I stared at a flat thin line tonight and wanted to give up. It’s just a little blue line, but it was a symbol of all the things that have gone wrong this month. It meant starting over, failure, and a profound sense of loss.
That line is on my dashboard for Teachers Pay Teachers. My sales were never impressive, and in the cut-throat world of sellers willing to quit teaching jobs and devote hours to creating and marketing, I was a tiny fish in a sea of options. Still, I made a tidy lump of sales that made me happy. I contributed to the family financially, and sales were growing.
In the last month, everything that I’ve worked toward with this blog and my educational products crashed in a big way. I made the hard decision to pull my products from the SEA Homeschoolers online store despite wanting to support them. I killed my Teachers Pay Teachers store, leaving only 1 lonely freebie as a place holder. And worst of all, the rock of my blogging world collapsed into a mess of loss and pain: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum went down in flames after the executive director stepped down.
Everything I’ve worked on and everyone I’ve worked with is gone, basically. Individually, there are options and hopes for the future, but when you put all of these things together it feels bleak. It feels depressing. It’s one of those times that I truly sit down and reevaluate: what am I doing here and do I continue?
Doing this for the right reasons
I’ve always said I blog for me. Because I need to. That’s still true, nothing has changed, but I question why I pay to host this blog when my numbers are dropping. I’m in way over my head with the mechanics of running my own website, and I can’t afford to pay anyone to do it for me. In many ways, I truly regret moving away from the free WordPress option because I’ve seen no benefit to it yet.
When my hobby begins costing my family more than I can balance with sales, it’s not helpful, to say the least.
You guys rock!
Of course, I’m not forgetting you guys – my loyal 64 subscribers that I can’t even figure out how to contact outside of writing a post because I’m so tech challenged. Or my 703 followers on Facebook – you guys read my stuff, hang in there with me, and create a sense of community that warms my heart. You guys are awesome, never doubt it!
I’m not feeling so awesome right now. I’m feeling sad, depressed, and horrible for Corin Goodwin, the former executive director of GHF who is fighting to extricate herself from the financial crash of GHF due to lack of leadership. I don’t know the details. I don’t know the drama. I’m not involved with any of that, but I do know that people who signed up for now-canceled classes just want their money back, and current GHF leadership has an obligation they’re not meeting.
I can’t tell you loyal 64 subscribers what the future holds. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, or what I will chose to focus my time and energy on. I can tell you that (in case you missed it) I’ve moved all of my products to Teachers Dojo and I’m making a fresh start. A new beginning, with hopes that this startup will fill the gaps TpT is leaving and grow into a major competitor.
It’s a good start.
For now, I’m hanging in there. I’m plugging away, sticking with it because I need to. I don’t know what the new year will bring – but I’m hopeful that this sales tax problem will have a quick fix before small businesses start really hurting. I’m hoping for a bright new year filled with more opportunities.
And if you haven’t already, hop on over to the GHF Community Facebook group and let Corin Goodwin know how much GHF has touched your life over the last few years. She’s really struggling right now with the loss of everything she’s worked for, and a little appreciation goes a long way to dealing with that.