If you’ve missed the first posts in this series, read them here.
While in our first year of having the custom wedding business, we had our first baby. Needless to say, my life was forever changed – in a wonderful way. At the same time, though, I found it was hard to juggle the demands of a fussy newborn, with coordinating the details of the wedding business.
While I was pregnant and had a lot of extra time on my hands, I had experimented with various additional streams of income to add to our current website. One of those was selling books. I started off with books on preparing for marriage and when I saw that there was a market, I kept expanding to other good books and resources our family has appreciated.
I also was getting the itch to write, so I wrote a small booklet on some small ideas girls and teens could do to earn money from home. We had very little extra business money to work with, so I had a friend edit it and bartered with another friend for the cover design. In order to come up with enough money to pay for a tiny print run of the books, I ran a pre-publication special with my current email list.
Much to my surprise, I sold 100 booklets during the pre-publication special and had enough to pay for a print run of 200. It seems like such a microscopic number, but for me, it was huge.
A few weeks after I released the ebook, a small family business contacted me and asked if I’d sell them ebook rights to my book for $100. I didn’t really even know what an ebook was, let alone know how to turn my book into one, but $100 was a big number at that point, so my husband and I felt it would be a good move. The friend who designed the booklet layout kindly availed herself to turn the book into an ebook for me for $25.
So, I sold the rights to the ebook to this other company (by selling the rights, I gave them permission to sell an unlimited number of ebooks through their site for whatever price they chose) and I entered this whole new world of ebooks. I’d never given any thought to the possibility of someone paying you for a download, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to offer the ebook on my site. I was completely surprised to discover there is quite a big market for ebooks — especially simple how-to ebooks — and I started concocting other future ebook ideas.
While all this was going on, the wedding business was continuing to demand a lot of my time and it was producing little income. And we were still just barely limping by. We were beginning to see more profit from our business — but that was mainly from the sale of books.
I started to wonder if maybe I should discontinue the wedding business and just focus on selling books, since that’s what seemed to be working. But it was really embarrassing to me to think of having to admit the wedding business hadn’t worked out. I wasn’t a quitter like that and I figured there had to be a way to make it work.
Well, guess what? The next two dress projects turned out to be disasters. The customers were very upset with the work and it was weeks of pulling my hair out and trying to figure out how to fix the issues and make the customers satisfied. But it was to no avail.
My husband and I really felt that God used these difficult situations to make me willing to close down Covenant Wedding Source. It was hard and humbling to do, but it was the best thing for our family and my sanity. And I also needed to focus the time I did have on things which would be profitable.
For months, I struggled with feeling like a failure over the fact that the business didn’t work out. Now that I look back, though, I realize just what a blessing in disguise this was. Not only did I learn such valuable lessons through failure, but I also go this crazy idea to start a blog. Little did I know what those feeble blogging attempts would lead to!
But first, I had a lot more lessons to learn and experience to gain.
…To be continued next Friday