antidote to worrying
Your humble narrator delivers sage advice to your doorstep:
Seems simple enough, eh? Yet much harder to do in practice.
While this sounds like your typical rah-rah advice, lemme explain why it’s not:
Whether you’re a freelancer, have your own business, or want to work for yourself somewhen, worrying can kill your dreams in a jiffy.
And while this phenomenon haunts freelancers like the plague, mesuspects it also haunts business owners just the same.
Here’s what I mean:
When I first started freelancing, taking time off petrified me.
I thought one of my clients would call me non-stop because an email automation stopped working. Or I’d insert the wrong link into an email, crucifying any sales. Or that they’d just get bored and wanna talk to me right now.
I see many freelancers and business owners make this mistake too.
You think all hell breaks loose if you take a day—or even a half day—off. All your clients will fire you and all your customers will ask for refunds. So instead, you grind every single day for 8, 10, 12 hour days.
But this is a lie:
9.9 times outta 10, your clients (or customers) won’t care if you take a day off. Heck, they won’t even care if you take a whole week off in most cases.
Most freelancers (and many business owners) I know started their business because they wanted more freedom. They didn’t want a boss tellin’ them what to do or controlling their life.
But most of the time?
Freelancers exchange one boss for many bosses (aka their clients). And biz owners exchange one boss for hundreds, and even thousands, of little bosses (aka their customers). One of my good friends, God bless his soul, also has this problem. In his 2+ year career working in the financial industry (as an employee), he’s only taken one half-day off. And he only did that because I made him.
Here’s the quick story:
We went to the Steelers-Browns game. It was Ben’s last game, and I’m a Steelers fan, and he’s a Browns fan. (Yes, I enjoy watching sports… told you I’m not a guru.)
And even though he took a half day, he had business calls the entire hour-long drive from our town into Pittsburgh.
It was annoying because obv there was no convo between us (and I couldn’t even listen to music).
But it made me feel sad for him. It reminded me of myself when I first started freelancing. And it reminded me of a common freelancer and business owner “trope” — becoming a slave to your business.
Methinks worrying is the root cause of this problem. But I’m not sure why it’s such a rampant problem. Nor do I have the answer. (Sorry bucko…)
But I can tell you what I did to get rid of this feeling:
Now, I still worry about certain clients, projects, etc. I try my best to stay as calm and collected as possible, but I’m not perfect.
A few emails ago, I told you about all the cool places my girl and I have been to over the past couple years. When I’m traveling for short periods of time, I want to do the least amount of work possible.
It helps me reset. And it also helps keep my worrying to a minimum, counterintuitive as it sounds.
But back when I started?
There was a good 9-month period (give or take) where I worked every day. I wouldn’t take a break. I didn’t leave my house except to go to the gym. And if I kept that schedule up, I probably would’ve quit freelancing years ago.
When I realized I was enslaving myself to my business… I made a simple, yet at the time, radical decision:
I booked an Airbnb in West Virginia on a Monday and hiked all day.
In other words, I forced myself to take a break from my work during the week.
And it caused quite a profound change:
I started to feel okay with resting. It taught me that most of my worries are ass-backwards and flat-out lies (something I’ve been suspicious of since worrying about tests in grade school).
And this one-day “vacation” (if you can even call it that), opened up a world of possibilities.
Since then, I’ve traveled further and gone longer without working. I’ll even take a random day off in the middle of the week if I’m not in the mood, which isn’t often, but it does happen.
And I still have never missed a client deadline.
Maybe this helps, maybe not.
But worrying never served no purpose. If you hear it creep into your psyche, take a couple of deep breaths and try to focus on something else. If you’re anything like me—and I suspect you are—none of your worries ever come true anyway.
Sum food for thought.
Alright, before I ramble on any longer, let me wrap this ditty up:
Have a proven offer?
Wanna feel “okay” with taking time off (without sacrificing your income)?
Book a call and let’s chat. If we’re a good fit, you just might *never* have to worry about email marketing again — while making more from your emails than you ever dreamed possible.