I’m probably about as demotivated as you can get this morning, so I figured a post might make me more…well…alive.
I did yoga for the first time in ages, but I was up early and it’s so hot, so I’m now a walking zombie. I now have to work.
This usually wouldn’t be a problem if I had something to do, but the joys of being self-employed is that being ‘pro-active’ is the only way to survive. I don’t have a set list of tasks or end goals that people give me, I have to sort them out myself.
So, after a long December and half-January, I find myself in a demotivational slump. I’m not a happy chappy. Those who run businesses that have been going for a while and aren’t dependant on tourist/retail/holiday income, know that December and January are slit-your-wrists, take up drinking months (when you can afford it – you are allowed to substitute food with drinking, thus saving you groceries).
Whilst you can be prepared for it financially and mentally, it’s still drains you. Counting your pennies every single day, getting to the point where your pride is almost non-existent and while you don’t regret being self-employed, you start to look at rich, old guys in a new, more positive light.
Most people know admitting this is like a kick in the shins for me, or a well-aimed face palm, but, as aforementioned, I have little pride left, so I may as well use you all as my shrink, so I can maybe get motivated again.
Let me have a little interjection quickly. I don’t want sympathy. I’m not actually on the bones of my arse, my business is actually doing well, apart from the normal Christmas period (as expected). I’m just being pathetic and feeling sorry for myself.
But woe betide the person who offers condescending sympathy – I’m looking for a slap in the face and get off your sorry arse talk, not a ‘Oh shame, honey, is there anything I can do?’ Anyone who does that, particularly those who haven’t yet hit the harrowing speed bumps that come with self-employment, will be treated as someone who is saying ‘Oh shame, honey, I’m doing so well at the moment, so I have the time to offer you useless sympathy and simultaneously offer you snide comfort, whilst reveling in my success.’
Technically, I’m on track. I’m exactly where I expected and hoped to be when I started up in September. So it’s really damned impressive that I’m on par, instead of a few steps behind.
But I’m broke. With that comes a new perspective. Everything revolves around money, and, as per bloody Murphy,* more bills and more bills come in (for instance: a mobile company, whose contract with you ended 2 years ago, suddenly black listing you for a R500, that you actually paid, without ever having contacting you to say they think you didn’t pay, and subsequently upping that R500 to R4500…; or the vet telling you the cost of the Guns’ vaccinations being well over R800).
And then clients don’t pay**
One of the first things my parents taught me, to a flabbergasted and incredulous face, was that ‘profit’ and ‘cash-flow’ aren’t synonyms. I pity those coming into self-employment who assume they are, and most newbies carry that comforting assumption around. The reality is that you often have to wait up to three months for payments, calling, threatening, emailing, just to get a payment. Sometimes, they don’t pay at all. Yes, it may come as a shock, but it happens. Legal fees cost too much to sue someone over a lousy K or two; so eventually, it dies and you move on at a small loss. Luckily, I haven’t had that yet with this company, or the three-month wait, but I do find someone stalling at present, and it irks me. A lot.
So, I sit here, dwelling on when an appropriate time between emails has passed, so I can press on with that problem and I can’t seem to focus on anything else, such as making more money. I have many leads, but they’re taking their time to come through… and I sit here demotivated and making matters worse.
“Turning and turning the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer”
*If Firefox hadn’t insisted I ‘proper noun’ his name, I’d have left it at my initial lowercased insult…but red lines upset me.
**I’m sure people will tell me not to put this on my blog, but hey ho, there’s no connection from my site to here, just the other way around, so hopefully I’ll be alright.