Running your own small business is definitely not about the money, I can certainly vouch for that!! It's more about doing what you enjoy, love even, and maybe even working when you want. Having said that, it doesn't mean you can decide to only work Mondays but more being able to fit personal life into your business life better. You are the boss afterall but this also means, the buck stops with you! You ARE the business so sometimes it might seem that all you do is WORK WORK WORK but hopefully it is something you're enjoying so it's not quite so bad!
I've been running my business for about 9 years now, it started off as part-time while also working (at the ATO of all places!) and then once things picked up a bit I was able to leave the ATO and focus solely on Rainbow Designs. The main problem I am facing at the moment is Rainbow Designs burn out. I have only even worked in the same company for as long as running Rainbow Designs once and that was my very first job, a LONG LONG time ago!! I'm trying to way up my options. Should I sell, close down, work part time somewhere else, hire staff....?? I've actually set myself a deadline and if things haven't changed (in a good way) things WILL change, good or bad! I think you can get stuck in the same old same old and even though you're not 'really' enjoying it, it just seems like too much hard work to do something different - this is where I think things can really go down hill. Just in the last few months I have seen over 5 small businesses, who have been running for about as long as mine, close up doors. Why I wonder?
I think times are tough at the moment in the retail sector (particularly small online businesses) but not tough enough that you can't make a living from it - I think you just need to work smarter and give yourself permission to have some time out. Maybe working part time somewhere else could help, even if it is just to feel like you can contribute to another business other than your own. It may even help with getting a fresh look on your own business. Volunteering is also another way to go - it need only be a few hours a week but something that can not only help others but help yourself feel 'worth it' - which is something running your own business can drag down. If you hit a rough patch it can make you feel like YOUR not good enough - it is your business afterall so it does feel very personal when things aren't all rosey.
One thing I do know, if I wanted to be assured that all the bills were going to get paid each month I wouldn't run my own small business - being employed is the way to go if you're just in it for the money I'm afraid!
When all things are said and done and business is getting me down, there's always chocolate:
eat some chocolate!!