It’s getting closer to 3pm and for me, it means what I call “The Dip”. It’s that time fo the day where your concentration and willpower is on the verge of becoming depleted. When I hear the word “dip” I imagine a graph with a line that goes just a little bit down before plateauing towards the right.
Except in my case, not always, but some days, it looks more like the Grand Canyon.
It’s hard to fight these canyon moments, especially since I’ve quit coffee a few months ago. Not that coffee helped. It just made me fidgety.
Another thing I can’t seem to stand these days is routine.
There are times in my life where I want to be one of those people who feel like having a change and goes on to totally redo their apartments, get a new haircut AND a hair color, adopt a few new routines and become a master in Asian cooking.
But I don’t do that. I will get bored of redecorating while I am moving my sofa. I love my hair natural hair color, and as much as I want to kick ass in Asian cooking, the Asian markets in my city are just too far away to be bothered to visit.
So, I guess it’s laziness.
It’s funny. I became a freelancer to have more flexibility in my life, yet I follow a strict monday to friday, 10:00 to 17:00 (yes, I work only 7 hours. 6, if you take away lunch) kind of work schedule. Taking a day off in the middle of the week, even if it’s because I am sick or just need some time off it incredibly hard.
Usually, I walk around feeling guilty. Doing house choirs or trying to read a non-fiction book that is going to teach me something. Today though was the first time in a long time where I did not feel even a drop of guilt by not working.
What did I do? Nothing. Caught up on my favorite Australian YouTuber who plays The Sims. Found a bank letter I was sure I didn’t receive and therefore got angry with my bank on their support chat a few months ago (sorry bank). Made food. Petted my cats.
You get the gist.
And it felt great.
Again this week has been busy with work. I don’t mind that to be honest. I think that is one of the beauties of following your dreams and building your own business – you don’t mind the shit sandwich!
For those of you who are not familiar with Elisabeth Gilbert, she once said in an interview that every job, no matter how wonderful, has aspect you are not going to enjoy but have to do anyway. The shit sandwich.
This week has really been all about chewing on the shit sandwich – communication with clients who ask for too much, negotiation a fair price for a project, doing accounting etc – and trying to get some sort of life going on outside of work.
I know for many, especially those who are fellow Dave Ramsey listeners, a life outside of getting out of debt should not exist until the balance hits zero, but I’ve been struggling to get into the “gazelle mode” as Ramsey puts it while being in the first year of building my own business.
On one hand, I feel more motivated than ever to charge the price my time is worth and not settle for exposure or portfolio-building job because getting paid pennies is just not an option for me anymore. But on the other hand, I’m not in a position to charge super-high nor do I feel like I have the time to get a second job. Also, I just moved to another country where I don’t speak the language, so getting a job is not easy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic this week, especially as I was looking over the finances for my business for this year and assessing how much I can grow next year. One positive thing about having your own business is that the limit on earnings potential is lifted but the other side of that coin is that you have to get there yourself.
Are you in the same position as me, or you have been in the past? If you have any advice or experience to share, I would love to hear from you!
Until next time!