When I finished work and moved I had a vague plan to try to earn some money from blogging and writing; and supplement that with part-time work (ideally something mindless or unrelated to my previous life).
So… after moving I registered a business name, so I could invoice clients and claim expenses and so forth. But at some point between December last year and early this year, I seem to have (almost unconsciously) decided that I had to focus on making money from my ‘business’. And… as a result, I’ve felt like an abject failure.
I’m not good at ‘touting’ for business or clients.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m an excellent schmoozer and networker, but I’m bad at the hard-sell.
I hate the notion of ‘asking’ for stuff; even if I’m the one with something to offer. In my little mind, approaching clients for business is like asking for a favour. It reeks of desperation. It feels ‘needy’.
Even worse, it feels like forcing something on others which they may not want.
I told Karen that I actually hoped that I got an okay part-time job soon so I could drop the whole ‘having my own business’ thing and just do a bit of paid and sponsored blogging.
It’s not like I don’t have business ideas. I have a heap. I look at certain local companies and think how they’d benefit from using social media, or the fact that they need someone to update their websites or blogs or edit their magazines or newsletters. I would love to be paid to write blog posts for the local newspaper. But… I balk at the notion of approaching ANYONE suggesting that I could indeed save them from themselves or how much they’d benefit from my help.
Karen was effusive about my ideas and we discussed my struggle to pursue them.
“I’m not sure what it is,” I told her.
We talked about my fear of failure, or of rejection. We talked about my fear of success. We also talked about my concern at selling myself as THE BEST person do be doing the task at hand.
“I can’t tell people they should use me cos, what if I’m not the best,” I said to Karen. I’d feel bad if I was short-changing a client. “What if there are people better?”
“Are there?” she asked me.
I had to admit that I wasn’t sure. I’m in a small town, the talent pool is kinda limited. I’m not directly comparing myself to anyone in particular. (And my dad’s voice echoes in my head, reminding me that – no matter how good we are, there will ALWAYS eventually be someone better.)
Karen suggested that – even if there were others who could do (whatever it was I’m saying I can do) better – if I’m the one with the idea/s, surely that’s all that matters.
This being-in-business business (even to the extent I am; which is ‘sort-of’) is a whole new world. I told Karen I didn’t really suffer the same dilemma when employed by others. In those cases, a company identifies a need; I (and others) apply; and if I get the job it’s because OTHERS think that I’m best candidate. It’s not just my word!
Which brought us back to a whole new (but recurring) subject and issue – the fact that many of us (myself most definitely included) rely on others/external sources for validation. *Sigh*
Do you ever have similar struggles: putting yourself forward for something which (you worry) others could possibly do better?