Here’s what I know:
- Setting internal systems in place allows for new action, not just reaction, every damn day.
- Getting out of your own head makes challenges less scary and new projects more approachable.
- Nothing is as satisfying as coaching a client through a major personal breakthrough, then being there with them to celebrate the changes that breakthrough sparks–in self-image, nutrition and so many other intertwined parts of life.
Here’s what I don’t know:
Pretty much everything else.
Having just recently transitioned Eat Well. Party Hard. from hobby to side hustle, I spend about 30% of my work time feeling confident, impactful, filled with purpose…and about 70% of my work time feeling totally lost.
Every decision holds so much potential for exhilarating success or frustrating, bewildering failure; and I don’t have months or years months to spend planning, creating and launching a string of failures.
Be it which services to pimp and which to retire, whether to dive into an uber-focused (but potentially off-target) niche or to serve a large (potentially too vague) range of clients, or even whether to spend more time on fucking Twitter or Pinterest, the hardest part of flying this plane is trying to piece together my own map from the snippets of those who’ve flown before me.
I may not have wanted to continue climbing the ladder at my previous job, but at least there was a formula in place for doing so. I was given room for creative risk, but there was also a tried-and-true blueprint to stick to; even if my efforts didn’t go as planned, the paycheck still came through at the end of the day, and I could dust myself right back off again.
Running Eat Well. Party Hard., though, is an experiment in getting comfortable with being, well, really damn uncomfortable. I’m writing the map as I go, and I’ve never been here before. It’s liberating, yet simultaneously so scary knowing that whatever happens, it’s on me. I either made something great happen, or I didn’t. I helped change a life, or I didn’t. There’s no boss to blame for squashing my creative drive, and there’s no boss to rely on for the regular biweekly direct deposit. Every little action either helps this venture grow, or keeps it stagnant. And that’s a lot of weight to carry around.
I get the feeling, though, that sometimes it’s okay to be lost. While digging through this amazing woman’s archives recently, I came across some terribly-needed lines of affirmation:
So much time in my business and life I feel like I’m wandering around in the wild blue yonder. The more alone I feel, the more I…wait for approval, look for certainty, wear pantyhose, join groups of people I don’t even like and try to get them to like me.
You have to risk being the weirdo cast-off in order to truly belong. You have to stand up and speak your truth. You have to risk isolation in order to find community.
Most days, I feel much more like I’m risking isolation than nurturing a solid community–but maybe that’s just because the community’s still growing. Maybe only a handful of us have found each other so far, and the rest are still on their journeys here. While they travel, though, I’ll continue to do what I do every day: reach out to the people I want to serve, listen to their problems, and figure out how to help.
The whole point of doing this is to be of genuine help (that, and to set my own hours). And the former, I know I can do today. The latter, for sure, is still a work in progress.
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This post originally appeared on Eat Well. Party Hard.