This week alone I have received three messages that the small business that I wanted to work with has gone in another direction. A nice way of saying, we didn’t like what you had to offer. Three times and it is only Tuesday.
Last week, I received two of those messages and I am still waiting to hear back from a bunch of other ones. That is, if they even decide to let me know they went another direction because last week I also noticed that two other ones I applied for, I also didn’t get BUT never got an email from them.
We are almost a month and a half into 2022 and I have already had more nos than I would like to admit to. They sting a little (okay depending on the day, maybe more than a little) because I know that I am good at what I do and I wish that others could see that. This blog post isn’t about feeling sorry for myself though. It is about what 2022 has taught me so far.
I almost gave up in 2021.
Gave up running a business.
Gave up on having a blog.
NOTHING was going right. As a family, we were struggling. Putting on a happy face (most of the time) and pretending that nothing was wrong. When in reality, everything felt like it was slipping away.
I FINALLY got a part-time job after applying to over 100 positions. Now if that doesn’t make you feel worthless, I don’t know what will. Within a matter of a week, I had a part-time job and I was accepted into Momentum, a small business program that is local to Calgary. It felt like things were finally going to change.
I was already a year and a half into my business and my income was so inconsistent. I needed help but I had 0 luck with business coaches in the past so I was so happy that Momentum accepted me into their program.
From June-December of 2021, my weeks were chaotic. I had class two times a week, sometimes for 5 hours a day. I had my part-time job and all of my duties as a mom, wife, and adult. I know that I crave business so these chaotic months were a blessing to me. I was feeling useful and like things were finally going to turn around.
It took months but in November 2021, my business FINALLY was moving forward. It was the best month I had had in over a year. My freelance blogging was taking off and I had women messaging me wanting to work with me.
It finally felt as if everything was falling into place. All of the hard work that I had been doing was finally paying off.
It continued and I set a goal for myself in January 2022 to make $1,250. That may not seem like a lot to some BUT my business had been inconsistent for almost two years at this point. Some months I would make money and then for months on end, nothing would come in.
I didn’t hit my goal for January BUT I was only $120 off. That’s it. $120 off of hitting the BIGGEST goal I have set for myself.
Here I am in 2022, a month and a half in with more nos that I care to admit hearing BUT knowing that things are changing.
Lessons have been learned this year and I know that it is going to keep showing me how to grow and embrace that growth. I wanted to share with you the lessons that I have learned so far to hopefully show you that this year can also be YOUR year.
LESSON ONE| YOU CAN’T GET TO YES WITHOUT A NO
Or two or three or four. I am sure that you have heard this before because I know that I have. I honestly HATE outreaching for my business. It just doesn’t always feel right to me. I want my business to be at the point where I just get people who sign up and want to work with me but I know that I am not there yet. I will continue to reach out this year more than I ever have in the past. I know that the ones who say yes are meant to work with me.
LESSON TWO| DON’T CHANGE YOUR BUSINESS FOR ANYONE
I had someone reach out to me a couple of weeks ago. They wanted my website because they were looking for someone to hire. I emailed her back after talking to her through Facebook Messenger for a couple of days. Everything seemed to be going great.
Less than ten minutes after I sent her my website, I got an email back stating that she was loving everything until she saw a photo on my website and she no longer wants to work with me. She included a screenshot of the photo. I couldn’t figure out what could have offended her because my website has photos of office space on there so I clicked on the image.
It was a photo of an office that had a photo on the wall that said, Get Shit Done.
For an instant, I thought about taking the photo down and then laughed out loud. I emailed her back wishing her luck in the future. She seemed to want to justify the conversation so in her second email, she replied, “I am just old school.”
That didn’t sit right with me and so I had to respond to her. My response was, “I will say this… It does make me sad that you judge based on one photo on my website. I wish you nothing but success in everything that you do.”
I decided not to change the photo on my website. There is meaning to it and all she had to do was ask me. Ask me why I chose that specific photo. You want to know why?
Because there are days that I have to repeat that in my head.
Get shit done.
There are days that I struggle. Struggle with sadness that can feel overpowering and I need a reminder. A reminder to get up and out of bed to keep chasing my dreams. A reminder that I have children to care for and a life that I want to give them.
So yes, it may have a word you don’t agree with. I am perfectly fine with that BUT don’t make me feel less than because it was something you didn’t agree with. That photo is there. That photo represents me, my struggles, my wins, my losses, and my business.
Don’t change because one person or many people don’t like what you do or offer. It isn’t up to them. You need to stay true to yourself. That is the ONLY way that you are going to make it.
LESSON THREE| PUTTING YOURSELF OUT THERE IS SCARY BUT WORTH IT
I already talked about the nos that I have gotten but I haven’t covered the yeses.
I applied for a blogging position and during our conversation, they decided that they wanted an ebook. They asked if this was something that I could do. I was going to say no. I have written my own ebook but had never done it for anyone else before and I was going to say no.
As I write this, I am reminded about a book that I read and a podcast that I have listened to, talking about how girls and women don’t apply for certain jobs unless they check off 100% of the qualifications. It talks about how we need to teach our girls to be braver because we are teaching our boys how to be brave.
I said yes. I told them that I could do it and I did it. I wrote them an ebook and I got amazing feedback on it.
I said yes to helping another agency write two sales pages. Again, I almost said no because it was something that I had never done before but I didn’t. I said yes and sent them in for review by the client.
There are so many times in my life that I have had to be brave. I never considered myself brave. I considered myself desperate.
Desperate for change.
Desperate to survive.
Now, instead of looking back and seeing myself as desperate, I see myself as brave.
Brave for saying yes.
Brave for moving forward.
Brave for allowing someone else to love me.
Brave for taking that first terrifying step.
I want you to be brave today and say yes to something that will take you to the next level.
LESSON FOUR| ASKING FOR HELP DOESN’T MAKE YOU WEAK
Another lesson that I am sure you have heard many, many people say. I HATE asking for help. In the past, if I asked for help, nothing would change so I just started doing things on my own. It was easier for me to do it that way than to beg for help.
I am a healthy person. A healthy plus-size woman who has never had any health issues. In November, I thought that I was having a heart attack and went to the hospital. It wasn’t a heart attack and the ER Dr said that he thinks it was viral inflammation.
I had the symptoms for three weeks. Luckily, my family Dr has been great and has listened to me all of the way. We have had testing done that has all come back normal and shows that I am healthy. She isn’t sure what was causing the issue but she is still doing what she can to help me figure it out.
I have needed to ask for more help than ever before. Working from my bed while my children and husband have helped pick up the “slack”. Now I know that asking for help doesn’t mean that I am weak. It simply means that I can’t do it all on my own and there is nothing wrong with that. We aren’t meant to do it alone anyway.
2022 has been showing me that it is okay to be who I am in this moment. To take imperfect action to make sure that I continue to grow and improve personally and professionally. My word for the year is MORE. I think I am stepping into that word in ways I didn’t expect to.
So it all comes down to a balance of messages, isn’t it? Looking back at the past few weeks of 2022, I have taken imperfect action. I have said yes to my dreams and my goals. I may not have been a fit for a couple of people but yes, I am me.
Always there to serve, help, and look for others to join me on this journey.
Who knows. Maybe that is you.