I work with many clients, who are on the edge of jumping into the scary deep end of starting their own business, or have already jumped and are now trying to swim. They dreamed for years about doing this, dabbled a bit in it as a hobby, dipped a toe into it with the odd paid job. And then the moment arrived to walk through that door, and become the free, creative business owner they desire to be. 99% of my clients will recognise themselves in this description, and all the big feelings that come with it. “I will fail”, “I won’t make enough money”, “people will think I’m stupid”, “I should just stick with my old job`’. It is normal to have those feelings, but they are not helpful. How can you break through that first wobbly phase of business?
When everyone goes left, I go right. I don’t follow the masses, never have done. If people tell me that something has to be done in a certain way, I question it. When people put restrictions on me, I rebel. Freedom is my everything, and my creative mind leads the way. I choose uniqueness over acceptable. I don’t follow trends, I have never been a groupie, I do not idolise anyone. Most people want to fit in with what is socially acceptable, are afraid to stand out and be ridiculed. I am very comfortable with being unusual. I have never given it much thought until now, as it is not something I daily study. It is who I am. But I do know that there are more beautiful, weird and unique people amongst my readers and followers, who may need some encouragement to ‘come out’ and feel supported in their weirdness. Today I give you full permission to flaunt it.
“I want to be an artist when I grow up”. Did you say this as a child? What were the reactions from your family? Were they all for it? Or did they reply with something on the lines of:”That’s great, but you’ll be poor”, or “You’d better choose a proper career like law or engineering, because you’ll never make a living our of art”. Did you do it anyway? Or did you take their advice, got yourself a ‘proper job’, became miserable, and then went back to your original desire to be an artist later in life? Whatever your situation, those early messages about being a poor artist are likely the biggest reason why you are currently not making enough money, and why you are reading his post. Let’s explore this a bit more.
Last week I went back to being a tour guide on a bicycle in Valencia, after a break of two years. Tourists are back! I am planning to do one or two tours a week alongside being a business coach. Why? I strongly believe having multiple income streams is not a sign of business failure, but a conscious decision to create balance and joy in your life, and staying curious. Unless you are stacking shelves at the supermarket out of pure necessity and you hate it with a vengeance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a portfolio of jobs and businesses. In fact, having multiple income streams can really help you in a number of ways. Here’s why.
Some business coaches are all straight-talking money-focused 6-figure-earning gurus. Others grow their business in a more gentle, organic and authentic way. I fall in the last category. I am a go-getter, and a practical, solution-focused business owner, for sure, but at the same time, I am an empathic human and I believe there is more to life than just earning the cold hard cash. I have always been interested in spirituality, and I try daily to find ways to utilise my intuition to improve my work and private life. I practice Reiki. I always carry a rose quartz crystal. I am also great at helping clients with their marketing strategy. Yep. It’s all me. How about you? How ‘woo’ are you?
I recently had a strong urge to clean up my social media feeds, or to ‘curate my timeline’. Sometimes I can get quite sucked into certain topics, when I am fully committed to learn everything about something. I am a curious being. This could be to with my business, but also politics, health issues or how to be a better mother (yes, always trying!). But what you then get, is not only a lot of the same types of posts – and information – coming past, but also the algorithm kicking in, giving you even more of what you are clearly lapping up right now. This can have quite a negative impact on how you feel. How can you best improve this?
As business owner or creative freelancer, you are trying to attract clients, all the time. Some months that happens easily. Other months it’s like pulling teeth. I know it all too well! And sometimes, you are over the moon about attracting a client, only to feel utterly disappointed when they change their mind – or worse, you end up in a conflict. This morning a new copywriting client I recently booked, changed her mind. That doesn’t happen often. In fact, this was a first in a very long time. But this too, is part of running a business. And sometimes, these things are actually not a bad thing at all. Why? I will tell you in this story.
What will my ex-colleagues think of me when I post this on LinkedIn? What will my family say when they see me talk about my business on Facebook? What will my friends think of me when I do a Live video? Will they think I am showing off? “Who does she think she is?” Will they laugh at me? Will they talk behind my back? Do you recognise these feelings? Have you ever felt exposed, vulnerable, or not brave enough to post something, because you had the image of your sarcastic uncle John in your head, laughing at your business attempts? You are extraordinary. Start behaving like it.
We all get influenced by people in our lives, whether family, teachers, colleagues, writers, or even famous people. They may have taught us things, inspired us, were a great example, or made you realise what you wanted to become in life. I was very close to my Dutch grandma, or ‘super oma’ Fenny. On the 4th of July 2021, she would have been 100 years old. If there is anyone who taught me how to be resilient, positive and not take life too serious, it is her. She died 14 years ago. She was a natural at enjoying the little things and making the most of it, no matter what life throws at you.
Running a business is not easy. Whether you are offering online services and programmes, or you are a photographer or designer looking for clients, the competition is fierce, and it is not easy to constantly be seen by your ideal audience. Some days you wonder whether it is all worth it! I go through these wobbles too at times, like every self-employed person. I love my work, and I feel very driven to help other entrepreneurs succeed. But building a business takes time, practice and patience, and when you are a parent as well, life is full on. Today I am going to talk about the importance of doing the inner work.