Over the past several months, something has become abundantly clear to me: I am working way too hard.
This all came to a head this month when, while carrying my normal (masochistic) workload, I also took over a very busy contract for a friend while he was out of town. The last time I did this, I had almost no clientele (and mononucleosis), so I figured it would be different this time around.
It was different indeed. Although I was able to make a bunch more money than last year, I unfortunately did it by working similar hours. Lots of 20-hour work days (as in 20 hours of work in a row with no breaks). I don't need a doctor to tell me this is outrageously unhealthy and stupid.
So, although I managed to prove to myself that I am more than capable of a comfortable life in Purgatory, it became apparent that this was not working out well for me or my family. Change is now happening.
As of now, I am changing the face of my business, moving away from alterations and towards bespoke men's suit construction. This is my passion of all passions, and I am no longer willing to leave it on the shelf while I work 20-hour days of alterations. In the coming weeks, I will be leaning into the bespoke side of my business, seeking customers and making the time to do the work. This is the right decision for me, for my family, and for my business.
There is an overwhelming drive in our culture to grow your business. Manifest destiny. If your bespoke suit making is successful, you should sell off-the-rack as well to drum up more business. If that succeeds, you should sell shirts, ties and socks. Then you should start a tuxedo rental company. If that all seems to be working out, then it's time for - you guessed it - a fried chicken franchise.
On a more serious note, I am extremely thankful for all the work I have had, and all the people who made it possible for me. I have very much considered hiring an employee to keep the alterations alive while I pursue my true career, but that doesn't make sense. I am a tailor, not a businessman. That is a hat that I need to wear to some extent, but I will not do so more than necessary.
I look forward to this new era in my life, and thank you all dearly for bringing me to this place of being able to make it happen.