Monday, June 16, 2008


Some of you might have noticed a new feature on my blogs today: the etsy pics on the sidebar.  After months of procrastination, I finally got around to adding them.  

I bring this too your attention to 1) shamelessly plug my online store, and 2) (more importantly) highlight my personal attempts at micro-business in my own life.  

For those of you stopping in for the first time, I have been talking a bit this past week on micro-business, and how I think it just might have fantastic potential for those who would like to opt out of the traditional workforce (such as stay-at-home moms, housewives, artsy-types, entrepreneurs, and the like).  To read previous posts on what micro-business looks like, and why we need it to balance out our current economy, scroll down.  

There are a lot of reasons to be attracted to micro-business, certainly.  In this post, I thought I'd share my personal testimony of how I got to be such a fan.  It started years ago when, as a young woman (okay, "younger" being a relative term), I started to think about what kind of woman I wanted to be as an adult.  Since I was raised in an evangelical culture, there was a lot of emphasis placed on raising children and cultivating strong marriage and family relationships.  I admired that tradition, but was searching for more.  Yes, I wanted (and still want) to be a mother, but I wanted some labor outside of that as well.  Interestingly enough, I found a description of what I wanted to be like in an unlikely place: the Bible.  

Now, I won't preach to you, I promise.  But I will say that tucked somewhere in the middle of ancient proverbs and poetry, there is this woman who was praised for being a good mother, a faithful wife and a kind neighbor.  Incidentally, she's also an impressive entrepreneur.  So impressive that she has enough profits left over from her business (you guessed it--it was a micro-business) to invest it into real estate.  

As a young college graduate, I found myself wanting to emulate this woman.  I had always gravitated toward my creative skills, and figured that they could be taken to the market if I was willing.  Needless to say, it took me almost a decade to even get my feet wet with this plan.  Why?  For many of the same reasons that you might be afraid to pursue micro-business.  One, it's scary.  I'm terrified of failure, and usually have to give myself regular pep talks just to start the day.  Two, it's financially challenging.  Turning a profit takes awhile (I'll tell you when I've finally jumped that hurdle!), and until you do, it can seem like an exercise in futility.  Three, it is unconventional.  Going against the economic grain (like we discussed last Friday) can attract skepticism, and (even worse) criticism from others.  So, what got me to eventually take the plunge in spite of these obstacles?  Basically, the potent misery of daily working in a job I disliked.  

That brings me back to the new etsy sidebar.  I figure that in spite of slow beginnings and regular fear-induced pep talks, operating my own mini-business with its accompanying flexibility is better than what I was previously doing.  Better for me, and maybe even better for my community in the long run.  I hope that it is a success, because then I will be able offer even more encouragement for those of you contemplating the same.

Speaking of that, tune in this week as I talk more on this topic, specifically how micro-business can be good for your household and neighborhood.  And as always, please send me emails with feedback and/or stories of your mini-business.

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