Back to that whole Epiphany thing.

This September I will have worked at the family printing business for 5 years. I can't believe it's been that long already. My title is General Manager but with such a small staff, we're all kind of like general managers around here. But here's the thing, my Dad's been doing this for 20 years and he's pretty much had enough of it. He is more than willing to come to work everyday and do the job and get the work done but he doesn't want to do much more than that. He's tired of it. He wants ME to do it. My Mom works from home, she does most of the desktop publishing, layout, etc and keeps pretty busy with that. My Brother is the new guy, only about 6 months, and he's does all the grudge work, delivery and pickup, bindery, etc. We have one other staff person that runs our other company which is a Legislature service, and he also does all of our bookkeeping and occasionally helps out with the mailing services we offer. He only works about 20 hours a week. Basically what that all means is that I am the one that needs to step up and take charge of this operation to make sure that it stays afloat for a long time. When I started 5 years ago, that was the whole point, but I was only 23 at the time and had no clue what I needed to do or how to do it. Over the past 5 years I've struggled with a lot of things and haven't really focused any of my energies on this business, it's just been a job for me. Last year I even started my own side business doing freelance photography and graphic design. Over the winter when I was so sick all the time, everything just kind of fell by the wayside. I just didn't have the energy to care about anything. Now that I'm starting to emerge from the fog, things are becoming a lot clearer and I'm finally starting to wake up.
Lately I have been thinking A LOT about redesigning my photos & design website, updating that blog, getting that whole thing going again. Then I started thinking about this blog and what it is now, and what I want it to be in the future and started getting more inspired. I dream of redesigns, new branding, identity and all that fun stuff that promotes social networking and whatnot. Over the past week I've written pages and pages of notes about how I want to focus my energies as far as all of this "stuff" goes. A lot of this brainstorming happens while I'm at work, which really is a huge waste of work time and I quite honestly don't have the time to waste but this stuff is what I love to do, the blogging, the designing of blog headers, the posting of photos, the reviewing of books, restaurants, recipes, etc... and then I realize, HEY STUPID, you could take all of this type of energy and apply it to YOUR BUSINESS! Duh. It's really taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I am solely responsible for reshaping and motivating this company. I mean certainly we are all in this together and everyone else will do whatever it takes but I have to be the one to push it and make it fit in to my generation.
Really the bottom line is this, I have a lot of creative energy in me and instead of putting it into all of these side projects, I need to redirect that energy into the thing that I do, 42.5 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. This is the biggest piece of my life and I need to treat it that way, not just something that I show up for and do half-assed work for and then leave at 5pm everyday leaving it behind until tomorrow. My Dad has put countless hours into this business and I need to start treating it the same way that he does. I know he sees so much potential in me and wants me to step up in the worst way but he'll never push me or do anything to pressure me. He wants me to have these epiphanies on my own so that it's purely my decision to do what I need to do. I appreciate that in one respect, but I also could use a little more obvious encouragement and direction.
I've been trying for weeks to get together a meeting but we just haven't had the time. Now I need to make the time because it's not getting any slower around here. A few years ago we were in serious trouble of losing it all and I thought for sure that we would, and we had to make a lot of big sacrifices to make it work but we've pulled through and we are now in a position to become stronger than ever and I have to be the one to make it happen. I know I can do it. I just have to stop saying I can and just DO.
That doesn't mean anything about this blog really, this is still my gluten-free journey and that's not going to change anytime soon! I just might not post as often as I did at first. :) And the posts here might reflect more of what I'm going through on the business side of things too.
Wow I feel better after typing this all out... :)


M said…
So, it sounds like you are ready to go for the gusto! You really had a lot on your mind.

You are going to make the business great. I can just tell by your thought process.

Don't you feel better now that you have made a choice? A choice to just go for it.

Take it easy.

Jen said…
I do feel better, overwhelmed, but better definitely. It's gonna be a process but I'm glad I have found somewhat of a direction!
Cynthia said…
so are you going to redesign the business to be web-based? That would be exciting and a good outlet for your creative energies!

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