I finally finished our taxes this morning.
I’d entered all our usual tax forms as they arrived in January and February, but put off itemizing FlowMats expenses and income until now. Owning a business sucks, guys. It really does. Especially when it isn’t profitable, as high-end inventory social enterprises tend to be (in my experience).
Despite selling hundreds of mats and bags, I paid Amazon more in fees last year than I made in total gross income from health coaching and 501(c)(3) bookkeeping combined (the two jobs I had last year). It’s unconscionable how much Amazon charges sellers. That’s why I scaled back the entire operation, moved the website to a tab on this blog, and now sell exclusively out of my storage unit in Hayward, California. Even with astronomical UPS shipping rates and monthly storage fees, it costs less than Amazon.
I founded FlowMats in 2015 while backpacking Southeast Asia, which makes 2018 my 3rd year in business. The experience has been bittersweet and I don’t feel like I’m emotionally removed enough to comfortably and thoughtfully reflect on it. It still kind of feels like I’m caught in the middle of a cascading stress ball, even though I’m trying to wind down the whole thing and move on.
I need to write more on this later as a way to process the entire thing. Right now I can’t even think about it without my blood pressure spiking. It’s a sensitive, triggering subject for me. I don’t even tell people that I own a nonprofit anymore because I can’t bear to talk about it. Despite selling hundreds of yoga mats to yogis all over the world, it feels as though the financial obstacles have nearly outweighed the successes. I feel this most during tax season.
But here I am. I fucking did it and I’m not sorry.
Until next year, TurboTax!