Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hard Times

This weekend I spent some time surfing the web reading some of my favorite blogs. I came across this post written about a year ago by a fed up, frustrated Naomi Dunford venting about how overwhelming life had become as her home life and work life had collided creating one big mess. I can relate.

An impressive beginning

When I first started freelancing, I was very fortunate to get clients quickly. They kept me busy and allowed me to support myself nicely without worrying about going back to the nine to five corporate grind. I carefully scheduled projects, send out contracts, invoices and collected money in a timely manner. I had all the energy in the world to work on my business, and life was good.

Things fall apart

But then the work started coming in too fast and I began having a really hard time balancing obligations to my business with obligations to my family. I dreaded checking my email each morning. I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. When you “fall” into something, there isn’t much time to plan for growth and day to day management.

I began wondering whether or not I was really cut out for this business. Thankfully I slept on it and realized a few days later that it was mostly the lack of sleep talking. Still, I was dealing with a serious situation and needed to figure out how to make it work. I decided to slow waaay down, take a few steps back and make a few important changes I wish I’d thought to make in the beginning. I’m working on creating systems that will help me become more organized, and receiving coaching to learn a new facet of commercial writing that will hopefully allow me to target my services more toward a certain specialty.

Starting over

Some might not think having a business grow quickly from zero to 60 in such a short time is a bad thing. I’m sure it works out just fine for some, but it can become a nightmare if you cannot manage the volume and fast changes.

There have been tons of responses to Naomi’s post dating all the way back from when it was first written to just a week ago. Those responses are proof that my experience is not unique, and not to give up. Even though I'm not actually starting all over again from scratch, I like knowing that I can start over if I need to. I love what I do and am determined not to go quietly.

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