Starting a Side Gig in our Fifties!

Starting a Side Gig in our Fifties!

What??? You are starting a business in your fifties? Don’t you have enough to do? Have you lost your mind? Not to mention what people probably didn’t say to our faces when Ginger and I decided to start our “passion play” in 2022!  Now that we are almost a year in, we too say to ourselves somedays, “Have we lost our minds?  Can we do this while we also work at our full time “real” jobs?”  YES, YES, YES we can and we will continue to pursue what we both feel we have been called to do!  We will persevere!

But I must admit, starting a side business while working full-time can be like trying to eat a burrito in a haunted house, it's a thrilling and messy experience. It's all about balancing your day job with your night job and trying to make sure you still make time for your family.  There are many nights and weekends we have to beg for forgiveness as we explain to our significant others that the late nights and missed dinner plans are all for the greater good of the business.  And in our case, for the greater good of the artisans we are working to uplift.  Intertwined has required a significant investment of time and money.  The added workload and responsibilities of our side business has led to increased stress and some days burnout when added to our already demanding schedules.  It is easy to get spread too thinly! 

Some of the biggest challenges we have faced are not having enough time to do it ALL…24 hours a day just isn’t long enough, product design when you are 5,000 miles away from the maker, getting a shipment of goods that just aren’t quite what you expected…sometimes a good surprise but oftentimes not,  not having enough time to do it ALL, communicating with our makers who are 8 hours ahead of us…we wake up many mornings with messages from Morocco, India, Nepal or Uganda adding to our already full day of “to do” items, trying to photograph all items so the photos will look professionally done (we obviously have not mastered this part!), asking our artisans over and over again, “can you make this thing I saw on Pinterest or Instagram”, not having enough time to do it ALL, trying to get people in Africa, Asia, and South America to understand our google translate messages which often don’t really relay what we hoped we had said, trying to fall asleep at night when all you can think about is a new product design, shipping issues, that beautiful mug that arrived to our customer shattered, etc. etc. etc., continuously reminding ourselves that our American standards for production deadlines don’t really work for artisans who truly are making things as fast as they can…well most of the time they are, did I already mention NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO DO IT ALL???  With all that being said, we wouldn’t change a thing!  We have learned A WHOLE LOT and have so much more to learn. When it all becomes too much, we stop, take a breath and remind ourselves of the real reason we keep pushing forward…these amazing artisans who are making these amazing items for us need our support.  We ARE making a difference in their lives and more importantly, we want to continue to make a difference for them and for so many others we have yet to meet. 

So, we keep moving forward, take it day by day and hope that this path we are on will take us where we need to go, where we want to, where we must go.  We hope that hot flashes and menopause are the prefect fuel for success, that grey hair (at least mine is under all of this hair color) is a super power, that two heads are better than one especially when your memory begins to fade and you can’t remember s___, that age really is just a number and wrinkles are character lines, and that wisdom, experience and a big dose of moxie will help us prove to ourselves and the world that it’s never too late to follow your dreams!  It's a wild ride filled with plenty of ups and downs, lots of laughter and most importantly no regrets!  Neither of us want to look back on our lives one day and wish we had taken the chance.  I have this saying in my “real job” office, and it rings so true for me, “Don’t fear failure but be terrified of regret.” We are doing this thing and we are doing it together and there’s no place either one of us would rather be!!

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