I’m always in my own head. When I’m awake, asleep, whatever. I’m always pondering over something or the other, asking questions. Why did that happen? Why did he do this? What should I have done differently? This mistake I made hurts so much, how would things have turned out if I had taken a different decision? The questions are endless. They are with in the car, they are with me at my desk. They are hovering around in my sleep, haunting me.
Usually, I find an issue to worry about per time, thinking and overthinking it. A lot of times, each matter gives way to another and other times, I draw lessons from them.
As a Creative Entrepreneur who never set out to be one, I started 2017 wondering what I was doing and how I was going to do it. I took the plunge anyway and I would like to share some of my most personal experiences and possibly encourage someone.
- It’s never about your age. Do it now. For the longest time in my life, I had the habit of admiring people, who did well and would tell myself, when I get to that age, I would achieve it and more. Unfortunately that habit lingered so much with me that decades later, I discovered that all the people that , in fact achieved those things I sought and I had to defer to or learn from, were younger than me. It has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I cant count how many things I had cheated myself out of, with that limiting mindset. Moral of the story. Get cracking now, age really is nothing but a number.
- Think like a businessman.
Coming out of a career where I had to shelve a lot of my personal shenanigans and gifts to get work done, I was more than excited to make my passion, my profit.
I would charge peanuts or what I thought was convenient for each prospective Client even if it meant it barely covered my overheads. When it was time for me to do the heavy lifting and pay some bills, I would stutter. I was thinking like an employee and my charges were like someone else was handling the overheads. I needed to think bigger as the CEO of business entity. Trust me, I learn more about this daily.
I'll spare you the details but you get the picture. Learn to assess your worth and charge accurately adding tax (this is a whole article on its own. Not everyone will be worth your time, skills and expertise unfortunately. You’re in business to make money after all.
- Things will never change if your money habits never change.
I thought things would be different when I worked for myself, I took my 9-5 money habits into my new business, same results. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was the constant. Need I say more?
- Depression sometimes comes because of gaps in your actions.
For decades, I would pick on something to worry about at night. I would be asleep and worry or dream on the “issue of the season”. Usually, it’s regarding something I haven’t done and or achieved.
For every season, there was something to worry about. In hindsight, most of those things were sorted… unfulfilling career, single status, challenging Masters Thesis and so on. I honestly don’t know why I indulged but I discovered something.
I had breaks from the nighttime worries on days when I had ticked things off my list, for example, completed my thesis and finished my masters, met my hubby, clinched a new deal, I would just catch a break because I would wake up to worry but would remember what was working at that time and would go back to sleep smiling.It occurred to me that the key to ridding myself of the depression was to, in fact, make moves to address whatever the issue was. For everything you are worrying about, happen to the issue, don’t let it happen to you.
- To get what you’ve never gotten, you need to become someone you’ve never been.
For the longest time, my 9-5 was my comfort zone, that explains why I was in the same place for 8 years, with no plan, strategy as to my staying or leaving. Everything that happened to me on that job, I let happen. And I would lay in bed each night with a deep empty, depressing feeling on the inside even after a hard day’s job of getting a lot done. I had a good job but I was depressed.
I left in December 2015, not because I had a plan but something pushed me off that cliff into a world of discovery, for every door I opened there was anther door of discovery waiting. I’m daily becoming another person, its scary but fun.
As I solved one problem, or faced one challenge, I moved to the next level., discovering talents and gifts I never knew I had and milking the existing ones all to growing profit.
It only reminded me of what Nigeria’s Advertising Amazon, Bunmi Oke always said. Challenges make champions. Do not run away from challenges, run to them, they are sign points of your next level.
- There is a time for everything.
As hunky dory as my current phase sounds, it comes with its depression –inducing drama. People do not want to really associate with you until you make something of yourself. For the large part of 2017, I was by myself and I had to remind myself that there’s a time for loneliness (entrepreneurial loneliness) and a time to be made known and celebrated.
For every one going through this, give it time and maintain your focus. Don’t take it to heart when people ignore you, people are rather fickle and will suddenly seek you when things turn around and vice versa. It’ll happen.
Have a happy new year everyone.