When you're first starting out in business, there are a lot of really hard lessons to learn. I don't think we ever really stop learning the hard lessons, but once we tackle this BIG ONE, I think they all get easier.
So what's the hardest lesson?
Pulling from personal experience in addition to the dozens of bloggers, freelancers, shop owners, etc. I've asked, it's a deceptively easy-to-digest-concept: patience.
I've been in business for myself in some capacity for 5 years, but only this last year have I gone full time with my hustle. And in that time, I've learned something vastly important:
Patience is absolutely the hardest lesson I've had to learn in life, but especially business.
There have been countless moments where I've wanted or dreamed of something that just honestly didn't happen.
I think the problem (at least in my own case) is we are constantly seeing the beautiful and perfectly developed brands, businesses, blogs, etc. that seem to have everything we want. And you're probably guilty, like I definitely am, of comparing your middle to their end.
We see someone else having to turn clients away and think that we are doing something wrong. Maybe our work isn't good enough or maybe we aren't marketing enough or maybe our pricing is too high, etc.
We see other babes in business grouping up and making friends and promoting each-other's work and going to meet-ups together and working on collabs, etc. And we are sitting here struggling to get our feet in ANY doors and feeling honestly a bit jealous that we aren't a part of their groups.
We see blogs have thousands of daily viewers, Instagrams cross over into the 10k+ mark, classes and workshops selling out in seconds, etc. The list keeps going. So it's no wonder we feel like we need to be doing all of that and more RIGHT NOW.
And this is where patience comes in.
Patience is learning to be gentle with yourself in the here and now. You're doing the best you can and all of these things take time. A lot of time. It's not a matter of hustling harder or anything like that. It all boils down to giving yourself the time needed and learning to enjoy the process more and worrying about the end less.
I've started being a little more gentle with myself. "Zie, you just graduated college, you just started freelancing full time. You are doing so awesome."
This year, I've won regional, district and national gold ADDY awards. I've been published in Graphis, I've booked clients that paid my bills. I've cultivated so many fabulous relationships with other bloggers, business owners and creatives. My numbers are slowly going up, but more importantly engagement is going up. I'm cultivating genuine relationships with my readers.
I've been interviewed quite a few times and I spoke at my first conference this year.
I'm not saying all of this to just toot my own horn but to say that these are some really rad things I've been working hard for. I've worked hard, kept focused and strived for patience.
I'm not anywhere near my end goal, but that's ok.
And that's what's most important for us all to take away from this today. We may not be where we eventually dream of being, but we are working towards it and that's just fine.
So I want you to take some time and write down all of the awesome things you've done. It could be things this month, this year or however long. Write it all down and keep it close.
And then every time that little green monster pops up and you start feeling the anxiety creep in, I want you to pull that list out, add to it or just reread it as many times as you need to let it sink in.
And in the comments below, I want you to list at least one thing that you are really proud of yourself for! Ready, set, GO!