I’ve had 36 hours with a non-functioning website. It felt awful.
Six months ago I wouldn’t have noticed any such hiccup. But at this moment I’m so excited by the thought that my business is growing; having the site down felt like I had one hand tied behind my back trying to go forward.
My whole website experience was painful. I paid someone to set it up, and it took ages. She was going through personal and professional issues and my schedule suffered. But I like to think the best of people, so I persevered and it eventually got sorted.
Since the website has been up and running I’ve done very little with it, apart from it being a place to record learning experiences – particularly at the beginning of the year when I learnt heaps of new skills on a Greenwood course. It hasn’t really been effective as part of my business plan.
Last 6 weeks
However over the past six weeks, all that changed . With Emmet van Driesche’s encouragement and support, I took ownership of the website. I tweaked it, edited the shop and re-started a blog. With repeated practise it’s becoming more familiar and I even started up a mailing list – to be updated with a quarterly “What’s new with Egg and Spoon Crafts” email, and with an option to subscribe to receive new blog posts. I’ve received orders through the website shop (thanks to a growing band of followers and customers) and everything is feeling very positive.
And then over the weekend I found that the website was down and there was NOTHING I could do about it. I emailed the website designer, I phoned her (telephone didn’t even ring), I texted her, I messaged her in Facebook. I knew that her website was down too, and I knew that other websites that she has designed were down. The situation was absolutely out of my control. And I didn’t like it.
I finally made contact by investing time. I drove to her house and waited until the door was answered. And then I left a hand-scribbled note. This worked – within five hours, the website is back up and running.
So much of being self employed is about managing yourself and being in charge; everything is your responsibility. That can be both a negative (nobody else is going to do it for you) and a positive (you can control everything, and nobody else is going to mess it up). I realise in this situation that the positives far outweigh the negatives, and I really struggle with the feeling of having no power. I think I’m struggling with it even more because I’ve experienced a lack of control in this area before. My feeling is that I should have taken steps to rectify this situation before this happened.
So what can I learn from this?
I’m going to assess all areas of my business which are reliant on other people. There aren’t many. Where possible I’m going to try to remove that reliance, or maybe devolve it among more people.
Believing the best of people is an admirable personal trait. It works well in most aspects of life. But when it comes to your business, and your livelihood, perhaps it’s less appropriate. If you have to rely on other people in your business, make sure they are people that you work well with, can communicate with, and can trust.