You want to know something? The best time for your freelance business is when it all blows up. Screw comfortable. That’s not where the action resides.
The hair on the back of my neck is standing up. My jaw is clenched. My wrists are on fire from typing. The cup of tea and slice of toast I ate is sliding precariously on a wave of nausea.
My standard safety net has abandoned me and my twitching eye stands as a stark reminder of the stress I am under. There’s a copper leak as I suck too hard on the side of my mouth as I write this.
But I’ll be damned if I’ll give up.
Because the best times are the times when stress is a taut little wire. It is when complacency has abandoned me.
You see, freelance business is so much easier when things blow up. Or that the urgency and danger is present. Get some tension happening and see why.
It’s the big game
Having misplaced my cushion against the rising tide of freelance business misfortune, there is part of me that wishes to climb into the arse groove on the couch. I am tempted to buy something cheap and strong, and delicately wade into the comfort of shameless inebriation.
But the coward is over-powered by wise-cracking brain ship’s captain. Thoughts of booze are tossed to the corner with a loud crash. It’s time to put on the boots, stand looking at the storm, and look for the vaguest signs of port in an otherwise murky storm.
I pick the simplest thing I know how to do on my ‘get busy’ list. And I do it.
And I do the next simplest thing. Rinse, repeat, more of the same.
I keep picking these tiny threads and keep on pulling.
Pretty soon, the desire to drink and disappear is replaced with the determination to beat the stuffing out of the challenge ahead.
It’s a slow and slippery climb, and sometimes it seems a far shorter way to dashing rocks than it ever is to shore.
But I’ll be damned if I focus on the raging sea over the light ahead.
The flies in the ointment of the anti-stress movement
There is nothing more beautiful and nothing more applauded than the reluctant hero who faces the challenge, gets scratched to hell, and ends up winning the day.
It is who we are.
As we grapple against existence. As we fight for our career, family or for social justice. It is those moments when it feels like a tonne of bricks is on order, waiting to fall on us from on high at any moment, that we can truly dog deep and discover ourselves.
Stress, anger, agitation, the failure to comply, the failure to accept your lot- these are the fuels of our champions and our heroes. They are the cornerstones of our own ability to overcome.
They are our wake up calls and action plans. They are the lessons we learn that stand the test of time.
We may definitely need to re-organise our priorities. No doubt we could all lose several hours of the time we devote to social media, television or our secret sins and vices. There isn’t a person alive who does not see the glorification of busyness as a fundamental flaw.
But stress is not our enemy
Stress is our driver. It drags us out from under the doona and back into the real world so we can act. It tells us when we are reaching a danger point but keeps enticing us to try. It is the burn of our stretching mind as we challenge ourselves and accomplish a new feat.
It is stress, friction and the hard times that get us focussing on the stuff that matters. It motivates you to apply hard work without seeking congratulation. It is the action without the applause.
The trick is using it to your advantage as opposed to letting it overwhelm you. Ditch the bad stress for stuff that is useful in helping shape your freelance business.
Take your lumps and use them as things to stand on as you climb. And be satisfied that no matter the outcome, you gave it a decent shot.
You owe it to your freelance business to give it a red hot go, right?
Garage businesses and pain point solutions
Consider the amount of business success stories began in garages and lounge rooms. Now look at them in terms of the amount of pain their existence relieves for the customer. There is a connection between putting the pressure on and creating products customers love.
Under fire, we invent. We come up with innovative ideas. We stop thinking about luxury items such as wealth, fame and the ability to have a pleasant Instagram. There is no time for making pretty quotes by some long dead but apparently inspiring person when you are too busy inspiring yourself through action.
Instead, things are real because they are on incredibly real terms. The challenges are large and looming and require proper attention.
We think in terms of rent and meals and getting out alive. Screw the pretty and the ‘nice to have’ and let the necessary lead the way. Think about how to break down the blockage in our way. Don’t just do what the competitor is doing. Do it better. Be leaner. Faster.
Or don’t do it at all and do something clever.
Make the current alternative look small minded and archaic by comparison.
Your freelance business needs a push instead of being comfortably plodding along.
Forget the ‘do what you love’ mantra
Do what makes you into a ravenous, courageous and determined human being. Do the thing that makes you get up in the morning that feels like there is stretch and burn in the grey matter.
Set targets even though you don’t know how the hell you will get to them.
Believe in the idea enough that you know the medicine you are supplying is something others will eventually crave.
And don’t be afraid to take action when your freelance business blows up. Because sometimes, that’s exactly the kind of shock you need to discover the better way.
Need help averting your freelance business blow up? Come get some freelance advice & coaching now.
And don’t forget to pop by the Freelance Jungle.