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    E-Commerce Online Business

    What It’s Really Like as a Full Time Online Shop Owner & Blogger

    When I tell people I’m an online business owner and that I work from home full-time, I’m often greeted with one of two responses.

    The first is a blank or doubtful stare. And I understand why: before I discovered the world of online business, I had no idea what it was or how it worked. It sounded too good to be true.

    The other response I get is a barrage of enthusiastic questions: “What’s it like not having a boss?”, “Do you work from your bed and watch Netflix all day?”, or “Does that mean you have unlimited vacation?”.

    So I decided to clear up some misconceptions (both the good and the bad), and tell you what it’s really like working from home full-time.

    Plus, I don’t know about you, but I love hearing about a typical day in other people’s lives. For some reason, I’m always curious about that! So I’m also going to break down exactly what my work week looks like.

    What it's like working from home full time as an entrepreneur and online shop owner

    The Good

    The Best Parts of Entrepreneurship

    I’m starting off on a positive note because, for the most part, I love entrepreneurship. It’s allowed me to define my own life and tap into passions I never knew I had.

    Flexible Schedule

    My schedule is way more flexible than it used to be. I can take a 2-hour lunch if I choose. I’ve even gone to the movies in the middle of the day on a Tuesday (can’t pass up those $5 movie deals!).

    But I always plan to make up for it by working that evening.

    If I want to take a vacation, I don’t need to ask anyone’s permission. I’m not limited by an arbitrary number of allowed PTO days. I just need to give my customers a heads up that I’ll be gone, and off I go!

    And yes, I can watch Netflix every once in a while, depending on what I’m working on. 🙂

    Working From Home

    I’ll start with the obvious: working from home means I have no commute. No more sitting in traffic cursing at random people I don’t know (I swear I’m usually a nice person!).

    I love my peaceful mornings: sipping a chai tea latte while gazing out my window or reading a book.

    I also get to be at home with my dogs. They’re very old and don’t do well on their own, so I’m very grateful to be able to spend so much time with them and help them feel more comfortable.

    Staying Healthy

    It’s easier to be healthy. I plan at least one daily walk into my schedule, and I’m able to work outside on the deck when I need some sunshine in my life.

    When I worked a corporate job, I didn’t feel like I had the time or energy to cook or prep my meals. I would often get breakfast at a coffee shop or the cafeteria, and then lunch would be cafeteria food or we’d go out somewhere.

    Now that I’m at home full-time, I can easily grab something from the refrigerator or pantry. I’m able to make my meals whenever I want, and I don’t have to worry about packing a lunch.

    I can enjoy my morning cup of tea with breakfast without rushing to pour it into a to-go mug and gulp down my food before an early meeting.

    Creativity & Learning

    I love the level of creativity that comes with being an entrepreneur. Each month, I set my own goals and create a plan for how I’m going to reach them.

    I choose what I work on (for the most part). My projects are actually fun, while also being challenging.

    As a business owner, you’re in charge of marketing, finances, creative development; everything. You wear all the hats. It’s perfect for me, because it allows me to explore the multi-faceted interests that I have. I’m inspired to learn new skills every day, and I love it.

    No Income Cap

    This one is a double-edged sword. Because yes, as a business owner, there is no salary set in stone telling you how much you’re worth. You can potentially make as much money as you want.

    On the other hand, you aren’t guaranteed a salary. At first, you might not make any money at all. Or you might have a slow month, and you have to be prepared for that.

    No More Meetings/Office Politics

    No. more. meetings. ‘Nuff said.

    And dealing with office politics? That’s out the window (seriously, somebody pop the champagne!).

    The Bad

    Before you go thinking entrepreneurship is a real-life fairy tale, I want to make sure you know about the bad parts. Because yes, there are some not ideal aspects of working for yourself full-time.

    For some people (myself included), these things aren’t a deal breaker. But you should be aware of them before you go all-in!

    The Not-So-Great Things About Entrepreneurship

    Long Hours (Especially in the Beginning)

    When I first started my online shop, I was working full-time at a corporate job. I had to spend many weeknight and weekend hours to build and grow my business.

    There were some exhausting nights, but I kept at it. I was dedicated to my vision: that I would be able to work for myself one day.

    Now, I still work over 40 hours a week (often 50-60) on my shop and this blog. But I enjoy my work so much more, and I have more control over when I do that work.

    (If I was just working on my online shop, my work week would be more like 30-35 hours.)

    A negative to owning your own business: it’s easy to want to work more than you should. But that can lead to burnout. You have to find a balance between work and your personal life, and make sure there’s a clear separation. (I have to remind myself this all the time!).

    Physical Labor

    If you’re a shop owner, you’re probably going to have to spend some time either making products, moving products, and/or packaging and shipping products.

    If I forget to move around or use an ergonomic posture, my back or neck will feel it after awhile. This is the case with many jobs, though (not just shop owners).

    On the plus side, my biceps are oddly strong from carrying so many books around!

    No Guaranteed Income

    While my schedule is flexible to allow vacation or sick time when I need it, I don’t get paid a set amount for the time I take off. I might make money during that time, but it’s typically much less than I would have made if I was working.

    Additionally, there are certain things you can’t control when it comes to money. You might have a slow month, or a recession may affect your income.

    Self-Motivation is Necessary

    If you aren’t motivated to do the work that needs to get done, well, it won’t get done.

    Working from home full-time doesn’t mean laying in bed watching Netflix or reading a gripping novel all day. It sounds nice, but unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills.

    You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck, but you also don’t have milestones and deliverables set for you.

    You have to be able to plan out your tasks and give yourself that kick in the pants on the days you don’t feel motivated to work. If you don’t, you can kiss your income goodbye!

    Difficult Customers

    First off, I’m very blessed by the customers I have. A vast majority of them are wonderful, pleasant people.

    But that’s not always the case. In any business, you’ll come across difficult customers. Some will refuse to pay or expect way too much from you. When this happens, it’s best to have a plan in place for handling it amicably.

    Excellent customer service is a necessity for business owners, but you also can’t let customers take advantage of you.

    It Can Get Lonely

    If you’re the type of person who needs to be surrounded by people, online entrepreneurship may not be a great fit. Most of your work will likely be done by yourself. You won’t have a group of coworkers to bounce ideas off of or go out to lunch with anymore.

    Sure, it’s possible to build a business that enables working with other people. But it does require more effort.

    Inherently, I’m an introvert, so this doesn’t bother me much. But there are definitely days where I feel a bit lonely (having a conversation with my dogs isn’t quiiiite the same as with an actual human being).

    Every week, I have to remind myself to plan to get out of the house or call a friend to meet up.

    My Weekly Schedule

    If you want to get down to the details, I’ll show you exactly what a typical work week looks like for me. On average, I spend about 25-30 hours per week on my online shop (and about the same number of hours on this blog).

    In general, I try to stay on a regular work schedule. I get up early and usually stop working around 5:30 (except on days where I have to post books on Instagram). I do work some hours on the weekends, but not every weekend.

    I’ll mostly leave out what I do in my free time (evenings and most of the weekends), because this is supposed to be about work, right? 🙂

    Monday

    6:30-7:30: Wake up, shower, get ready, make + eat breakfast with my husband, enjoy my morning tea while reading a book

    7:30-8: Check Google analytics & email

    8-9: Fill Tailwind queue for Pinterest (you can read my Tailwind strategy guide here)

    9-10: Write weekly email, take dogs out

    10-11:30: Work on e-book/course for Small Biz Refined

    11:30-12:30: Lunch

    12:30-3:30: Package book orders for SilverFire Books, print shipping labels, drop off at post office

    3:30-4:15 Daily walk outside, take dogs out

    4:15-5:30: Work on email sequences

    Tuesday

    6:30-7:30: Wake up, shower, get ready, make + eat breakfast with my husband, enjoy my morning tea while reading a book

    7:30-8: Check Google analytics & email

    8-10: Add books to the SilverFire Books website, take dogs out

    10-11: Review + enter expenses and income, order new packaging/shipping supplies, check inventory

    11-1: Lunch with a friend (yummy dumplings!)

    1-3:30: Prep book posts for Instagram (SilverFire Books)

    3:30-4:30: Daily walk, take dogs out

    4:30-5:30: Weekly schedule + social media planning

    5:30-6:30 Post books on Instagram

    6:30-7:30 Dinner & reading

    7:30-8:30 Create PayPal invoices

    Wednesday

    6:30-7:30: Wake up, shower, get ready, make + eat breakfast with my husband, enjoy my morning tea while reading a book

    7:30-8: Check Google analytics & email

    8-9: Start new blog post

    9-11: Work on e-book/course for Small Biz Refined

    11-11:30 Plan Instagram giveaway for SilverFire Books

    11:30-12:30: Lunch

    12:30-3:30 Package book orders for SilverFire Books, print shipping labels, drop off at post office

    3:30-4:15 Daily walk outside, take dogs out

    4:15-5:30 Create new pins for Pinterest

    Thursday

    6:30-7:30: Wake up, shower, get ready, make + eat breakfast with my husband, enjoy my morning tea while reading a book

    7:30-8: Check Google analytics & email

    8-10: Source books for SilverFire Books

    10-11: Fill Tailwind queue for Pinterest

    11-12: Drive hubby to the airport

    12-1: Lunch

    1-3:30: Prep book posts for Instagram (SilverFire Books)

    3:30-4:30: Daily walk, take dogs out

    4:30-5:30: Work on e-book/course for Small Biz Refined

    5:30-6:30 Post books on Instagram

    6:30-7:30 Dinner & reading

    7:30-8:30 Create PayPal invoices

    Friday

    6:30-7:30: Wake up, shower, get ready, make + eat breakfast with my husband, enjoy my morning tea while reading a book

    7:30-8: Check Google analytics & email

    8-10:30: Finish blog post + create new pin

    10:30-11:30: Create a new email opt-in freebie + build form/landing page

    11:30-12:30: Lunch

    12:30-3:30 Package book orders for SilverFire Books, print shipping labels, drop off at post office

    3:30-4:15: Daily walk outside, take dogs out

    4:15-4:45: Plan out Instagram stories

    4:45-5:45: Watch course video/read e-book on search engine optimization

    Saturday

    Some mornings: source books for shop (~3-4 hours)

    Some afternoons: work on an e-book/course for Small Biz Refined (if I’m feeling inspired) or work on website improvements

    Sunday

    12-3:30 Prep + post books on Instagram for SilverFire Books

    3:30-4:30: Create PayPal invoices

    6-9: Game of Thrones viewing party! (<–had to throw that one in there)

    There it is: my detailed work week, and the things I love (and don’t love as much) about being an entrepreneur.

    This is what it’s really like to work for yourself full-time. Of course, it may look different for others – but I figured one honest perspective wouldn’t hurt.

    I hope this helps you figure out if entrepreneurship is a good fit for you. For me, even with the occasional rough day, I’m so grateful this is my life!

    If you’re thinking about starting your own online shop, I’ve got an email course that will walk you through each step in detail.

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