Today I stumbled upon a letter I wrote, but never sent, to a friend of mine who recently made the plunge into self-employment
We had just had a conversation over a glass of wine celebrating her last day at her job.
She was so full of hope and excitement, but also fear for this new challenge in front of her. She wanted know what she would expect….
I can’t remember if I managed to answer that question in any kind of eloquent way, but it’s definitely one that stuck with me over the next week.
And I wrote this.
There are so many romantic ideas about going off on your own, taking the ‘path less traveled’, ‘following your passion’, or even my own minor version… ‘following your curiosities.’
In a vacuum … those things sounds amazing.
They sound brave.
They sound like the person I want to be.
But that’s not really the whole story…
It’s part to if. There are definitely wonderful things to learn and see in the world of working for yourself. There are days that are so gratifying.
And there are other days.
There are days you’ll miss the office. There are days you would do anything for a paycheque that comes every Friday with your name on it.
Because ‘the challenge’ of being self-employed/freelancing/a working artist is sometimes exhausting.
That same ‘challenge’ that energizes you some days, can wipe you out.
The lack of stability will own you. The constant hustling will drain your creativity. And you will find yourself panicked, wondering how you ever came to chose this life.
Sounds fun right?
It will happen, in some form or another. And so here are three things you should do when that inevitable soul sucking moment comes:
1. Don’t quit (at least not yet)
I have no problem with quitting, but don’t do it when you’re in this place. Take that decision off the table right now and leave if for a day when things are a little more balanced.
2. Remember who you are and why you did this
I think you should always have a little note written down somewhere that says:
- who you are
- what you offer the world
- why you’re doing what you’re doing
Write it when you feel great. Read it when you’re not.
3. Go to bed
Some days are hard. The weight of balancing a million things without a safety net can feel like too much.
You don’t have to fix it today.
Go to sleep. Watch a movie. Take a walk.
Try again tomorrow.
Self-employment is one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve ever worked on. It humbles me daily. It defeats me every week.
I love it and I hate it.
Welcome to the challenge. I hope you have a blast.
Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?
Financial Planner/Opera Singer
Money never came naturally to me. In fact… I was a bit of a disaster. I remember (very clearly) what it feels like to be ‘financially out of control’.
And honestly, I still get stressed about money… that doesn’t stop… the difference is that now I have the tools to deal with that stress.
And those tools are what’s made it possible for me to build a life full of the things I want: art, creativity, travel, family and more.