One of the reasons a lot of us get into business ownership is that we want control: control over our schedules, control over what we work on and control over our destinies. That's the theory, anyway. In reality, what frequently ends up happening is that we just create new rules for ourselves because that's where we feel comfortable. When my husband quit his job last year to work for Tweedle Press, we immediately set about creating our new work schedule. Granted, flying by the seat of one's pants is a bit less possible with a baby in tow.
It is so easy to fall into a new sense of helplessness when you own your own business. You thought you'd have complete control, but a lot of the time you end up feeling like the business controls you. I know I've realized that I'm not nearly as good of a time manager as I thought I would be. "When I work for myself," I thought, "I'll never work past 5 p.m.!” Sadly, as I sit here at home on a Monday night at 9 p.m. working on my laptop, that is rarely the case. But, we have to remember that this newfound loss of control is just an illusion.
With some exceptions, I believe most humans are creatures of habit. As my husband and I have gotten older we find we increasingly prefer to eat and sleep at set times, plan our calendar a month in advance, and know where we're going to be the next day. But we do try to "plan" some "unplanned" time as well (my husband usually insists on it). After a couple of months into our new work routine, we decided to change things up with our one-day-per-week nanny. A couple of months after that we decided to go nannyless, and a few weeks back we decided to switch off with some half days in the shop. We've created new rules for ourselves, but it's important to remember to regularly re-evaluate what's working and what's not. That's one of the reasons we all got into this, right?
Nina Interlandi Bell, co-owner of Tweedle Press, a small letterpress printing company in Chicago’s Rogers Park. Nina is Tweedle Press' fearless leader of design, letterpress printing, and sustainability research. Her laserlike focus and penchant for mission-hood make her prone to both fits of creative excitement and, occasionally, an overwhelming urge to do everything.