You Can Just Call Me The Job Hobo.

So, here I go again.

Packin’ my bags and on my way down another path, although I have no idea what path that is right now.

I feel like a job hobo or a “jobo”, if you will.  Always changing jobs, always with the new ideas, never knowing where they’re going to take me or who I’ll meet along the way.  Sounds invigorating right?  It is, but I find it exhausting to put time into something and then have to walk away from it.

I am currently actively job searching, because you see, the proverbial “poop” is about to hit the fan. It’s really unfortunate, because I really do love what I’m doing, home staging and design.  I love meeting different home owners and the challenge that comes with getting them and potential buyers to fall in love with their homes.  But everything changed REALLY fast when I realized just how unappreciated I was by my boss. My dad always taught me that actions speak louder than words . . . and in this scenario, he couldn’t have been more right. Considering how small the company is, it’s really hard to ignore it and keep moving forward. Since the day I was hired, all I’ve heard is empty promises and plans and ideas and none of it has come into fruition.

Couple that with things like a crappy salary, no vacation or benefits, 10 and 12 hour days AND no room for negotiation and I have to start asking myself what is important and what I want from my career. I’m all about paying my dues, but considering how much I have already been paying, this is a bit much.

On a plus side, I’ve gained tons of experience, I will have some pretty good contacts, I’ve pushed the boundaries of what even I thought I was capable of and I met Carrie. Our office admin/manager/assitant/phone answerer/email responder/fire-putter-outer/complaint-taker/gofer and life organizer is quite possibly one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. I have no idea how she manages to keep everything together for us, but on top of that she has another business with her husband and plans fundraisers and events. That girl is always doing something. She really is an inspiration. I’m pretty sure that the universe’s reason for me taking this job in the first place was for our world’s to cross. So I am trying to channel her energy . . . unfortunately I’m a really messy juggler.

And right about now, I feel as though I’ve got a whole bunch of balls in the air and I have no idea which one I’m going to end up catching. (Which would make me a juggling jobo? 🙂 ) I feel so torn as to which direction I should be moving in. On the one hand, theathomecouple philosophy is still engraved in my brain, and I think it would be awesome to be able to be a freelance designer, working from home, helping people like me with little or no money improve their homes and make them comfortable places to live.   (My philosophy is that interior design does not have to be expensive.)  On the other hand, real life and being a grown up means that I have to be realistic about money and helping to support the life that Eli and I live.

So I’m doing both.  Actively job searching to go work for someone else again and trying to get my own thing going.  I have made some headway though.   I’ve got my design blog going . . .  All my facebook pages and twitter accounts are up and running to try and get my name out there using social media. My methods are pretty primitive, but I’m learning and teaching myself as I go.  And to be honest, I end up checking back here to see what Eli’s been posting in the hopes that I can apply some of it to what I’m doing.

Another ball that I’ve got up in the air is Etsy, although I haven’t been as active lately in tossing this one.  And this area is  a microcosm of my indecision.  For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a marketplace for all things handmade and vintage.  For those of you who know me, know this is right up my alley.  So I’ve got an account and a shop, but do you think I can pinpoint what it is I want to sell? Of course not.  I guess I should just put everything out there and see what happens . . .

I guess this is what being all growns up is about.  As Eli thoughtfully posted, I’ve recently turned the big 3-0 (thanks for all the b-day love!) and I’m waiting for my experience and wisdom to kick in.  It seems like so far, it’s all been trial and error, ups and downs and constant change.  The way I look at, this is as good as a time as any to start doing this.  Eli and Bleecker Street Media are successful.  Hell, if he can do it, so can I.

But then again . . . we have bills to pay.

Ugh, who knows.  Maybe by tomorrow I’ll have a job at the Starbuck’s down the street . . . at least there’s free coffee involved, this jobo loves coffee!

10 thoughts on “You Can Just Call Me The Job Hobo.”

  1. Hey Veronica, home staging I believe is all about contacts. You make one home owner happy and they are going to refer you to their friends who are buying new houses..

    Now why not go a step ahead and build a website for your portfolio and actively build a search engine presence. With your knowledge of the internet (which I am sure none of your rival home stagers have), you should be able to get a lot of new leads and probably some day manage your own little home-staging company. What do you think?

  2. @Anand – OBVIOUSLY I’ve already grabbed a domain name and we’ve started writing up the business plan/model. Veronica has a lot of contacts already, I think the biggest challenge we face with launching her staging/design business is INVENTORY. Capitol needed to buy furniture pieces and storage space to keep everything.

  3. Eli, you took the words right of my mouth. 🙂 Anand, the challenge with starting up my own staging company is definitely the start up funding . . . and unfortunately the last time we started up a company it put us into a little bit of debt, so I have to investigate if anyone will even give me a business loan. We’re definitely on the same page though!

  4. Aah..Is that so? Never thought about that!

    Maybe you should check out – it’s a website where you can post a business plan and invite people to pour in the initial capital. Maybe you can invite all your happy customers there and offer them discounted interior designing for life..Just a random idea, sorry if that’s not relevant..Good luck to you guys!

  5. Veronica,

    You speak the language that many of us at this point in our lives can relate to. I like what you said in the end regarding experiences through trials and errors. Although the goal is to step up to bat and hit a home run, we need to take quite a few practice swings to do so. You know the classic examples, it took Edison how many attempts (10000+) till he created the light bulb. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that, just ask Blue =), your gonna lose along the way to success, but in essence that may just be a test to see how bad you really want it. One of my closest friends is a writer and it wasn’t till his early 30s that he realized in actuality what he is, what he enjoys doing, and what he’ll peruse (writing). I’m sure Blue has put you on Gary V. A friendly reminder from him, if you have your 9-5, come home do the dinner thing, hang out etc…but that 9pm-sleep time should be invested in developing what you thoroughly enjoy doing. Who’s to say we have to have it all figured out by 30? I sure as heck don’t. lol and I’m sure I speak on behalf of most of my friends when I say that. Keep your head up jobo, have faith and share/take advice from Blue. In my experience with Elena, teamwork and helping each other develop / pursue our ideas is one of the best ways to stay motivated and work towards what you want.

    p.s. Blue re: inventory idea, anyway you can work it so that the business starts as a middle-man? Veronica can slightly mark up and find places to purchase for cheap sofas, etc…until momentum picks up. Not sure just tossing ideas.

  6. To be a home stager (is that correct terminology?), you have to own a crapload of furniture and store it?

    I can’t imagine all self-employed stagers do that.

    Why not charge upfront fee (like 50%) and rent furniture you need on a per job basis until you get a solid foundation. I’m sure not every home even needs extra furniture anyway, do they?

    From what I know, lots of times it’s about taking shit out! lol

    Just sayin’, don’t let “not enough money for your own furniture warehouse” stop you from “starting”. 🙂

    *heads back into my Suite hole*


  7. @stefan – <3 thanks. You are my favourite pep talker. 🙂 I think I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself. You're totally right though, this point of our lives is so pivotal. Who knows, I might be happy doing something that doesn't even involve design! (sigh, I doubt it. 🙂 ) the uncertainty of not knowing my direction makes me a bit nauseous though . . .

    @ suite suite jay - it's true . . . i could rent furniture and I prefer to use home owners stuff anyway. My only hesitation is that there are A LOT of independent stagers and real estate agents who do this, so during busy season you don't really have that much choice. I guess because right now I have immediate access to an inventory. storage space and a moving truck, I'm thinking on that level. I think I may have a different approach, which would definitely more of a niche. but it's still in the works in my head. 🙂

    *update: It's been a productive week so far . . . have some pretty awesome leads! I'm on the verge of some very new possibilities 🙂 fingers crossed!

  8. @Anand – I’ve always wanted to try out Kickstarter.. what better time than now, right?

    @Stefan – “Who’s to say we have to have it all figured out by 30?” you took the words right out of my mouth!

    @Jay – The whole rental thing has to be super reliable, that I know for sure. Having an exclusive partnership with a few providers (contractual) could definitely help.

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