February 14, 2017 / Leave a Comment
This has to be the most frequent question I get asked. Do I ever feel like quitting my digital business? Do I have doubts? Do I ever feel down?
And of course, the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, it happens quite often.
While it´s true that I enjoy being an entrepreneur, I admit that I am more of a creative soul. I love cooking up new projects, thinking of new books to write, learning how to take better photos.
I do not enjoy administrative work, balancing checkbooks or dealing with cash flow issues.
Of course I try to hire people who are better than I am at all of those things, but sometimes I do have to face situations and moments that I´d rather not!
On a good month, when the bank account is in the black and my inbox is rife with interesting and fun business proposals, I feel empowered, joyful, ready to take on the world.
But when a client´s payment is delayed and I still have to pay my team at Viva Fifty Media, when the answers to proposals aren´t coming in fast enough, when I read a nasty comment on social media … yes, I feel like quitting.
I take pride in the fact that I´ve been self-employed all my life, that´s almost four decades of hustling for myself, by choice. I´m allergic to jobs – I´ve been that way every since I started working part-time at the young age of 15 and full-time at 18.
And yet, on a bad day, the kind that all creatives and entrepreneurs have from time to time, I will burst out sobbing, and tell my husband: “Maybe I should get a job!!!!”
Of course we both know that I am not job material, although I may even go so far as to do a job-search on the Internet. That´s why, sometimes, my friends and peers get leads from me! While I rhetorically job-hunt for myself, I find interesting positions for people who are better suited for that kind of work environment.
I prefer the possibility of “the sky´s the limit” on a daily basis than the supposed security of a job that always pays the same amount of money every month. Yes, even when it means that there are times when I gotta pull out those credit cards to make ends meet.
So here´s the thing. I´ve been doing the self-employed dance for such a long time that I know that, just like PMS, the I-want-to-quit feeling also passes.
Feeling overwhelmed, down, doubtful, is just as normal and to be expected as feeling proud, joyful and filled with inspiration, when you are running your own business or pursuing creative endeavors.
I´ve simply learned to ride out the waves of desperation and enjoy the calm after those storms.
In case it helps, what I do when I feel like throwing my laptop against the wall, checking out of social media forever, or getting a “real job,” is:
- Talk it out with my husband. Fortunately for me, he is just as neurotic as I am, so he gets me. He reminds me of how happy I was just two days ago or how I will feel revitalized when the next check comes in or my book agent writes back!
- Drop everything and take the day off. Or at least, a few hours. I don´t announce it on social media. I don´t go on angry rants. I quietly retire into my cocoon and surely enough a day or two later, I´m all excited and energized, all over again.
- Do something really nice for myself, like a massage, go to the beach (I know, I´m lucky that I live close to it!), do my hair, take a nap or read a good book.
- Write down all the things that are good in my life. This is a constant for me. I keep an ongoing gratitude list and rereading it makes me feel wonderful.
- Throw myself into some kind of physical activity. I used to run and dance. Now I practice yoga. It doesn´t matter what kind of fitness routine, it always helps me feel better. Now I also meditate, something I never thought myself capable of doing.
At some point in life I made peace with the rollercoaster of emotions that come with being creative and now, running a digital business. So, yes, I feel like quitting, relatively often. But I never do. That´s how I keep moving forward.