Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Backbone, Boundaries, Acceptance

A friend of mine texts me today, and she is all full of self doubt.  Wondering if she has what it takes to do her job, and get to the place in her career that she wants to be.  (If you know me personally, please don’t text me and ask me who this was.  I won’t tell you.)
I think we have the tendency to look at others, in higher positions, and think they never sweat bullets, or did anything wrong, or doubt themselves.
I wager that they have their bad days.  We tend to be more forgiving of other’s mistakes than we are our own.
I’ve lost a little bit of the fire, myself, lately.  This new direction in life is pretty hard.
Running your own business, pretty much by yourself, is tough work.  You have to have an incredible backbone.  Be able to balance your life, especially if you work at home, so that it doesn’t take up every minute.  Draw the boundaries.  Accept the failures and disappointments along the way.  Find creative ways to market, but keep up with the demand that you already have.
I am not good at many of those things.
Marketing?  I didn’t like marketing when I was an accountant, and I sure don’t like it now. Granted, I’m better at it now.  I don’t mind sticking my head out there and saying, “Hey.” You never know what will drive business.  But, I’m doing it for me, and my family, now, so it’s different, I guess.
I’m still not 100% comfortable with it, and sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable enough, to brag on all this stuff I’ve created over the past several months, in front of someone.
“Look,” I say pointing at something, “How great am I?!”
I do it, anyway, though.  I find if I laugh and have fun, it’s so much easier.
Backbone?  If we’re talking: standing up to someone, yep, I’ve got one.  Hard.  Core.  If we’re talking: someone negatively commenting on something I created….  Ouch.
Balance?  I had this one in the proverbial bag when I was a CPA in an accounting firm.  The line was easy – if I’m in the office, I’m working.  At home, I’m me at home, with very few deviations from that logic.
Now that I work at home – I don’t think I ever stop working.  I’m posting something, reading an article, finding out a new way to do this or that, thinking up a new idea, sending an email, etc.  There is always something to do, and since I don’t have minions to do it…  I keep going…
(I’ll pause here to say that my wonderful husband does help me out, and I wouldn’t be where I am today, without his assistance, and everything he’s taught me.  His support is unwavering.)
Accepting failures and disappointments?  Oh, I suuuuck at this.  Capital S. Capital U. Capital C.  Capital K.  They’ll take me down for a week!  I don’t want to be all egotistic here and say, “I’m not used to failure”, because I’ve had my fair share of it in my lifetime.  But, normally, when I do put in my all, and give it that 150%, I do end up on the success side of the bar.
This weekend I realized, through very wise council, that I needed to stop seeing it as little failures.  I’m learning.  Nothing has failed yet, in fact, for a start up, it’s doing quite well.
Hearing the doubts of a good friend of mine, today, helped me realize that we doubt ourselves no matter what we do.  I think it’s just human nature.  I have doubts now, but they are just different than the ones I had when I was managing.
The advice was the same, though – You aren’t going to get everything right, but you have what it takes to make it better when it goes wrong.  If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, who will?
She has doubts now, but she just needed a friendly reminder, very much like I did, that she has what it takes to make it to wherever she wants to go.
And, she does.
So do the rest of us.

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