing.”
  • Captain Obvious: “So you had a hysterectomy, huh?”
  • Self-Centered: Just asks how you are doing so you’ll have to ask how they have been. They will literally interrupt you so they can they you all about their problems. “But I’m starting to feel ……….  “You’ll never belive what happened to me while you were gone”
  • Health Nut: Knows better than all the doctors of the world. “You know why this happened to you it’s all the coffee you drink, you need to do a 40 day cleanse like I’m doing right now, nothing but lemon juice and cayenne pepper”

If you are lucky enough to work in an environment where they sent you a get well card and a basket full of goodies and through your recovery you heard “The most important thing is that you get better” and “Take as much time as you need”, then I HATE YOU! Now back to work I go (I’m writing this from an undisclosed office location)


{ running a business while recovering }

December 2, 2010 § 1 Comment


along with my full-time job (which i’m so thankful to be having a break from) i run an online business, which i love. i think this is more & more common especially amongst women, so what happens when you have to manage your business but also recover from your surgery?  this can be especially frustrating because there is pressure from ourselves & society to get back to work or the misconception that because you can work from home that it’s easier to get back into the swing of it.

Here are some bits of wisdom I have picked up & hope will help you:

First you have to be willing to repeat the following sentence if not don’t bother reading any further because i can’t help you: “I insert name am recovering from surgery &  healing, my body needs rest and my mind needs calm.  I will not be the same person for weeks or months and i MUST accept this fact, I CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT do this alone & if I do I will fail. I will allow help and allow myself to give myself a BREAK” ………………………………………………………………………………….ok if you agree to these terms we shall continue

1. Working from home is still working– people think well i’m working for home so I can go back to work early. I can do everything from my bed which is true but not necessarily a good thing

2. Give yourself sick time- your finally the boss, so why would you work for someone who wouldn’t give you sick or vacation time? Remember why you left your job in the first place: No time off, no sick leave, no perks well here’s your chance to provide yourself with all of those and hell through in a bonus & a get well basket

3. Tell Clients What’s Going On– especially on Etsy most of your clients are women so why not communicate with them and be honest in telling them whats going on. i received more support from my online work community than i did with my work place. you will be surprised how understanding they can be & how much better you’ll feel. If they aren’t understanding then you DON’T want them as a client anyway they are going to be a pain & more stress than they are worth

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Say NO– If you can’t finish a project in the time frame that is given or if it’s too big of a commitment to make with your limited physical ability say no. I know now I am asking the impossible so to make it easy copy and paste the following statement “thank you so much in your interest in my business, unfortunately due to medical circumstances i will not be able to meet your needs at this time. if you time line can be more flexible perhaps we could come to a solution if not i wish you nothing but the best and hope we can work together in the future” there quick & painless

5. Triple the amount of time– however long you would normally take in completing an order or project triple it and that’s what you should be quoting the client. But this might cause you the sale, it might also cause you your health. it’s better to add more time than not meeting your deadline and possibly getting some bad or negative feedback

6. Ask for HELP– this is a great chance to ask (or guilt) friends & family to help you with your work. you will be surprised how helpful they can be and how they can really lighten the load. some ideas: have them help with shipping & packaging, have them type out your emails while you dictate, assembly and construction or just have a spotter to say “hey you need a break, give me that computer”

7. Rome wasn’t built in a day so why would in fall in one– when i first found out i would be having surgery i thought “well there goes my business, all my clients are going to go elsewhere. when they go to my shop and see it’s on vacation i will loose what took me so long to build.” nothing could be further from the truth i really realized that my brand was special and can endure, this a huge part of creating a successful business. i also have gotten some amazing support and got to hear other womens stories, which really helped me see the positives and want to get back to normal so i can can keep creating

8. Breathe– Finally my last piece of advice. Take it easy and relax, take care of teh most importnat buisness resource, YOU!

I would love to hear your stories or any advice you have, feel free to email me!!

also feel free to visit my shop that inspired this article: littletoad


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