You’re not allowed to be discouraged as an entrepreneur, freelancer, contractor, soloprenuer, artist, creative professional, or crafter.
I mean, of course, you can feel any way that you choose to. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this life that we have is the one that we chose, and we best warm up to the uncertainty, the ups, the downs, the self-doubt, the confidence rebounds, and sometimes the loneliness of it all.
This is the life we chose; The road less traveled, and more ruminated upon.
Depending on how you structure it, money might roll in but once a month, reinforcing a feast-or-famine cycle. Maybe money is purely dependent on a sale or commission. Taking endless in-person meetings that eat up your time and energy may dissolve into fruitless ventures, where you feel like you may have given too much of your expertise up for free without sealing the proverbial deal. Stacking up complimentary “head-sesh” calls or meetings that turn into unpaid brain-pickings can be infuriating. Giving your time and energy to individuals that find reasons not to hire you despite the value that you offer freely can be heartbreaking.
But don’t get discouraged.
We chose the route of independence, drawing upon our strengths to see us through the dry times and to help us push forward on our entrepreneurial journey. We chose the path of seeking out prospective clients who would be a match to the product or services that we offer. We signed up for the uncertainty of how being a contractual employee, with all its unsung freedoms, would fare against the stability of a steady 9-to-5.
At times, our choice is profoundly liberating. But sometimes it can become a prison of our own making.
Being solely responsible for the financial health of our own organization can be a huge wake-up call. Having to create and sustain the stability of our own project is tedious, but feels right. At the end of the day, we determine how we chart our own waters. We look into our hearts as a compass, not a corporate mission statement thrown into an employee handbook.
We can’t get discouraged when we have the possibility of anything ahead of us.
Sometimes our market feels saturated, heavy with the weight of a thousand “one-foot-out-the-door” start-ups that are still nursing off of their day job before taking our own independent stance. Don’t rain scorn on how others pursue their path; This road ultimately leads to the same place of self-awareness and fulfillment, one way or another.
Don’t be discouraged if other people have a steady direct deposit or “back-up” plan; Their choice and path is not your own.
We all believe that what we do is unique and different from others in our niche. And that’s true! No one can do what we do the way that we do it. That’s what makes our product or services stand apart, even if we share the same SEO keywords as another person in our field.
We can’t get discouraged by the humble brags or blatant brags of those in our industry. Their mirrors don’t clearly reflect who we are or how we see ourselves in our business. The point is to spend time reflecting on the skills, values, and talents that we individually bring to the table before creating the path that makes sense, financially and otherwise.
When you make the decision to pursue the independent path, you can’t work against yourself. You must trust in your capabilities and know that discouragement is an energy drain, depleting you of what you need to find greater opportunities.
If you made the commitment to being an independent worker, allow yourself room to grow. Feelings of inadequacy and discouragement might stifle your process; My recommendation is to resign yourself to bounce back quickly. The urgency of money will be there but I suggest that you instead focus on your individual purpose in pursuing your creative path.