Life of Johanna / Running a business

State of the Business Fall 2020

It’s been six months since I did my last update on my (never-ending?) journey to make my sewing business financially sustainable (i.e. replace a day job income with benefits).

When I wrote my last post, I had just returned to my day job after a six month long hiatus and was feeling pretty good about it. But then covid hit and a tonne of other stuff too, so to sum it up, the last six months has been a struggle

Right now I’m seriously burned out, and if I have to be honest, I no longer have the energy to grow and run the business at the current speed while also working a full time job.

Or to be more specific, I actually kinda can juggle them both, but I’m paying a massive price when it comes to my mental well being, since I have zero energy left for other things in my life right now.

So what should I do?

I’m currently considering several different options and have also joined a coaching program to get better clarity when it comes to both my career and personal life. And while I am burned out, the business is actually going pretty great right now.

Because things are finally falling into place, after almost four years of gritting it out, and I can foresee a substantially increased revenue next year. 

My third book, Sewing Jeans, will be out in November, and judging from Amazon’s 52 weeks sale prognosis (based on the pre-orders) it will do almost as well as my coverstitch book, which has been selling really well for being a sewing book. 

I’m also looking forward to the German version of Master the Coverstitch Machine (Perfekt Nähen mit der Coverlock) which will be out later in September. Plus I have a lot of clarity regarding the direction I should take my business moving forward, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.

If I have the energy I would love to put out some more products next year too, but since I’m so worn out right now, not to mention the pandemic that we are still in the midst of, I have to be kind to myself and not set too many lofty goals.

So fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better year in all our lives!


  • Ellen
    September 5, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    You need to take care of yourself first and foremost. Hope you get this figured out, and that 2021 is indeed a good year for you and the rest of us too.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Ellen, yes rest is top priority but that also means changing a long habit of working too much, so I’m finding it a bit tricky to fully master it. But I’m working on it!

  • Corey
    September 5, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Wouldn’t be nice to just up and walk away from everything and go take care of yourself. I understand totally what it means to do a job and work to get a business off the ground, you have absolutely no energy for anything else. On certain days you just want to stay home, wear some comfy clothing and watch movies all day and doze in and out of sleep/awake. I am currently in the process of getting business going and it is not easy. As with everything money is important and you have try and balance your time and decisions. I hope 2021 proves to be a better year for you.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 6, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      Yep, getting a business off the ground is a massive undertaking, with no guaranteed outcome. So we need both grit, funds and strategy to make it work. Have you listened to the podcast How I built This? It’s filled with really raw, honest founder stories and I find them wildly inspirational

  • Marilyn
    September 6, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    My very, very best to you, Johanna. I’ve been following your work for the past couple of years and am amazed at what you have accomplished. You’re an excellent instructor, with techniques that are well-explained and easy to visualize. You’re TRUSTED — in the sea of internet sewing media, your ship stands out. I hope you rest and then return invigorated to prosper. And I hope in all other areas of your life you will find deep contentment. Thank you for what you’ve done for us. I am grateful.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 6, 2020 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you Marilyn, I’m really touched by your kind, encouraging words, it is something I deeply needed to hear right now as I’m kinda struggling to rekindle my drive and mojo at the moment. To hear that the content I create and the things I teach makes a difference and is appreciated by you, it means a lot <3

      • Marilyn
        September 7, 2020 at 12:33 am

        I’ll think of you often in the coming months as you take a breather.

  • Annette
    September 6, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Your work is incredible and it’s completely understandable that you’re burned out with the pace of your work. Do whatever you need to do to care for yourself and to enjoy your life. The rest will fall in place. Hoping for the best for you.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 6, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you Annette! Yes a burnout was unavoidable I think, but I will try to embrace this need to take a breather since I think, as you say, that things will fall into place eventually, and sometimes it’s best not to force it

  • Anthony
    September 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing your struggle. I hope I’m not sounding too selfish to say that you helped me feel less alone in my own.

    • Johanna Lundström
      September 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you, Anthony, for your comment, and it’s actually very validating for me to hear that sharing my own struggles can be helpful to others. As you said, it can be a lonely journey and sometimes we might not feel comfortable sharing the mental struggles that are also a part of pursuing a dream.

      But I’ve always tried to stand in my truth of the ups and downs because being honest is so much more useful to others that are facing similar situations.

  • Mimi
    September 26, 2020 at 5:42 am

    Good luck in managing so many things! I think you have made terrific progress and I am certain that has required a lot of energy and grit.


Leave a Reply