One of the things that a lot of small business-focused websites never talk about is how scary it is to leave the working world as an employee and start your own business. I’m telling you this from personal experience: it’s absolutely terrifying.
- I’m scared that I won’t be able to find clients.
- I’m scared that I’ll fail.
- I’m scared that I’ll grow old, and poor.
With all the marketing know-how that I have, with all the connections I’ve made over decades, with all the work experience I’ve gained, it just goes to show you that I’m still scared. I still have fears that are totally irrational, even though I have the expertise to prevent these things from happening.
So, whenever I get a client who’s scared, I can tell them with full honesty that they’re not alone. Even the experts are scared. Even your accountant is scared. Even your life coach is scared.
We’re all scared because going into business means having to deal with a lot of unexpected events, and irregularities. We’re scared because we know that it can take a while to get going, and even when you’re established, everything still comes down to your choices and actions. That’s a lot of responsibility to bear, and it’s not for everyone.
One of the things I frequently experience is a sense of panic where I feel like I have to work 18 hour days to get things done. I think a lot of freelancers feel that way. I’m not in this to get rich, but I am definitely in this to make a liveable income. It’s just easy to lose perspective of the amount of time it takes for things to work. And I know that if I don’t practice that for myself, I’ll never be able to help my clients manage their expectations.
The most frustrating thing in a service business like mine is that I want to help so badly. After 25 years in the tech industry, after working for other people, I feel like I have a gigantic wealth of knowledge that needs to be shared with people, and I want to share it all as soon as possible! Because the truth is, if we “little guys” don’t get our act together, the big corporations will just keep taking advantage of us.
I feel like I’m at this odd place in my life where the only thing that matters to me now is to give all the ‘newbies’ as much help as possible. I want to see people succeed. I want to encourage them. And the last thing I want to do is make it “look” like I’m helping them.
That’s the thing that makes me sick about this new profession I’m in – there’s so much bullshit in marketing. In fact, I’d say that most of the websites out there that profess to help people are just using psychological tactics to get you to buy more, whether they’re courses, e-books, or services. I’ve read far too many articles that actually said nothing useful; it’s a waste of time. And yet, it works.
When you’re a new business owner in the marketing service industry, at some point, you’ve gotta make a choice in terms of how you want to ‘play the game’. You can find a countless number of ‘mentors’ that will teach you how to create “lead magnets” and convert them into sales. In their eyes, you’re not a customer or a client. You’re a “lead”. You have a dollar sign attached to you before they even know your name.
I don’t trust any of those people, and I don’t want to be like them. I have no interest in that kind of marketing. And if you want me to teach you that stuff, then you’re probably looking for a different kind of mentor. Instead, I’d rather teach you how to get to know yourself so you can actually connect with people online, and make long-lasting relationships that will help you grow over the long-term. I’d rather help you navigate this world in a way that helps you sleep better at night. This way, we both ‘go home’ happy.