Article by Wendy McCance
For a few years now, I have been writing all about blogging, social media and my career as a writer. I have been happy to share tips and tricks and inside advice that many people don’t talk about. I have written about the best advice for bloggers, how to prospect for business, when it might be better not to work for a client and how to get those first jobs.
I have seen first hand what a rollercoaster of a ride starting your own business can be. You are constantly learning and tweaking your business to make it a competitive and a viable option for others. I have had some incredible highs and some disappointing lows. I have learned that some clients are going to be so obsessed with saving a few dollars that they will sink themselves when they choose a person who seems like a huge bargain. Quick note: spending under $100.00 per month to have all of your social media needs taken care of might sound like a dream come true, but when you are hunting down the social media person and end up doing the work yourself, it actually does you more of a disservice. You are taking precious time away from running your business. Your social media message ends up becoming a mess because of scattered posting dates and a lack of consistency in the voice.
Over the summer, I hit my stride and was getting more business than I had expected for the summer months. Things were going well until my health got in the way. I began juggling in a way I never thought I would, especially when I began working from a hospital bed. During this time, I had to turn down an opportunity to write for a local magazine. I just couldn’t take on the work required. I wasn’t in a place where I could spend time talking with a bunch of strangers on the phone and putting an article together. Sadly, this would have been a nice addition to the work I was doing and when I had to back out, the editor was not very understanding which really hurt at the time. Honestly, it still stings. I have a high work ethic, I will work seven days a week. I will work around the clock too, but I would have done a poor job on the assignment. I knew it would be better in the long run to back out ahead of time instead of trying to put together an article that would look thrown together. I never want to do work I can’t be proud of.
What I have learned is that I am good at fighting most odds but I still have a few triggers that will make me feel defeated. I can overlook naysayers and come out on top. I can fight through moments when money is an issue and pull off some great feats of income in a short amount of time. I can pick up information quickly and work on a tight deadline and still do a job that I am proud of. I can’t fight my health! It’s that trigger that can break me down and tear me apart.
When I started my writing career, it was because I had fibromyalgia and a traditional job where you have to put in a certain amount of hours each day no matter how you feel was too much. As a writer, I can take on a lot of work. I can work with tight deadlines. I can also take a quick nap if I am exhausted or stay up in the middle of the night if I had an off day. My work gets done, the end result is terrific and the best part is that I don’t have to push through a bad flare up. Because of the way I am able to work, my fibromyalgia has eased quite a bit. When you can listen to your own body and adjust accordingly, it’s amazing what you can do and how you will feel doing it.
That being said, the end of August began a new round of health issues. This time, I am seeing a cardiologist which frightens me. I have had problems breathing, chest pain and pain at the base of my ribs that wraps around to my back. A combination of fear and frustration has left me with tender feelings and I have cried more than I care to admit. I was on top of the world and whatever is going on with my health has stopped me in my tracks.
The reason I am bringing this up in great detail is because I have always shared what the journey is like for me working as an entrepreneur. I don’t think it would be fair to just highlight the best moments. If you are serious about striking out on your own, you need to know that there will be times where things are going incredibly well and then without any notice, you will hit the wall. It might not be a health issue, but things come up that aren’t expected and can throw you to the ground.
I have heard that there will be some failure before success and I can say that it’s true. It’s that rollercoaster ride I mentioned. The trick is to look at those bad times and realize just how close you are getting to the magic. If you can get through those times that really test your strength, you will surely see some amazing things unfold. I can’t say how long it will take you and I can say with certainty that you will go through some painful times, but if you love what you do, if you are passionate about it, it will all be worth it. I should also point out that no matter how much success you have, you will still fail along the way. It is the nature of the beast. Just because you see success doesn’t mean that’s it and you’ve made it. It takes constant upkeep like any relationship to keep things going well.
Right now, I have my long-term customers, but I have been shy to take on anyone new. My fear is that my health is currently unpredictable. I have no idea what I am dealing with. I don’t want to take on new business and then have it fall apart because of my health. I think it’s that experience with the magazine that has me feeling anxious. The woman in charge had a job to do and I made her life tough by backing out. It’s a feeling I don’t want to go through again. It was embarrassing because I don’t want to portray myself as weak. I want to only be seen as professional and polished. I know that in the scheme of things I am letting fear rule. I get that life is unpredictable and that I will have to toughen up and roll with the punches. More importantly, I realize there will never be a perfect moment to jump back in full force.
That being said, I have spent time quieting my head and slowing down. I have gone back to the basics and am walking the path I walked before slowly towards the spot where I left everything. I am reflecting on my writing and business as a whole and finding areas to tweak things along the way. It’s been a slow and painful process to get motivated again like I was at the end of the summer. Back then, I was moving quickly like a well-oiled machine. Fighting the fear of my health taking me down has been a constant battle, but one I am sick of fighting. I am determined to find a way to break through and not allow myself to feel like a victim of circumstance.
As you begin your own journey working for yourself, I would like to pass along some things I’ve learned.
1. There will be ups and downs, but you are strong and will get through it.
2. Even moments that seem to reveal the worst you will experience has hiding behind it some amazing times to come.
3. If you love what you do and you know it’s what you were meant to do with your life, you will fight like hell to hold onto it. You will find more fight in you than you thought possible.
4. When things feel out of control, stop. Reflect on where you are at and what your options are. Move forward with a plan and not just a knee jerk reaction.
5. If you had it all and lost it, you can get it back. You found your way once and it will be easier the second time around.
6. Working for yourself will give you an opportunity to find out how creative you are, how strong you can be and how much you are willing to fight for what you want.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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