For 14 years, I’ve made my living as a freelance corporate trainer and business writer. I’ve had some ups and downs, but overall I’ve done pretty well, with a lot of repeat business and referrals. Because of this and because I am the laziest person you will ever meet, I don’t do any marketing. At all. No website, no networking, nothing. I don’t even have updated business cards.
I really hate trying to generate work, and not just because a big part of me would rather watch TV. I hate…selling.
Business people reading this blog: Then WHY did you go into business for yourself?!
Me: BECAUSE I wanted to wear my PJs to work, OK?!
Anyway, my workload took a little dip in 2010 – nothing to worry about. In fact, I welcomed the extra time for kid/life stuff. But this year, it’s taking another dip, this time into darker, colder, fiscally nerve-wracking waters. No, I don’t get the metaphor either. Let’s move on.
So yesterday I reached out to an old client, one I haven’t worked for in a while, and asked for work. How do I hate this? Let me count the ways:
- I imagine they will be annoyed by the intrusion and won’t want to work with me [fear of rejection].
- I fear they will give me work and it will be tedious [fear of boredom].
- I worry they will talk me into a lower billing rate [fear of becoming someone’s bitch].
- I dread them asking for an updated resume, which is of course out of date…see lack of marketing, above [fear of tedious paperwork].
- I fear I will let it slip that I don’t find their work as thrilling as I pretend [fear of being found out].
- I fear they will see through my jolly “Hey, it’s been a while!”, recognize that my business is faltering a bit, at which point the naysayers in my head will exclaim, “See, told you it would never work!” The naysayers don’t actually exist. Doesn’t slow my crazy down. [fear of disapproval from people who aren’t any more real than demonic, murderous clowns. Cause there’s no such thing as demonic, murderous clowns, right? RIGHT?!]
So what did I get for facing all of these fears? Some work. Yay. So that was kind of easy. I bet now you’ll tell me to update my business cards.
Isn’t it disturbing annoying endearing the way I share my neuroses with you all?