My Pledge to Quit Being Busy & Get Down to Business

up up and away print, art print by small talk studio, fox art, foxes and hot air balloon
by Jessika Hepburn, Editor

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t busy. I am one of those hopelessly creative/active people who has 10 impossible ideas before breakfast and then sets out to do them all. I am always early to work and typically work harder and later then anyone else. My mother called it my “save-the-world” syndrome when I was younger; I was going to DO things no matter how hard it was or how much time I had to put in. I am a textbook Type A personality except I play well with others. This is a blessing-the projects I take on almost always succeed, I have worked some amazing jobs and made some incredible connections. But it can also be a curse-just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are happy! When I read this post from Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl on the dangerous seduction of busyness, I took a big step back-my working so hard I don’t even enjoy it isn’t helping anyone, especially myself!

It has been almost a year since Sara Tams of sarah + abraham created Oh My! Handmade Goodness after winning a giveaway from Zee Studio. Inspired by the positive & supportive community of women she had met during the creation of her business she contacted some of her new friends to see if they would be interested in contributing to an online community and Oh My! Handmade was born. Like all babies it grew quickly & demanded time-lots of it! Time that needed to be spent growing her own business & being with her family. So in May Sara announced that she would no longer be continuing with OMHG and she put it up for sale.

In one of those amazing moments of synchronicity where things fall into place just as they should, I was sent an email by a random contact about OMHG, and felt right away that it was something I needed to take on. When everything went so seamlessly with Sara I knew that I had made the right choice. It might seem silly but I really do believe in magic. I believe in the magic we can create when we work together. This belief has guided every career choice I have made since I was 16. From working with inner city kids, to running my own preschool & directing a non-profit resource center, to teaching youth about social entrepreneurship to marketing more non-profits while making art & designing on the side. I am now finally realizing that what I needed to do was find a balance between my need to help people & build community with my own needs as an artist, mother and designer.

Oh My! Handmade has become that balance. I realize that I do not want to make handmade art as a full time job at this point in my life. The time that I had planned to spend on developing my business has gone to OMHG and I have not begrudged a single moment of it. I love the creation of our community and marketing the work and knowledge of women in business more then I love making handmade items to sell-I never would have thought that if you had asked me six months ago!

So my announcement is this: I am officially choosing to make OMHG my full time business for one year. To write a business and marketing plan and approach it just as I would if I were marketing a client. To really analyze our stats, learn more about you (our readers) and you (our contributors), comment on your blogs, have conversations on Twitter and work to make this the best resource for child focused small business & handmade on the internet. I will still do marketing and design as bread and butter, but no more doing free work (unless it’s for my mom) or doing design/marketing work that makes me want to pull out my hair (again, unless it’s for my mom). We all know that a lot can happen in a year-look how far our site has come already!

Instead of needing to let go of OMHG like Sara did, I am going to take this opportunity to focus on OMHG while I am home with my youngest and see where it leads. What new ideas and connections come of it and how far I am able to take our community. I have a list of tutorials and patterns I want to make to share with you a mile long. I want to run incredible craft challenges and team up with other bloggers. I have so many ideas for Oh My! and emails to answer and write that it is already a full time job.

And just like always-when you make the right decisions more opportunities arise to help you on your path. I just made a new connection with one of our readers/supporters that is perfectly in line with my promise to myself-so stay tuned for exciting news!

{image: Up and Away print by smalltalkstudio}


  1. lakshmi says:

    That is a big step, Jessika ! Kudos for making the decision. If it feels right, its got to be right 🙂
    Good luck ! I look forward to seeing OMHG grow bigger with your full time venture.

  2. Melissa says:

    I have learned SO much from this site since “playing” with my own small business. I am excited with this new development and can’t wait to see what’s in store…thanks for your new commitment!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Way to go! So excited to see where you take this amazing and wonderful site over the next year. Good luck and may prosperity and wonderful people be yours all year.

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for posting Tara’s Seduction of Busyness post, it seriously almost made me cry and realize today is the day to STOP the madness and MAKE time for my family.

    Jessika, you have done such a great job with this blog and I’ve so enjoyed being a contributor. I look forward to seeing OMHG live up to it’s fullest potential and will fully support and help you in any way I can.

  5. Oh Jessika I love this post! You are so right.

    Juggling so many things and trying to give your everything to so many projects is just unachievable…

    But by focusing on some of the best bits it may just be possible to get:
    – more job satisfaction
    – more ‘down’ time to enjoy with the family
    – and more time to talk to (and listen to) people like you (and me!)

    Think you may have inspired me…. just need to decide how to prioritise the many balls in the air…

    I hope that a post answering this is on your very long list….. keep up the inspiring work and can’t wait to see where OMHG goes in 2011, Lucy

  6. Jessika says:

    Yes Lucy I am absolutely going to be writing about how I am going to focus/balance/take charge of my busy nature! I am planning on picking up a copy of Mayi Carles fabulous planner:
    Thank you Stacy! It is the wonderful connections with people as talented/supportive/fun as you that made me realize that right here is where I need to be. The idea of NOT running OMHG is just unthinkable to me now.
    @Sara I am so happy I could help you let go of some of your busyness and that has helped me let go of mine & do what really makes me happy. It’s a perfect circle!

  7. Joanne says:

    Focus always feels better than frenzy and we all struggle with it..With your inspired leadership Jessika, we will all benefit even more from this community of people who believe art and children should grow together.

  8. Jessika, this post and your plan are too fantastic! Since reading this post, I’ve been really reflecting on what my goals are for the year and how I can make them HAPPEN.

    So I just had to swing back over here to this post to say thanks and send awesome luck your way.

    Perhaps we can connect as bloggers/planners for the year. I’d Looooooove that!

Comments are closed.