Four things happened yesterday that led me to this one post.
One. My wife is out of town for a week, so my mornings are more intense than ever.
I'm usually up before five, writing notes to prospective clients and seeing what kind of responses I've gotten from previous days' notes.
This usually takes an hour during which time I type like a cornered squirrel.
Two. I seem to have work due to various clients almost every day. I use the early morning hours to tinker with that work one more time before I send things off.
Three. I do whatever blogging and GeorgeCo., LLC, writing I have to do for the day. My writing gets me business, like popcorn at the movies sells soda. I'd be a fool not to do it.
Four. I plot out my day. What I have to attend to. Calls I need to make. Work I need to create.
It's about 9AM when I'm done with all that and I'm usually lacing up my sneakers to go for a walk. I feel more deserving of a walk having done a few hours of work. Often, my elder daughter, Sarah, calls around that time. She's as maniacal about time as I am.
"You're going out late," she admonishes me. "Do you start work late?"
I don't want to tell her I've been working since 9AM London time. So I roll with the punches.
It's almost 5PM now as I write this and it hasn't been an easy day.
A lot of my freelance friends call me and send me notes. They want to know how they can be as busy as I am with GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company.
They're friends and many read this blog, so they get a glimpse of my life, and yes, my success as a sole-proprietor. What they don't see are the parts of being out on my own that I very rarely reveal.
If I were a baseball, I'd be resting on the hip of a crafty pitcher, so no one could guess what pitch was coming. You can't see my seams, or how I'm held. You can't see what pitch is coming.
Though I reveal a lot of myself in this space, I keep a lot under my hat or behind my back that no one sees--ever--not even Dr. Lewis, my every Thursday morning therapy appointment since about 1998.
Working, whether you're on your own, a cog in a larger machine, or running a larger machine is about disappointment. And balance.
This has been the case since homo sapiens lived in small bands and hunted, fished, and gathered. It's been the case since, thousands of years on, we switched to agriculture and started living by sowing and reaping. It's certainly the case today, when fewer and fewer people control the means of production and more and more people are fighting over the scraps like hungry seagulls over some fish offal.
Somedays you come up empty.
No game captured. No fish speared. No corn harvested. No assignments won.
Someone wants to hire you--but not at your price.
Someone wants a $100,000 video--but for $50,000.
Someone calls with a big project but it turns into a lost cause.
A door opens then slams in your face.
A call, or a dozen, don't get returned.
Just because you're busy doesn't mean you're as busy as you want to be. Just because you're making the money you want doesn't mean you're making the work you want or even doing what you want.
This is not to howl at the moon and raise my clenched fist to the heavens.
This is to proffer a syllogism as old as those heavens.
Work is disappointment and disappoint is work.
I'd say my ratio of things that come through to prospects that don't is about 1:10. That's probably about average.
Just because it's average doesn't mean I accept it.
That's why I try many more things than most.
More trying equals more disappointment.
Disappointing as it is, disappointment leads to more success as well.
And that's the best I can do.
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