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Do Not Worry
“Dear God, I need help. I am having a hard time this week balancing everything and I feel like I am doing all this for nothing!”
“Are you working hard?”
“Yes. I am.”
“Are you seeing the results you want?”
“Well, not really. It is taking forever.”
“You didn’t think it would happen overnight, did you? That overnight sensation thing is never true. Success only comes with hard work, determination and perseverance. So, are you seeing results in your work?”
“In some areas, yes.”
“Then those are the areas you need to focus on more. Are you seeing success in the other pursuits?”
“Not as much, no.”
“Then you aren’t working hard enough. Or it is not the right path. Only you can know.”
Ever have one of those days you feel seriously overworked but grossly underpaid? Yeah, me, too. Lately I have been having more than a few of those kind of days. When I worked in law as a Legal Nurse Consultant, I didn’t worry about a paycheck. I knew if I did my work I would be paid. I didn’t worry about expenses, insurance or any of that kind of stuff. Work my week, paycheck on Friday. If my computer broke, the firm fixed it. If I had travel expenses, they paid them.
Now that I am a small business owner, that isn’t the case any longer. Do the work and HOPE to be paid. For both my photography and writing, a lot of time the work is busy work in the hopes of attracting paying clients. You do a lot of stuff for basically free in order to build a clientele, a following, a portfolio and bring in those paying clients. Some of the free work you do is grossly unappreciated, while other times it is graciously welcomed and received. As a travel agent, the pay doesn’t come until after your clients travel. That could be a lot of work for not seeing any results for months and months, and that’s if they book with you. A lot don’t. Nature of the beast. Ehhhh….
While I am not complaining (really, I’m not), I know I am blessed to be able to start my own business at this time in my life, but this week has been one of those weeks when I feel bled dry. I came back from a few day vacation (wherein even then I was still working) to piles and piles of stuff in my to-do box on the desk. Most of those things required fast turn around time. In a law firm, I would know that all that work would result in a paycheck come today, but in my new reality, all my work this week has yet to net me a dime. Not one freaking penny. So, while I recognize it was stuff I needed to do and I did it, I had a bad attitude about it. I still have a bit of a snarkiness in regards to a few things, and as such in a passive aggressive way I am ignoring it, continually shoving it to the bottom of the stack. Deadline stuff was done, but the open-ended ‘free’ stuff still sits like a snake coiled in a basket on my desk. I know it’s there, I can hear it hissing, I just don’t want any part of it.
I like to barter, and payment in product in services and goods are great if it works out for both parties. But this week I am looking at my bottom dollar, the one that is actually feeding my family, and I have to think about what is working and what isn’t. So in trimming down the list, freebies are out. Don’t ask. Just don’t. Want something from me? Are you paying me? No. Will any type of payment, likes services, cash or product, ever come from this work? No. Then you can wait.
Priority will now be focused on the areas that are winning. One gets paid in accordance to what one feels they are worth. I knew at the law firm I had worth, and made a salary I was comfortable with, but doing this all alone I am finding myself easily selling out in the HOPES that it MAY turn into something. No more of that. I guess I knew the answer all along.
“See, I told you you would know what you needed to do. What you need to hold onto. What you need to let go of. Finish up and let that stuff go. Be ready for what I keep trying to give you. And take it. You have earned it. Go ahead, shine!”
“Thank you, Lord. I needed this chat.”