Today I’m sharing with you some big news. Probably the biggest news I’ve ever shared here.
I’ve always tried to keep the podcast timeless and evergreen, so I haven’t shared much “news” here. But I digress.
This is the last new episode of The Merriweather Council Podcast.
Not for the summer, not for this season – but actually forever.
First, I want to thank you for being here today and for every time you streamed the podcast. It’s truly been an honor to create this content and share it with you, knowing that it ultimately might impact your business, and I appreciate the trust you’ve put in me and my team not only here on the podcast but throughout the business.
You may or may not know that I’ve been building up the Merriweather Council for 12 years!
I started the business officially in 2010, but two years before that, I talked about starting the business ‘someday.’ Someday came the day after I graduated college. I had planned on going to graduate school after college because while I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life, I knew I enjoyed being in school. There is likely another episode of the show where I have spoken about this more in-depth, but in my senior year of college, the options that were presented to me for what could be next were incredibly limited, and graduate school was one of them. Of those limited options, continuing in school felt like the best one, and I simply didn’t know any better about what else there could be. But at the last minute, that plan to go to school fell through, and since I had no other plans, I decided to start my handmade business instead.
And now, 14 years later, I’m stepping away from the business.
There are many reasons for this decision, but most are highly personal or boring. I’ll share the key reason with you here, though.
There are many different ways to define success, but I can’t accomplish all of them within this business. And there are other things I want to do that would bring me to other versions of success. But I need to make space for them.
I want to be clear before going forward. I have absolutely no intention of sharing this as advice. This is just what’s happening for me.
If you happen to see yourself in that, or if it is insightful in any way for you, awesome. But I’m not giving advice; I’m just sharing what’s happening for me.
My business evolved and grew so much more than I ever thought it would or could. My perspective was so narrow when I started my business. There are several reasons for that: entrepreneurship was never on the list of options presented to me in school. I had no idea what I was capable of or what opportunities existed beyond the ones you could apply for: jobs, grants, and schools. Those were the three primary options I was made aware of and encouraged to pursue in school.
For 12 years, this business has been my primary focus. With very few temporary exceptions, this business has gotten the majority of my attention for the majority of the last 12 years. I don’t think that’s bad, but I don’t necessarily think it’s good either. I think it’s just a fact. It’s just a result of my personality- this thing engaged me enough – so much- that it just consumed me. And actually, I kind of like that’s the way I am – I’m a very all-in sort of person.
So for 12 years, I’ve dedicated my life to this. I’ve made decisions for myself with the business in mind. I’ve made decisions in my life and other relationships with the business in mind. Not entirely different from how most people with any job would, I assume? But in my case, this was the priority. I prioritized the space, time, and effort the business needed to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. And I don’t feel bad about that; it’s just a fact, that’s what I did, and I have been doing that for 12 years.
I love running my business, and I’ve met incredible people. The business has positively impacted many other people; it’s been very, very rewarding.
To accomplish that, though, I had to do things a particular way, resulting in some sacrifices and trade-offs I no longer am willing to make. Let me be clear, I know I am a natural-born entrepreneur, and someday I will inevitably start a different business, but for now, I’m putting a pause on this one thing that I am so that I can explore the rest of what I like and who I am.
In the past five or six months, I’ve started to think about the other interests I have and other things I want to explore that I simply… don’t. Not because I can’t. But because I won’t. I know myself well enough to know that for me to do the kind of exploration and work I want to do, I can’t have something else that’s taking up so much of my focus. I can’t go all-in on anything else until I go all out on this.
There’s not enough of me – because of the way I do things – there is not enough of my energy or effort to go around.
I’m so grateful that I was able to spend 12 years building this business up and that it brought me a lot of joy along the way, and that it allowed me an opportunity to grow a team and work with amazing people in and out of my business. But it’s time for me to move on.
I am moving on feeling accomplished and excited, and I genuinely hope that what we have shared here has been valuable to you as you grow your business. It is more known now that there are options for college grads beyond just school, jobs, and grants. I hope I’ve helped articulate how one of those options can be a handmade business.
What does this mean for the business moving forward?
You’ll see less of me — ultimately, maybe you won’t, because sadly, the reach we get on our visual platforms is so low that you might not see us any less than you do now. But I will no longer be posting content to Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube after the month of June.
We will not be publishing new content to the podcast or blog, but I have a few episodes I wanted to re-broadcast, so you’ll see those pop up again.
We are hosting one final enrollment of the training course for Etsy sellers — if you’ve been waiting or wanting the course, this is your chance, and you can openly enroll in the course any time between now and June 27th at merritrainingcourse.com All the details about the course are there for you to review!
Beyond that, we’ll be going with the flow of when services expire. (really boring admin stuff.) Please enjoy the podcast and blog and all the content we have shared there over the years while it is still available.
I will still be supporting small businesses, of course! I’m sure that shopping with small businesses will be a big part of that.
Thank you again for being here; whether it was from the very beginning or just recently, your presence here has been felt, and I am deeply grateful. Thanks for having me; I’ll see you on the other side.