Working for yourself is a little more complicated than it looks at first.
Once you’ve gotten used to the idea that you’ll be working at 5:30am and at 9pm, with random breaks, you suddenly realise that the pressure’s still there even though you don’t have a boss to nag or pressure you. It’s great – you get to do what you want and when you want it, but because suddenly you have to make it work, you end up doing a lot more than you originally intended to do. And that’s one of the interesting things you learn when you work for yourself – because you no longer have a boss to blame for the unrealistic pressure that’s being put on you – all of a sudden you realise that the pressure is all coming from yourself. And then you start wondering if the pressure wasn’t always just internal, and that leads to a long philosophical discussion with yourself that doesn’t really go anywhere, but can be entertaining to anyone watching!
I’ve got a weekly To Do list that I refresh each Monday. I go through and cross out the things that I’ve done, and carry-over the ones I haven’t done onto the new week’s list. Most of this week’s things have been rolling over for several weeks now. That’s not because I’m lazy –it’s mostly because I’m doing it all of the inbetween steps myself and figuring out how it all works as I go along. So putting up a post shouldn’t really take 5 hours, but it does when you’re troubleshooting affiliate links and social media marketing tags into the post at the same time. I’m fairly sure that it’ll all become more streamlined in time, as I learn how it works and as I set the processes, but it doesn’t stop me expecting myself to be able to do them quickly now. No, I’m not a hard taskmaster at all…
Part of my current business model is that I’ll try anything and everything to see which bits work best. I’m sure there are other (smarter?) ways to develop my niche, but they all sound a bit regimented and boring to me. So, in the interests of diversification, marketing and understanding the opportunities, I’ve signed up for our local school fete next weekend (eek!). I was about 12 the last time I was a stall-holder, and I didn’t exactly make my millions at the time. I have moments of blind panic, worrying that nobody will like or want what I have on the stall, or that I’ll forget something important, or that when I get there, I’ll realise that I should have made the other things instead. Many of my friends have done this before and know what they’re doing, how much they need to make, what to expect – and I expect myself to be up to their standard. To have everything prepared and in place, like a seasoned veteran. No, of course I haven’t got unrealistic expectations of myself that sound a little like my bosses of old (!)
So this week I decided to be a bit nicer to myself, to enjoy the process again (drooling over orgeous fabrics) and to take time out here and there to appreciate that I have more time with my family again and I’m doing something that I love.