Catena Creations: Happy fifth anniversary!

Today is the fifth anniversary of the day I decided to start my own freelancing business. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to be able to write this post and say that I made it five years!

Catena Creations logos

Catena Creations logos: Before (bottom) and after

To celebrate, I’ve updated my logo. I’m in the process of redesigning and updating my website, which I expect to launch in September.

Five years ago, I was looking for a job — again. Three weeks earlier, I’d been laid off for the second time in a seven-month period. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next.

It was a Thursday night, and I was reading because there wasn’t much on TV that night. A new show, “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover,” (now called “Tabatha Takes Over“) was starting on Bravo. But I’d seen Tabatha on the first season of “Shear Design,” and I didn’t like her. There wasn’t much else happening that night, so I had the first episode on while I was reading.

Tabatha was in a salon in Long Beach, CA. It had a VERY interesting design, shall we say. And it was pretty obvious that the couple running the salon were miserable.

Tabatha sat them down and told the husband that he was “a duck out of water,”  and it was pretty clear that the salon was not where he wanted to be. His wife had stated at the beginning of the show that he was a survival instructor, and used to teach Marines how to successfully ditch a helicopter. What on earth was this very fit man doing managing a hair salon?

Tabatha told him he had to find his passion, and work on that. So I started thinking: What IS my passion? What do I want do to? And then it hit me: THIS!

Four weeks after the first company laid me off, they called me and asked me to work for them as a contractor. At the time I was laid off again, I was working on a project for them. At the same time I was doing that, I was able to work at home, take care of back-to-school tasks, and adjust my hours to what needed to be done at the time.

I discovered that I really enjoyed working at home. I loved being there for my son when school got out. I loved the flexibility I had to get things done. I wanted the freedom to pick my projects and create the variety that kept me interested. I had discovered my passion! And five years later, this passion is still a successful business.

At the end of the show, the salon owner’s husband decided to go to firefighter training school — a MUCH better fit for him. And by the end of that show, I had decided to take a chance and start my own business.

I continue to watch “Tabatha Takes Over.” She gives great advice to business owners and knows how to make things work! And many times, her advice has applied to me and my business as well. For example, she told the husband that going to work should be like opening a present every day. I know exactly what she’s talking about!

Five years later, I am still enjoying the greatest job benefits I’ve ever had: the freedom and flexibility to set my schedule and hours according to what needs to be done, both personally and professionally. I love my commute down 12 steps to my basement office, redecorated in a beach theme, complete with a photo mural of the ocean in the Bahamas. I can work in my jammies or my grubbies, in my basement office or upstairs in my living room with my laptop in my lap. On days like today, when I know I’ll be working at night, I can flip my schedule around and do my personal stuff in the morning.

Yes, Tabatha, you’re right. Each day I get to do this, I feel like I’ve been given a very precious gift — even if a few of those days it feels like a gag gift! But in spite of the ups and downs, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I may be a “sole proprietor”, but I have not accomplished this by myself. My biggest fan and supporter has been my son. A few years ago when I received an offer to go back to work full time, he told me not to do it. When I asked him why, he said, “Because you’re so much happier now!” He then FORBADE me to work full time at someone else’s office ever again.

I have also received much support and encouragement from friends and some family members, who have cheered me on through the ups and downs of business and of life. And, of course, there are my clients. Most of them provided much more than income, and are now counted as friends as well.

A very heartfelt “Thank you” goes out to everyone who’s helped me reach this milestone to celebrate!