As time has passed, I have found myself considering how I want my business to fit into my life, as opposed to business being my life. Over the past seven years since beginning to form a business plan and setting up my first hives in 2017, I have expanded to keeping as many as 125 hives and lost enough hives some winters to put me back down to 2 hives. Throughout this, I've sold honey, candles and created a hive tour program.
Keeping bees has been, and still is, a labour of love and also a serious undertaking in today’s environment where a multitude of pests and diseases can affect a honey bee hive. Throughout the seasons of keeping my bees and running my business I have learned from major mistakes and minor mistakes and even learned from serendipitous successes. I’d also like to think I learned from good decisions and outcomes due to my inputs, but somehow I think we often learn the most from the mistakes we make along the journey.
All of this learning and experience with my own business has made me contemplate making some changes this year because trying to strike a balance between making money to pay my bills plus put some into savings to attempt to someday own some land; as well as balance between taking care of my bees, running my business and having a personal life, has proven to be challenging and exhausting. Quite often it feels like I’m futilely running on a hamster wheel despite the many benefits there are to being a small business owner. In fact, I have come to see the ways that there is value in working for a steady paycheque and leaving my work at work at the end of the day. While I’ll miss certain aspects of working only for myself, I've spent a significant amount of time considering my goals and aspirations over this fall and winter and I’ve concluded that I want to downsize my hive numbers and work elsewhere outside of my business.
Making this decision has also made me feel very grateful for the opportunity I have had to pursue making Huckleberry Hives into what it is. I would never have been able to even start this business without the extensive support I accessed from my family, and the bulk of my business still relies heavily on this support and wouldn’t work at all without them. I’m so grateful to my family and for the dynamics we have that have afforded these opportunities.
Huckleberry Hives is certainly staying buzzily in bizzness, but I will be making changes and adjustments so that I’m able to work outside of my business for the majority of my working hours without spending all my evenings and weekends doing Huckleberry Hives business. This means slowing things down and transitioning.
Life is for the living, breathing relationships we build with our favourite people as well as our families and local communities. Rather than forgetting people’s birthdays and feeling overwhelmed by a business to-do list and a constant struggle for cash-flow stability, I plan to keep working hard but build a life balance that leaves headspace to remember those birthdays, be with my family, make art, garden, and just generally live more happily.
If you’ve taken the time to read this blog post then thank you, and I wish you well on your own journey.