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Recently I wrote a post about getting rid of blogger’s guilt and it made me wonder how much of the guilt I was carrying around applied to my blog versus my shop. For months now, guilt consumed me. I had too much on my plate and not enough time or hands to complete everything as quickly as I’d liked.

Shop updates weren’t done as often as I wanted them to be. New designs and colors for our home décor lines weren’t being added. New product ideas I had got moved to the backburner. Emails weren’t responded to on the day that they were received. And weekends became consumed by my personal life as the days grew warmer. So many things felt off, leaving me feeling like I was disappointing the masses.

But the reality was that it was really only me.

I was staying within my standards for my business. People received their orders on time. Emails were still responded to within a day or two max. Custom orders were still being completed and sent out within the time-frame agreed upon.

But it wasn’t enough for me.

The guilt loomed over me no matter how much I accomplished. The guilt from everything I wasn’t able to do replaced the joy from everything I was able to do. And it only hindered me from achieving my goals, growing my business, and achieving the success I knew I was capable of achieving.

So I made a promise to myself.

I promised myself that as long as I stayed within the guidelines/standards I had created for myself and my business, there was no room for guilt. And if I slipped up from time to time, letting go of those standards even temporarily, there was only room for forgiveness. Guilt was no longer an option for me, no matter what the circumstance was.

Owning a business without guilt creeping up on you from time to from is anything but easy. The expectations we create for ourselves as business owners are huge and honestly – completely crazy at times. We’d never expect these unrealistic standards of someone else. But the amount of joy, the amount of passion, and the amount of life that guilt strips away from you when you hold on to it is massive.

The guilt we hold on to serves no purpose other than to prevent us from bringing our full potential to our business. Our blogs. Our lives. So forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for the things you weren’t able to add or do with your business for even a brief period of time. Forgive yourself for the other priorities that you held that caused your business to go on the backburner for a while. Forgive yourself for the times you slipped up and made mistakes with your business for whatever reason.

Your customers deserve more. Your business deserves more. Most importantly, you deserve more.


Ashley Wagner — After Nine to Five

Ashley is the creative force behind the After Nine To Five blog and shop. She’s a self-employed consultant/blogger/graphic designer that is determined to live the life that she used to believe would always be just a dream. You can follow her journey along with her husband’s journey as they make their transition from being Wisconsinites to Floridians on And a DIY Life.

She is also the founder of The Better Blogger Network – a community dedicated to helping each other grow as a person and even more so, as a blogger. She is also the founder of  RevolutionizeHer – a project that is dedicated to encouraging and inspiring women to live the life they dream of living, especially through self-employment.


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