Update – I shared this post originally back in January, but since it's Small Business Week I thought I'd share again! We have our new Side Dish Menu Plans available now, and I can NEVER thank you for your kind words in the comments on this post, on Instagram, Facebook, and in email. I AM SO HUMBLED and blessed to get to hang out with YOU each day. Thank you for blessing me each and every day around here ~ hugs!
Current coupon codes available on everything in the PPP shop because it's our Side Dish Launch Week!
$5 off $50 – use code GRILLING
$10 off $100 – use code FREEZER
$15 off $150 – use code CROCKPOT
$20 off $200 – use code SKILLET
Have you ever wondered why a profitable small business decides to sell? Or why all of a sudden that product you once loved that felt was oh-so-amazing didn't quite hold up to what it seemed like that very first time?
I never meant to turn into an entrepreneur. Way back when I started blogging in 2009, I just wanted to earn a little extra money to put away for our children's college funds, and hopefully be able to donate some extra too.
In the early years as I was figuring business out in a VERY small way, I'd hear about companies that were profitable, successful, and doing well, choosing to sell off to a bigger corporation. I especially watched female-owned businesses, I guess because I was in that industry in a way, and would scratch my head and wonder ~ why on earth would anyone give up a profitable business so that someone else had control?
As someone who's always been intrigued by business, it simply didn't make sense to me.
Until probably the last two years, and especially the last few months.
When you create a business on a whim (like I sure did and I believe many other women do!), you don't necessarily know all the things. You don't know the ins-and-outs of shipping. You don't know all there is to know about managing a team (or ANYthing honestly), and you don't know a whole lot about taxes or bookkeeping or marketing or advertising if you didn't attend school for a specific degree. (My degree in psychology did not prepare me for this!)
If you create a business kind of out of nowhere like I did, you likely only became successful because the one thing you do know how to do hopefully is how to serve people. While I've never really written up a business plan and I kind of want to cry every time we file our taxes, I do know really well how to help a few moms get a great deal on toilet paper, dreaming up a planner with checklists to make busy lives easier makes me ridiculously happy, and making cute little recipe cards with menu plans so moms don't have to get anxious about making dinner like I used to do just fills me to the brim.
But the last few months I've been feeling a little extra worn out, a teensy bit overwhelmed, somewhat over-anxious, and honestly over-just-about-everything.😅
You may know that we moved over the holidays due to a job transfer for my husband, and in my oh-so-controlling-mind, I figured I had it all figured out.
Because January is a crazy time as someone who runs a business partly encouraging women to beautifully care for their homes using one seriously awesome annual planner . . . I knew I'd have to be super organized to make everything work out just perfectly. So once we decided for sure back in the fall that we'd be moving, I spent every extra waking hour organizing each nook and cranny of our home.
I mapped out exactly where everything would go in our new home.
Figured out exactly what we should bring with us, and what needed to be given away.
Made a bajillion trips to Goodwill.
And determined what we'd need to have on hand to make this move go a little bit more smoothly.
I was in control, I could manage it all 😂 and this was going to be the easiest move ever.
And honestly, all that planning and planner-ing has made this move go SO smoothly. I am so thankful and so very lucky!
So in January, when we finally all landed in our new home all together, I was ready to do all the things. (I'd moved before James and Reagan last month to get things mostly ready, and our big kids still in college were coming home for the first time.)
I was ready to walk in our new neighborhood. Ready to visit a few new churches. Ready to maybe find a new to gym. Ready to fluff our home, check out a new town and oh so ready to do alll the things.
But most of all I was so ready to be the very best business-owner-but-more-importantly-encourager that you have ever seen.
I was excited about our Low Cal Challenge.
And our 2022 Home Planner Challenge.
And I was so SUPER-STINKIN'-EXCITED to have extra planners in stock for the very first time ever in January, so that I could cheer a few new mommas on around here too.
(FYI: They're not available now, but you can be the first to know when you pop your email address in over here. or get our brand new Daily Checklists which are pretty fun too.)
I was so prepared.
I WAS GOING TO ROCK MY HOME AND MY FAMILY AND MY BUSINESS AND ALLLLL THE THINGS IN 2022.
But most importantly along with caring for my family? I was really kind of hoping to just get to cheer on YOU.
Sometime last week though, as my big kids were about to head back to college, my youngest started at a new high school, and my life finally had room for a brand-new-fresh-routine, I realized there was a bottleneck somewhere in our shipping process.
We had done everything right.
After running a blogging business for 13 years and (kind of?) figuring out e-commerce since 2018, we had prepared a year in advance to make sure we were all set.
I'd made decisions all year figuring out how to get the planners on the right boats and trains and semi trucks to make sure they'd be here in plenty of time for the new year. (On trips with my family I was making major freight decisions even though I know NOTHING about the shipping industry. But I was going to figure it out the help of a seriously smart team, and we were ready to be way ahead of the game for the first time ever. Success? Of course!)
We literally had perfected every single thing (I thought?) from beginning to the end, and had enough in stock to manage all the orders. Our target sell out date was set for 2/1/22, and we were right on track.
But never did I dream that so many people would decide to order on the same day, that a bunch of folks at our shipping facility would be out for the holidays, and then that Nashville (where we ship from) would stop moving completely due to snow and ice for three days. (Everything in the city was closed. We were completely stuck!)
As soon as I realized we were behind, even though we had quite a few more planners to sell, I made the choice to stop all planner sales and ads, and take a loss on anything I couldn't sell (because who's really super excited about a planner in February? I KNOW YOU. Planners in February are no fun at all to purchase, right? I get that!)
It even got a little crazier though…. my husband got sick. I got sick. And several folks on the PPP team have been in and out sick. (I know in all reality, LOTS of folks are just sick right now ~ WHEW!) For about a week on top of feeling crummy, I was racing around keeping everything-clorox-wiped-down and everyone-somewhat-soup-fed, and still barely just helping my team manage a crazy inbox with a whole-lotta-grouchy customers who were kind of new and didn't know the heart of PPP all that well.
If you've been here awhile, you know this is NOT NORMAL for PPP products At ALL EVER. So goodness, this just STINKS!
Since we're a 100% cash based business, we don't take loans out for anything. Everything is paid for in cash when we order over a year in advance, and if for whatever reason we can't sell these planners, it might really, really, really stink, but thank heavens we won't owe anyone anything.
25 years of penny pinching has taught me a thing or two. PHEW!
We planned EVERYthing.
Our team had done it all just right.
I didn't do A+ work maybe, but seriously, this was pretty SOLIDLY an A- project at least, and it was ready to go.
Welp. They failed. 🙁
And …. it stinks.
But here's the thing . . .
We ALL try to control all the things, and I'm pretty sure we have done that since the very beginning of time I believe.
As I was reading this week in Genesis, I realized Sarah way back then determined she needed to make a better plan too, so she tried to control and set up God's plans for her, but ultimately He had the very best plans for her.
Hmph. Guess I'm not the only controlling momma around here, huh?
I have to trust today, that God's plans are better than mine are.
That even though I thought 2022 would start out one way, route #2 might have good plans in it too.
Being real honest? I cannot imagine one single good reason for this AT ALL.
But I know that through the whole of my life, God has laid good plans for me even when I've been down here questioning Him a whole lot.
And I know He lays those good plans for you too.
So today ~ whatever you're in, whatever you're controlling, whatever's not working out the way you had planned, whatever you're just plain old mad about . . .
Hand it over.
We can only control so many things, and then we have to scoot on over and let Him hop on in.
I am not saying that means we just quit.
That's not me saying I'll just skip trying to dig us out of an overflowing inbox.
That's not me saying we'll just chill over here and skip out on orders.
It's just saying that I will do ALL I CAN IN MY POWER to fix the situation, and then I will trust and know that time will settle down so very many of these things.
You and I can still rock 2022.
It's not too late.
Even when the plans look a little different than maybe they did before.
In the midst of it, I'm going to choose to remember this most deeply in all things . . .
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I'm clinging to that one today. Maybe you need to cling to it with me too.
Cheering for you sweet friend ~ goodness, I'm so crazy thankful for you.
And if you ordered a 2022 planner and haven't gotten it yet? IT IS SO SO GOOD and you will love it when you get it. And I truly do PROMISE it will be on its way very soon. I did hear there's more snow coming to Nashville which is a little crazy this weekend. SERIOUSLY say a prayer it just melts away fast.
We've got this. Don't give up. I'm cheering for you! ❤️
P.S. As for that whole selling off the business thing that I shared at the beginning? I KNOW this was an awfully round about way for me to tell you about that! My accountant actually asked me when I'd consider selling off as we were trying to make some big decisions for 2022 ~ I was like OOCH.
But here's what I decided. I GET why small businesses sell off. Businesses that grow are often exhausting, and all too often I feel shackled to my computer so much longer than I ever dreamed some days.
However… for TODAY? I know full well that no one else is going to care for you the way I do.
Like, I READ YOUR STORIES ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK AND I JUST LOVE THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE. I LOVE the pictures of your families you post in our groups.
I love seeing your pictures of your kids making or eating dinner.
I love when you respond back and say an email you read from me mattered.
I love when you talk about how awesome the PPP team is, and how very much their work has helped you in a special way.
I love that you made dinner for the first time last night.
I love that you shined your sink and you made your bed, and good gravy I just kind of love serving you.
And honestly? I know my family loves MOST days seeing me serve you too. (Some days they wish it didn't require so much work. Most days they get it though I think)
So as long as this momma has it in her, no matter what the price, I'll be the one right here making sure we KEEP AT IT until our work around here is done (or until I get real old. We'll see which one happens first… I was thinking the other day that this product business has made me look SOOOOO old ~ then I remembered that that was going to happen either way.) 🙂
So that's why some businesses DO sell off and I TOTALLY get that and am all for it. But for a long long time I'm pretty sure I'll be right over here, making sure our paper products are perfect, our recipes taste divine, our deals are always legitimate, and of course changing clean sheets alongside you just as many Thursdays as I possibly can muster up each year.
And goodness, I'd sure love it if you decide to hang out over here with us for a long long time too.