The Sweet Meadow just turned four months old at the start of this week. It also dawned on me that it's been almost five months since I've received a regular wage. That's almost half a year! It's pretty funny considering I've never worked harder in my life and yet I've also never been as broke as I am now.
After a really busy summer holiday season at The Meadow I managed to budget enough to pay myself back $500 at the end of January. This was $500 for me. Not so that I could pay for my car registration or my contact lenses or a dentist appointment, it was actually all for me. I felt like I'd won the lottery!
One of the biggest misconceptions I've experienced since running my own business is this - people assume you are rolling in the dough because there are bums on seats (well technically, I am rolling in the dough, it's just gluten free rather than the paper kind).
People also think that because I run my own show, I have no boss. If only! My bills are my boss, and I have to answer to my suppliers, my landlord, and my employees, who all need to get paid every week.
If I just focused on financials I could very easily get disheartened, although if my ultimate goal was to make fast money I would have just stayed in the corporate world. This is the irony though. So many people seem to be so lifeless in their work. They aren't attached, awake or motivated by what they're doing, despite taking home a regular income and "providing" for their family.
Designers of women's swimwear label Zulu & Zephyr define success differently. "Some measure success by money or milestones. For us, it's coming to work on something you love and being genuinely excited by it."
I love the way Justin Hemmes, hospitality entrepreneur, describes a successful venture.
"The best outcome for me is when customers seem instantly comfortable. They're straight into a seat and deep in conversation, rather than looking around. When you first open, the most satisfying thing is when people look like they've been there forever."
I may have a little while to go until my company can afford to support my role financially, but right now I'm getting more out of this venture than money could ever give me anyway.