As I am typing this post, I am crying. In fact, I have been crying for about three hours.
You see, earlier this week I was thinking about pulling my shingle and going to work for someone else. I have been in business for exactly one year. It has been going well, I mean I have enough to pay my bills, and I have some long-term clients. I am not struggling to pay debts or meet payroll. So, all in all, I have it pretty good. I really can’t complain.
I am doing all the decidedly unsexy behind the scenes work of blogging, taking classes, connecting people, and fiercely consuming literature and business advice. However, I still had the thought that maybe I am playing house, or that I just got lucky a few times. Even after all the extracurricular activity, I still have some holes in my schedule. The work I have is not where I would like it to be.
Instead of wallowing in sadness that I did not have enough work, I took action. I put a call out on every network I have, including the freelance sites I use. Then I hopped a plane to Las Vegas to support my fiance and his business partner peddle their wares at a convention.
All the sudden, the messages started to come in. We need some emergency research and haven’t found the right person for the job, are you available? Can you do this press release for the grant we received? We have a partnership opportunity for you, are you interested in our product? And, then the call today… we have all the players in place for the three million dollar grant we would like you to write – make it so.
So here I am sitting in front of a slot machine in the middle of a casino in Las Vegas, crying like an idiot. Three days ago I was wondering if I should throw in the towel – that it might be easier to have a guaranteed paycheck. But I was crazy to think I could walk away from this thing I love. Helping clients find success is the thing that keeps me up at night – for all the right reasons. My days are filled with amazing clients that take me from memoir writing to affordable housing policy in the DC metro area.
Now, this week I get to provide research for a respected colleague and friend, write a press release for the people who provide me a wonderful space to work – and to top it off, write a grant to help connect four entities with a public school district to get healthy food in front of children.
So the moral of the story? Fear is a good thing. Fear causes you to make every opportunity count. Fear keeps you knocking at every door. Moments of doubt are inevitable. If you are doing work that scares the hell out of you, KEEP PUSHING FORWARD. And before you count yourself out, I urge you to go all in. What have you got to lose?