29 October 2008

The decision

I mentioned in a recent post that I'd made a deicision I'd been wrestling with. I didn't mean to be all mysterious, I just wanted to share it with a couple of people before they found out on my blog and were offended that I hadn't mentioned it.

I've decided to close my business down.

This past year my business has really felt the credit crunch, and it didn't help that we moved last January either. I won't even tell you how slow I've been.

Gradually I have lost the passion I had for my business and it started to feel like a chore and a pressure. In the last few months I was saying to Grant that I wish I could just close down, but we relied on a little income from me. Well in the last month or so we rejigged our budget and no longer actually need me to earn - plus if Grant picks up any overtime (which he does every month) then we actually will have extra to put into savings or enjoy. This is a goal we've always had and have never achieved since we married almost 13 years ago, so it's cause for huge celebration!

I had felt kind of on the fence about shutting down and waffled back and forth - I felt like I "should" keep going, it's not like I was really busy and it was a time-suck or anything, nice to earn a little extra when I did get clients, etc. But then last Saturday my liability insurance came up for renewal and it was like a sign. I was 99.9% ready to shut down, but there was a tiny little part of me that didn't want to ... I spent Saturday scrapbooking with Karen and bent her ear all day about it - I apologised that I kept talking about it, but she totally understood that I needed to work it out.

I finally realised that the only reason I wanted to keep going was because it was nice to earn a little extra money now and then. The only reason! When I got that, I realised I could do that in other ways and it was like this huge weight lifted when I decided to close my business down.

I now feel SO elated and excited that I know it's totally the right decision for me and for our family. I have loved the last three years but it was just time to move on. Noah starts school full time next September and I plan to study so we'll have the rest of this school year to just enjoy our time with no business distractions. I can find fun in photography again and maybe focus on some more stock images and other ways of earning pin money. Grant is 100% supportive of the decision.

It was one thing to be open for business and if it came along then great, if it didn't it didn't. But it's costing me money to sit open (NI contributions, taxes in advance, liability insurance, marketing materials, tax credits being affected) and that's a whole different ball game. It's time to move on.

So it's a bit of an end of an era! But a good one. It's been a good era, and I feel good about the end.

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