(Poorly) Handling Success: Step Two

I know, I know. It’s been awhile.

But for the first time in over a month, I finally have a few seconds to breathe! (For those who can’t remember what this is all about, head back to The Struggle Cup: Step One)

The good news? Telling the universe that I want to make my side hustle a success is working. I have 3 new clients, and 2 former clients remembered me and came back for some updates. I am rollin’ in work!

What better way to keep your projects in order than with brightly colored post-its?

The bad news? I am rollin’ in work… I have a horrible habit of saying yes to everything and assuming I’m going to find a way to get it all done. I do, of course, but at a pretty serious cost to myself of stress + sleep deprivation + (because I promised to be honest here) a huge amount of self-doubt. When the glow of steady work wears off—and it wears off pretty damn quickly—you’re left sitting with 11 client projects that need to be finished and 3 utility boxes that need to be painted… At the same time as a 72-page magazine is supposed to be designed and a 3-day conference* is supposed to be attended (and spoken at!). And let me tell you, sitting in that pile of stuff really sucks.

Not only that, but I was starting to realize that this plan of mine, of working 2 hours a day on my business to make it a resounding success, was waaaaaay too small. Ten hours a week is not enough time, guys! I’m already working more than 10 hours a week for my clients, let alone myself. Was I entirely too optimistic? Is this just a busy season that I will get over? Am I an idiot?

See, I told you there was a lot of self-doubt going on.

Self-doubt leads to comfort food… and cookies.

Well, at the end of the day I know that complaining about having a lot of work is a good thing, but it doesn’t always feel like it. Yes, working for my clients is literally the one thing I need to do to make this whole scheme a success but… Could it have waited a little until I was ready? And that’s when I mentally slap myself because that is a horrible thing to wish for. And say out loud for that matter (if you’re my client and reading this, PLEASE don’t stop hiring me because I said that. I didn’t mean it, I swear…)!

Because we’re never ready.

I tell myself these lies of I’ll make Just Kirby my full-time job when I’m ready. I’ll leave the chamber** when I’m ready. I’ll have kids when I’m ready. I’ll buy a house when I’m ready… And I know I’m full of it. I know I will never feel ready to do anything because none of us ever are. We are constantly growing, our circumstances are constantly changing, and by the time I think I’m “ready” to do something my goals will be completely different than they are at this moment.

And that also sucks. But it is also wildly exciting. There is no finish line (besides death, but let’s hope that doesn’t come for another 60 years… Knock on wood) and there is no end to my potential—as long as I give myself a chance.

As long as every time I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and utterly incompetent I remember the one that matters: I matter.

And I’m pretty friggin’ awesome, too.



*The conference went really well, though! Read “What I Learned at Disneyland” to catch up. And I’ll tell you about the great ideas everyone helped me come up with in a later post.

**Don’t freak out! That is still very far away.

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