Last month ended with a combined revenue from stamp sales and the bed and breakfast totaling just over $13,800, which was phenomenal, and I do not expect to have another month quite that spectacular for quite some time. This month, with just a week remaining in the month, we have sold $5,244 in stamps. I don't have a total as yet for the bed and breakfast, but for most of this month, we have been double booked, so I would expect that we have made close to $4,000 from the B&B, which would bring us to just over $9,000 for the month, which is very, very good.
My investors were due to be paid their interest cheques last month and this month, and thanks to the sales level we had no problem paying them at all. In addition, we were able to afford to pay for some important upgrades to the house, as well as to be able to make some significant investments in inventory.
However, it was a difficult month in one very important sense: I was still really struggling with the fact that I wasn't approaching my work in a healthy, sustainable manner for most of this month. Early at the beginning of the summer, Steph and I decided that each week starting in July, we would have her friends out to stay with us and we would close off the B&B for much of July while they were here, with the last guests here in the first week of August. Even though I know that I am on the Autistic Spectrum, and I know that I get anxious when my schedule is interrupted and I can tend to shut down after too much social interaction, I told Steph that I would be perfectly fine having guests over for a whole month. It was a great idea in theory, but I had a really hard time with what it did to my schedule. At the end of it, I was in total despair over how far behind schedule I was and I broke down one night. My despair was amplified by the fact that I love our friends and I wanted to see them and hang out with them, and I was saddened deeply by how I was allowing my attitude towards my business to ruin my time with them.
About a month before, Steph had suggested to me that she had read an article somewhere that said that rather than focusing on accomplishing goals, it is wiser to focus on cultivating and following best practices. I took it with a grain of salt when she told me, and went right back stubbornly into full-bore production mode, running myself ragged to try and get everything done that I had told myself needed to get done for that week.
It was clear to me after our last guests had left that I had to do something about my attitude to my work, as it has slowly taken over my life to the point where:
- I'm not cooking good meals anymore and am eating food that while easy to prepare is giving me heartburn most days.
- I'm not working on maintaining my relationship with Steph at all, taking her completely for granted and expecting her to be completely OK with it., and
- I'm not working out anymore.
- Giving priority to customer requests and want lists. I never let administrative activities like listing material to prevent me from giving service to my customers - even those customers who aren't currently spending money.
- Then, after all my customers are looked after, I focus on making sure all my bills are paid and government filings are under control.
- Then after all that is done, I focus on my listings, and I do as much as I can, without worrying about how quickly it is getting done.