If I am being honest, not something that everyone is online, then I have to tell you that I am getting a little sick. Not physically sick, but sick of what I consider the normal. Specifically I am getting sick of how I see people acting online, sick of being marketed to like I am a dummy, and sick of trying to be sold snake oil in order to grow my business/list/income/follower count etc.
I am not going to go into a ton of specifics to prove my point because I think we all know what I am referring to. We see it in the people we follow online and the blogs we visit with the horrific pop up newsletter signups and advertisements that take up more space than the content. It’s exhausting.
I’m just sick of it, and I am making a change.
In the past year I have left my job and been freelancing full-time. I am proud and thankful that it has been a positive experience so far and I haven’t had to crawl back to a 9 to 5 in order to pay my bills and support my family. What has been interesting to me over this time has been the way that I perceive value and what I put value into. It’s with this reflection that I feel a new found sense of maturity. Maturity not just because I am getting older (and wiser I like to think), but maturity in how I view my business and profession. To put it more simply, I don’t want to just get any job that comes with a paycheck. I want to work on things that keep me excited and inspired.
It’s one thing to start to desire this change in how I choose to work and what I chose to work on, and I have had these types of thoughts and wants before but never acted on them. The struggle of unfocused client work is not what I want, and the only way to move closer towards what I want is to enact change. Even if I start small. It’s actually about starting. If I start I know more change will follow and I will find myself farther away from the crap I put time into now and closer to what actually fulfills me and ultimately enriches my life. Both from a personal and professional stand point.
I had this feeling that was slowly creeping up on me, but it really started to become clear when I finally started investing in myself. Investing in yourself means something different for everyone, but for me a simple change I have made has led to a great discovery period. It’s simple too, I just started reading more. Not reading more articles in my RSS feed, but actually picking up a book and reading. I have been seeking out content that has to do with train of thought focused around my profession and business. A great book that I recently finished was Silence by Josh Long. Josh has other books that I recommend as well, but I highlighted Silence because it helps put all of the daily noise that distracts us from actual work into perspective and gives some advice on how to cope with it and get to what actually matters. It’s amazing the things you can accomplish when you turn down the noise.
It’s easy to read a book, listen to a podcast, or watch someone’s conference talk and feel good about the message. Putting it into action in your own life is much much harder. I’m at the beginning and moving slowly. I am not transformed, but I am committed. My business isn’t going to change overnight, I can’t do that. I have to pay the bills. For me success comes from making progress and doing it consistently.
I write all of this to say and to raise the challenge for both myself and for you – challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to fight through the mud that the internet brings. Define what is important to you, and take steps to get closer to what you want.
This stuff is hard to do, and typically you only see people’s victories or good news online. This is my struggle and want right now. It’s out in the open and I want to talk about it. Are you in a similar place? Talk to me about it. I’m serious – email me at [email protected], or leave a comment below, and let’s have a conversation about it. Talking about it helps in many ways and feeling like you have support makes it easier to start and stay on track.