Trust Falls, Saying No & the Truth Behind Shiny Exteriors
How's 2017 going so far? Mine got off to a crazy, hectic start (all of which was apparently predicted in the stars if I had bothered to read my horoscope - but I didn't.) The craziness was mostly due to my internet unexpectedly going on vacation (without any advanced notice). Leaving me with multiple requests from potential clients, 1/2 dozen scheduled meetings, zero WiFi and a quickly unravelling sanity. Holiday hours + kids home on break meant a forced tech cleanse for almost 3 days!!!
I survived. Because entrepreneurship is constantly challenging my flexibility and adaptability. And ever-so-slowly I'm learning the art of going-with-the-flow. It's a #workinprogress really.
But my downtime naturally led to the ever cliched but unavoidable year-end reflections and future planning that we ALL OBSESS over when the calendar year flips.
I'm not going to plague you with all my ponderings. By now I assume you've read your fill of those posts. But I did want to share a few kernels of truth that popped up for me.
Last year I managed to double my gross income.
That sounds super impressive, doesn't it? If I was your average biz blogger babe I'd leave it there so you'd be in awe of my accomplishment. Or I'd drone on and on about how I did it. Though not in any sort of way that you could repeat it. Aren't you glad this isn't your average blog?
So, yeah, last year I doubled my gross income. Which I AM super proud of. BUT #realtalk I invested every single cent back into running this business or myself by taking courses and attending conferences. Which means I paid myself - like nothing. I started this year with some credit card debt (nothing massive) and basically, I'm still broke.
You see, always know when people talk up their massive growth or big numbers - you RARELY ever hear the whole story. Cut yourself some slack my friend, you're doing just fine.
So last year I did a better job of bringing in business & also spending $ investing in growing myself and this business. No regrets. Growth is almost always a little uncomfortable in my experience.
Here's something else people may or may not talk about very much. Or they gloss over it, like it's soooo easy. When you need the money you're tempted to take any work that comes your way. Like, "Oh thank you, stranger, from the land of the interwebs who has happened to decide to work with me!! I am so grateful for your business!" It doesn't matter if we're a good fit or not. It doesn't matter if a thousand red flags slap me across the face because...bills.
Even when I'm in debt and feeling oh so desperate for those dollars, I still say no to people who ask to work with me.
Yep, you read that right. Yep, I may, in fact, be crazy. But here's what I know...
When I say no it's for a reason (usually they're not ready to hire a copywriter yet because they haven't figured out what they're selling or who they're selling to. And I NEVER want someone to spend money on me 'til they're ready). I created those very good reasons for saying no at a time when I was feeling less desperate precisely so I wouldn't have to agonise over every individual situation when it arose.
Saying no is SCARY, especially when you need the money and you've got bills to pay.
Saying yes when you should have said no will always lead to regret, resentment and work you're not 100% proud of.
Saying no to the wrong client (or the right client who isn't ready) will leave the door open for the right client who IS ready.
When you work with your ideal cleints you do your best work.
Saying no when it doesn't feel right is terrifying. Just as terrifying as someone saying no to you (which also still happens to me btw). You feel like you NEED TO WORK NOW. You feel like the next client will never show up.
Please believe me. I get it. I've been there. Maybe this is a lesson we all have to learn the hard way before we figure it out.
Saying no. Waiting for your ideal client to come is like this massive trust exercise with the universe. And trust can be so hard (another lesson from 2016 - trust & I have some unresolved issues #workinprogress).
But you have 2 choices. Cling to the fear with white knuckled insecurity and agree to work with anyone, ultimately inviting even more stress and negativity into your world.
Or take a big deep breath. So deep you quiet the butterflies just for a moment. Fling your arms wide...and let go. Fall back. Trust your instincts. Remember what it feels like when everything clicks and the work is good. Don't settle. When you agree to take on someone who doesn't feel right you're also preventing them from finding their ideal work partner.
And while you're waiting...never stop. Keep showing up to your business. Keep marketing. Keep taking action. Keep proving to yourself and the universe that you're ready for the ideal client to walk in your digital door. Shiny Shiney how do you spell it? The shiney light
Keep hustlin' with heart.