Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why don't I do this for a living?

Last night, I spent some time with some family from out of town.

One of my cousins asked me a question.

He said "Heather, you seem really into the snakes.. Why don't you do this full time?"


Let me outline what I do.

I am a Chemist by trade, I work in a laboratory. I make chemical compounds. I work a full 40 hours a week, and then I come home and work another 238741078 on snakes.

Why do I do that?

Lets begin by saying, as much as I love the snakes, the constancy of snake breeding and marketing is difficult to grasp.

What do you mean, Heather?

Well, baby season is upon us, and I have many babies to sell.. But what happens when I sell out? Nothing left to sell for the rest of the year, which tends to happen around December (depending on the amount of babies hatched out that year). So hatching begins in July until December. What about those other months of the year? I am feeding, housing, cleaning, and health checking all of my animals, which tends to get expensive over the course of the year.

So for what it is worth, a sum of cash to last thruout the year is not enough for me to be comfortable with. I prefer consistancy.

Granted, there are pluses to only breeding snakes, ie. having a lot more free time and not so much stress, but then again, if you can't sell that one snake to buy food for a week, that's when you know you aren't where you should be, which is why I have never done so.

Snakes are a fantastic stress reliever, but also a source of stress. Its an odd conundrum of sorts, as doing shows, shipping animals, and dealing with customers isn't particularly a snake issue, but comes with the territory. THAT, my friends, is what is more difficult. This is not to say that my customers are not the most amazing people in the world, but as we all know, people in general can be a pain in the ass.

So, basically, I don't want to do this for a living. It would be cool, but I think I am good where I am at. I don't have a facility persay (a huge warehouse with tons of racks). I have a room in my home, where I go in and dissapear for hours on end. I would love to be able to expand a bit more, but for me and what I do, without any additional help, I am at the cusp of maximum capacity. I have over 200 snakes, and that alone takes a lot of work to keep up.

I wake up, go to work, come home, clean some snakes, make some phone calls, answer some e-mails, take some pictures, clean more snakes, ship a package, make dinner, answer some e-mails, do the blog, and go to bed.

That is my day to day. Feeding days are more complicated, of course, but there you go.

So I hope that helps you all out there understand what I do, and maybe help yourselves in what you plan to do or are doing already.

You CAN make it a full time thing, there is no doubt about it. If that is your dream, dream big and make it happen!

Have a great day, my friends.


rex said...

more or less how much do you spend for food for 200 snakes in a week? just curious :)

Heather Wong said...

I spend at least $200 a week, depending on what I pick up. I have a rat wholesaler I go thru, and that helps. I cannot IMAGINE doing rodents on top of the work I do for the snakes... (I do have rats, but only a tank to save babies)

Anonymous said...

If you day job got crazy and you had to downsize your colection down to 1 rack of 10 animals. What would you keep?