I’m sure you think much the same way that I did.. (and sometimes still do).
I’ll do this awesome work and ‘they’ are going to see it and offer me lots of money to do it for them.
Wait, isn’t that how it works? Aren’t my amazing skills obvious, of course ‘they’ want to hire me.
The things is, they never do.
Just think if you were in the hiring position. Do you have the time or inclination to go search the world for that perfect someone? You may understand the problems you need solved, but do you necessarily know how to find the right person to solve them? Many of us rely on agencies, friends recommendations, or simply go with someone you know.
But what would you do if someone sent you an email and managed to outline just the problem you were having and gave you a few suggestions about how to go about fixing it. You’d definitely flag that email. You might even get excited enough to hit reply then and there.
I’ve done this a few times, written that email with some ideas for a business. It works pretty well.. maybe 50% of time I get hired. I also have fun investigating something new and forming some creative solutions. It works.
Yet when I am stressed because no new work has come in for a few weeks.. what is the first thing I still sometimes do? Sit and day dream. Yep.. I start running through all of the previous work I’ve done, who I’ve worked for in the past, and how this time, I’m sure they are going to get in touch and offer me a fantastic project.
I used to also go the the job boards and start posting my CV/Resume all over the place hoping for a nibble. I’ve stopped doing that now, cold turkey and for good. There is nothing more demoralising then receiving email after email about jobs that you just don’t quite fit in to. Yet there is that tiny glimmer of hope every time the email comes in, that this is the ONE.
Are you thinking now I must be rubbish at what I do? Or that I don’t have any skills. Actually, you are totally allowed to think that. But my point is that this daydreaming and job application process is me shouting out very loudly
I swore I didn’t do this.. but it is sort of a human default, because it’s easy. It takes no effort to sit back and blame ‘them’ for not seeing your wonderfulness. We can even build up long narratives about why they can’t see our greatness. Maybe they don’t know how to run their business, or they don’t understand technology, or worse yet, they just can’t comprehend the value I bring.
But where in this line of b.s, (because that is what it is), have I shown ‘them’ that I provide value? Only in the dream scenario in my head it seems.
I mostly have changed. I recognise this line of thinking and try to shut it down before I begin to wallow in it. Was this an easy thing to do? Hell no.. And it didn’t change after the first attempt either. In fact I’m still working on it today, which is why I’m writing this post.
I’ve been wanting to supplement my income beyond the hustle I do every day. I sometimes do not have the energy to keep hunting down those new clients, and sometimes the new clients just aren’t ready to commit, even though I’ve just had a £1500 bill for my car. In short, I want to have options.
I’ve thought about doing the 9-5 again, but I value my freedom too much, and my 8 year old. I am willing to live through the lean months to be able to enjoy the benefits of working for myself. Yet, I realise that finding some way to connect to a wider audience is not only essential, but super easy, if you are willing to put some work in at the start.
The real kicker with this waiting and hoping is that sometimes a solution is staring you in the face but for whatever trumped up reason you refuse to see it. I could have kicked myself last week when something I complain about doing for my clients could actually be something I offer to them as an add-on. My complaining wasn’t about doing the work, it was more about why can’t they do it for themselves?? Duh, because many people can’t or won’t and would rather pay you. So watch this space as I’m developing a Mailchimp course. GDPR gave a lot of people a wake up call. Firstly of how to manage all of those emails they’ve collected correctly, but also, why have them if you aren’t going to use them?
And one final thought. Sometimes that spiral into doing nothing as you wait to be chosen provides a panic and a kick up the ass. This past winter when work felt like it was never going to get busy again I decide to rewrite some of my applications for clients. Making it cleaner and work better. What did this do? It created a little opportunity that on reflection was obvious. I created a free plugin for Woocommerce from the work I had already done. Crazily enough, that just turned into a job to expand it further… but that is a story for another day.