I don’t know about you, but I get asked about the business in a way that the person asking is skeptical that I am stable.
To me, it’s a bit funny that they ask this because I’ve been in business since 2010 and often times this person I’m talking to has had multiple jobs with multiple companies over the same period of time.
The best analogy of my point of view came by way of Troy Dean when he joined me as a co-host on Live In The Feast.
He said that he’s a terrible passenger. If he’s on the bus, he wants to his hands on the wheel. I love this because I feel the very same way. I want to be in control of my life. I wasn’t someone who enjoyed school very much and being shuffled from class to class by a ringing bell. I felt like I was one of Pavlov’s dogs where they ring the bell and I come running for the treat.
With that though comes great responsibility. When it was just me, I had bills and rent to pay but that was about it. Now with a family, I have other mouths to feed and other lives to support and nurture.
It requires some sacrifice for sure. Sometimes it’s an early morning wake up call, or a late night launch. But that’s the nature of the business.
So when someone asks me “how’s business” and then proceeds to look at me like a poor soul who’s struggling to make it, I often think to myself.
I feel for this person who’s been put in a box, whether by their own parents, society, schooling, whatever happened that they are trying to put me in a box.
I think about how grateful I am to have the ability to generate my own income and how empowering that is for myself, my family, and our future.
I usually smile and I certainly don’t diminish what I do.
What I mean by that is when I first started my business, I used to internalize this view that they were in better position than I. I would then vocalize something to diminish my accomplishments by saying something like “it’s tough, but it is what it is” or “business is good but could be better of course.”
Now when I think about how their situation is when they ask me about mine, I smile and think about how they’ve switched jobs 3 times in the last 9 years, commute to the city on the train or drive 45 minutes one-way to get to work, and I think about how they are lucky to get a 3% raise every year.
I’m in control of all those things that I hate about those boxes.
After I share how awesome things are, I often will ask the same question back to them which is the fun part.
Whereas many of my conversations with my friends and colleagues who run businesses love to chat about shop, those working full-time will often complain. I’ll hear about how their commute sucks, that they switched jobs because the company merged, that they are dealing with an idiot boss, and so on.
The next time someone asks you “how business is going?” smile and think about how you are driving the bus to your own destination and how many stops they have to hit before they get to theirs.
Embrace your accomplishments, not everyone in the world is built like you. Don’t let family, friends, a random person at a party put you in a box they have made for you. Who knows, they may be someone you hire some day.
If you got some value from this episode and the show over the past year, how about starting the new year off by providing an honest review in iTunes.
I do read each and every single one and it helps to hear your voice to know that what I’m doing is helpful to you.
More episodes in this topic:
Do you struggle with work, family, sick kids, etc?
How to work from home effectively?
How does the house run with 2 stay at home, freelancing parents?
Isn’t it hard to have self-discipline when you work at home?
What did your parents/partner say when you told them you wanted to freelance?
How to freelance when you are depressed?
How did you do it?
How did you find/determine your niche?
What is the best thing about being a freelancer?
What has been the biggest challenge in your business so far?
Do you have a tip to get over thinking I don’t know enough?
What is your mantra or personal manifesto?
How do you make time for your side projects?
How do I go from self-doubt to being confident?
What do you want for your birthday?
What is your favorite quote?
How do you stop comparing yourself to someone else?
How is parenting as a freelancer?
How is business going?
Why I didn't set goals for 2019?
One year in, what's the next 5 look like?
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S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach