Going Out on a Limb

When the idea first came to my mind to take this writing thing on full time, I never really felt scared. 

I was, of course, slightly nervous. I didn’t know if it would be successful, and I didn’t know if it would take off. I went out on a limb, and I’m so glad I did.

To be honest, spontaneity isn’t necessarily my strong suit. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge planner, but I enjoy having a plan in place. I don’t keep a detailed agenda and I don’t always know every next move. However, I do enjoy seeing the big picture.

When it comes to social plans, I like knowing how I am going to get to and from point A and point B. I like knowing how many people will be somewhere, so I can prepare myself for whatever level of social I’ll have to be (is that weird?).

The thing with the business I’m in is that there is no predictability. I have a few clients that I have contracts with for regular work, but I would say 60% of my clients are sporadic or one time orders. I kind of like this. I like changing up the topics I write all the time. I like getting to know many different people.

What I told myself, and others, when I decided to go out on a limb was that I wouldn’t fail. I knew I wouldn’t. Not because I’m overly confident, but because to me, failure wasn’t really an option. I realize how cliche that sounds, but I re-defined what failure meant. In my eyes, the only “bad” thing that would come out of this business was not doing as well as I hoped. It would be not making enough, not getting enough orders, or maybe getting negative feedback.

I don’t measure my success by a money amount, a word count, or a client database. In fact, I measure my success by my ability to continue to feel joy in what I’m doing, to pull my weight in our little family unit, and to consistently feel challenged.

I talked to my sister about a book she was reading the other day, and she sent me a cool excerpt. It talked about how we have to define what being “rich” or making enough money meant to us. For some, they want to have enough money to travel every month. For some, they want the giant home. For some, they want five cars in the driveway. For some, they just want a car that works. 

This goes to say two things:

One: Don’t be ashamed of your definition of what makes you “rich.”

If your version of rich is the mansion with five cars, more power to you. If your version of rich is more simple, maybe with less flair, that’s okay too. Personally, I’ve never been one to want money in excess. Would it be nice to not worry about my target receipt? Sure. Would I like to have more money to donate to charity? Of course. But, my version of rich does include providing for myself and my family. It does include having a bigger family in the future, growing my business, and will probably include lots (and lots) of trips to HomeGoods. What matters to me most, though, is whether or not it brings me joy and makes my heart full. Don’t be ashamed of whatever that is.

Two: Don’t begin to question your definition if it looks different than everyone else.

Let’s say you’re the person who wants the fancy lifestyle. Your friend tells you they don’t feel the need for excess money or “things.” Do you instantly feel a bit of guilt? Maybe start to question what matters most to you? Don’t. Stand tall in your definition of “rich” and your definition of “enough.” Because that’s the beauty of a world of different people. We’ve all got to make up that spectrum in our own unique way.

Next time you decide to go out on a limb, what will that look like for you? How will you measure your joy, your success, your “enough?”


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