Need inspiration

J Phipps TN

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Jul 14, 2004
Posts
1,423
Location
Kingsport TN
I have had my little frame shop for 6 years now.

I love it and all, but right now, I feel really tired and am struggling with being burned out.

Do any of you ever feel this way? and if you do, what is it that you do to jump start a fresh perpective?
 
I struggled with burnout for quite a while before I sold my shops. The day to day routine, the responsibilities, not being able to find good help, and physical problems related to framing eventually took it's toll.

What helped me was setting goals. I like to be challenged. If the business or the work wasn't challenging, I was unhappy with the work. The challenge I had for the last two years as a framer was setting up my shops to be sold.

I also developed hobbies, interests, and friends outside the industry and my family. For a long time, my life consisted of work, husband, daughter, and little else. Friends were either family or other framers. I MADE the time to do this because it was important for me to do so.
 
Jennifer,

I suspect we all feel that from time to time.

No magic elixirs, though. Take a week off; go away to someplace you’ve never been; do something outrageous; come back refreshed.

Right now I’m responding to your plea rather than finish a stupid cross stitch which I just can’t seem to get square. I need a break.

Next month we’ve rented a cottage up in Prince Edward Island. It’s given me something to look forward to.
 
Jennifer,

Every day.

I think we just get better at 'managing' the burnout as the years fly by.

I would say hire an employee to give you some time off, but dealing with employees is one major source of stress.

I would say it is part of your job description. But it is also within your power to do something about it. I found that meeting with other framers always helps. So, going to Atlanta for the show and classes would be a real charge for you. Don't be afraid of closing your shop for a few days.

I was a bit fried earlier this summer. I have been looking for new employees for months and was having no luck. So, I went on vacation the week of July 4 and did nothing but ride my bike; the best therapy for me. I had to close the shop to do it (I have NEVER done that before) and it worked out just fine. I felt the pinch moneywise initially, but since then things have been hopping. And I found two potential new employees (they are both still in 'try-out' time.)

Answer: Do what you gotta do.

edie the beentheredidthatwilldoitagain goddess
 
Most framers I know get a good bounce off of going to frame shows. They got pumped up looking at new stuff and some new ideas they got.

Can anyone else cover your shop for a day or so (if not close hey it's august)? If yes then consider spending that time just indulging yourself. Do not think about ANYTHING concerning the shop. Give your batteries a chance to recharge. Think of it as a mini mental vacation.

Or redo something/anything in the shop that bothers you. Make things new or more comfortable for you. Chances are you spend more time there than at home so why not make yourself more at home.

Can you delegate some of the things that are burning you out? Even if someone doesn't know framing maybe a spouse or parent can help you pay the bills or return phone calls for you.

I learned this the hard way NOT figuritively but REALLY, Don't wait to ask for help until you are drowning, I did and it almost killed me (thank god for an alert lifeguard) if you feel like you are aproaching trouble ask those around you for a hand.

It's hard to get perspective on something when you are on top of it everyday. Step back and take your by line to heart. "No one will ever die from a framing emergency."

Good luck.
 
Thank you all, I think it really helps knowing you are not the only one.

Those are great ideas, and Lord willing, I am coming to Atlanta in Sept.

I have missed the past two years and it really does make it hard to keep things fresh in your mind.

I will take your advise and step back and maybe clean some things out!

We are really slow right now and that doesn't help! I hate slow days, They are so long and the check book crys out from my office, Please feed me!!
 
Originally posted by J Phipps TN:
I hate slow days, They are so long and the check book crys out from my office, Please feed me!!
That adds to the burnout feeling for me because then I start feeling sorry for myself. You know, I work so hard and there's never anything left for me...

What helps me most is to get excited about something - a new piece of equipment, cleaning out some junk or rearranging, having a sale. Spend a day away from doing orders and do something for yourself!
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Jennifer
I know what you mean.....I was feeling VERY sorry for myself. Do EVERYTHING in the shop myself, then the household demanded more...etc. But one thing that has helped me a lot is rediscovering this forum!
I've had my shop for 4 1/2 years, and have a tendancy to keep to myself (not a real good trait for dealing with the small town community I live in) so this is a conscious effort to connect. And it is really helping. So all those things mentioned by the other grumblers have real value, plus all this sympathy and understanding must feel great
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!!
Smile Away
Nancy
 
Definitely do a trade show -- heck, even just a single class if there's one going on somewhere that sounds interesting to you. I'm always amazed how refreshed and energized we feel after coming back from a show. Do you carry any other non-framing related items in your store? We do home decor items and attending the gift show every year is always fun and inspiring -- even if we don't end up buying anything.

Good luck to you. We've all been there and will be there again.
 
My shop hasn't been open that long, but when we were first working on fixing up the building and I had to make a lot of terrifying decisions, and was spending A LOT of money on stuff and I wasn't sure if what I was doing was a good idea... and so on and so on... I was about ready to check into a mental institution. I really wanted to just leave and go to the beach for a week or a month or forever, and I couldn't do it (couldn't afford the time, or money)... I was having trouble sleeping, and was a general crank to be around.... I realized that I needed some blank brain time every day. Whether it was watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 for the eighth time, or reading something totally unrelated to business, or rolling on the floor with the dogs. I try to avoid anything business related for at least one hour before I go to bed. It's hard sometimes, because I think that in order to have a successful business, you need to immerse yourself in it 24/7, but my mind just can't take it. Just the other night, I sat in bed for over an hour thinking about heating my shop this winter... nothing constructive was coming of it, and I just couldn't get it out of my head, I had to get up (at 1am!)and watch a rerun of Frasier, and then read some Stephen King for a bit, and then I fell right to sleep.
Sorry, I just realized how long this post is... I feel better, though. Hope it helps.
 
Originally posted by J Phipps TN:
I hate slow days, They are so long and the check book crys out from my office, Please feed me!!
I feel the same way about slow days, but like Sue, I try to take that opportunity to try something new with framing, or tidy up my shop. During one of my slow periods, I started making small frames & business card holders out of scraps (see "Using Scraps" thread). I hate to throw anything out, and making these new little items gave me something to do. I've also taken the opportunity to try fabric wrapped mats.


However, a change of scenery is a good idea and can make a world of difference. I find that even getting out in my garden for a couple of hours to pull out weeds helps to clear my mind some days.


Originally posted by Bill Henry:
Next month we’ve rented a cottage up in Prince Edward Island. It’s given me something to look forward to.
Bill, any chance you are going to be travelling through Nova Scotia when you go to Prince Edward Island? You are welcome to drop on by...
 
OK, I had to up date you....

I just found out the reason I have been feeling so low and burned out is because I am anemic!

My blood count was very low!! No wonder I was feeling burned out!!

I'm on iron and hopfully will be back to my "go get self" in no time.

No being well can really affect your outlook on everything!
 
Jen, if you're taking an iron supplement, you might need something to help with your -er- digestive process. It'll plug you up, if you get my drift.

Watermelon is also a good source of iron and will help with the -er- digestive process, as a diuretic. <font size=1>Or an over-the-counter stool softener, such as Colase</font size=1> Sorry for the indelicate topic, but after my surgeries this year...I know about this.

Have you tracked down the reason for your anemia?
 
I've only been open since March, and this is my first store. Yeah, when a couple days go by and nobody has come in, that's discouraging. Fighting the cat over the canned Friskies every night is discouraging too, because she doesn't leave much for me, the little fatty.

But I just love it when a customer's face lights up on seeing their finished project. I just love it when a customer calls back to tell me how happy they are.

And to think I was also looking at a franchise for selling orthopedic footwear to people with bad feet!
 
Thanks Val,

They have already warned me about that.

They haven't found the cause yet, I go back for another visit the end of september. Hopefully the meds will have kicked in by then.

this stuff makes you feel aweful. No wonder my outlook was so grim! I'm sure I'll feel better soon!
 
As Tim's list/link points out Black Strap molasses is a great replacement for anywhere you would use sugar.
It makes a great thing to paint over your chicken as it's BBQing for the last 1-2 minutes...

RASINS! Even in Mac&Cheese... don't laugh.. it tastes great.

One little dish my family likes during the summer is saute with a little butter some shrimp with pre-plumped rasins and a light dust of ginger..for about 1 minute on medium heat... just as the shrimp are getting opaque heap in a whole bunch of fresh baby spinich. Cover and turn off heat for about 1 minute.
Drizzle a small amount of peanut sauce over all and toss.

Light, good for you, LOTS of Iron, and best of all tastey thats quick.
 
I think all these nutrional suuplements are wonderful

But, what about the "health of the biz"?

When I talk to many framers, burn out seems to always be tied to "poor business health". I mean, we work our tails off and see no financial reward.

One cure for burn out can be a healthy biz. I know I feel on top of the world when that decimal spot moves in the check book

If we try some different things and discard some of the ways we were told in the 80's and 90's, maybe w ecan see some 21st century results

If we continue to do things we used to, the results will probably be they "used to"

A great example is the LJ endeavor thread
 
I started working at a frame shop at the beginning of the summer. After 5 years of mostly wholesale framing from home it was an interesting change.

To be honest, I learned more than I expected, especially since most of my work was limited to shadow boxes before this. I learned to use LifeSaver and the Wizard mat cutter. And it's been great working with customers on designs.

A couple owns the shop, and I think both of them are a little tired. I think Bob hit the nail on the head. They expected to be in a better financial position. But even though they are great at framing, I don't think they have much business sense. And after two and a half years in business, they seem to be losing hope.

I've tried to offer suggestions and new ideas, but they seem to be reluctant to change. That's something I've noticed about most gallery owners I know.

Tomorrow, I'll be asking to cut my hours back to concentrate on wholesale opportunities again. I can't stand to be where I don't feel I can make a very significant difference.

This is a very exciting business to be involved in, but it's what you make of it. And I'd like to be working with or for someone who can see the possibilities. And then of course, take the necessary actions to be successful.
 
Originally posted by Bob Carter:
I think all these nutrional suuplements are wonderful

But, what about the "health of the biz"?

When I talk to many framers, burn out seems to always be tied to "poor business health". I mean, we work our tails off and see no financial reward.

One cure for burn out can be a healthy biz. I know I feel on top of the world when that decimal spot moves in the check book

If we try some different things and discard some of the ways we were told in the 80's and 90's, maybe w ecan see some 21st century results

If we continue to do things we used to, the results will probably be they "used to"

A great example is the LJ endeavor thread
Your decimal point moves? :eek:
 
Originally posted by Val:
Jen, if you're taking an iron supplement, you might need something to help with your -er- digestive process. It'll plug you up, if you get my drift.

Watermelon is also a good source of iron and will help with the -er- digestive process, as a diuretic. <font size=1>Or an over-the-counter stool softener, such as Colase</font size=1> Sorry for the indelicate topic, but after my surgeries this year...I know about this.


Have you tracked down the reason for your anemia?
A little 'potty' mouth, eh?
 
That's me Deac, little ol' Potty Mouth! I am trying to tone it down a bit though. I just get bleeped anyway!
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Jennifer, are you feeling better yet?
 
I am! Praise the Lord!
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You would not beleive the difference in my outlook.

When I felt bad, the thought of marketing, display, and changing with the market was something that just seemed to over whelm me! :( not to mention the thought of framing everyday..... Now, that my iron is up, it seems like an exciting new day!! :D

I've learned a big lesson in business, Don't make any big decisions untill you are sure you are in a healthy state of mind and body. I am amazed at how your health can effect your whole outlook.

Thanks for asking Val, I wish you were going to be in Atlanta this next week-end. You are a grumbler I would really like to meet!
 
Garsh...thanks Jen. How 'bout Las Vegas?

After my 2nd surgery last May, I felt so awful, I could barely hold my head up or hold a conversation for weeks (thank goodness for the keyboard!). It's been 4 months now and I finally feel like a real person again, and my mental health state is also rejuvinated. When I felt yucky, some days I just thought "What do I think I'm doing here??" Today, I can't wait to get to work and that includes plans for growing my business.

Bob Carter was right, a healthy biz sure helps one feel better, but a healthy body (and mind, I'm still working on that part!) is needed to create a healthy biz.

I'm glad you're feeling better! Attagirl, go get 'em, Tiger!! Have fun in Atlanta, and...learn!!!
 
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