This is one of many Fear Confessions in which creatives share personal stories about facing their fears. Let’s celebrate vulnerability with Lisa Butler as she shares her fear of never being satisfied.
I just hit the third year mark from quitting my day job to pursue my business full-time. I’ve changed and grown a lot during that time, naturally. I’m particularly proud of my newly developed ability to have faith in myself and trust that everything will work out for the best eventually.
You see, over the past three years I feel like I’ve been constantly reinventing my business to get where I want to be.
Like any new business, I initially took on almost any project people were willing to pay me to do. I was attracting budget-conscious clients, and I quickly figured out that if I charged them for extra work, they’d just say no — and I’d lose that as a shiny new portfolio piece. So I spent the first year in business doing extra work at no charge, putting the project in my portfolio and charging more to the next person who asked. That was when I started developing that faith in myself that my hard work would pay off — and it did.
The next year, I relaunched my site and tripled my pricing. That was overreaching a bit, and I course-corrected — but I was up to those rates by the end of that year. I started feeling like I was in a groove with this business thing, and I was making more money than I ever had at a desk job. Things were going well, and I finally started feeling like I was exactly where I wanted to be.
That is, until about six months ago. I started getting that nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. New-business-Lisa was screaming in my head that I was crazy, that I’d finally made it and should be happy. And yet the truth was plainly clear: I had created a dream job that was no longer my dream.
Are you kidding me?! I had put in 2.5 years building a dream — sacrificing free time, a social life and often my sanity. I wasn’t sure I was ready to do it all over again for a new dream.
Because what if this happens again? What if I put in another 2.5 years, only to realize I’ve built yet another dream job that’s not my dream anymore?
What if I’m never satisfied?
Is this going to be my life, constantly chasing dreams that don’t feel dreamy when I get there?
I don’t know the answer, but I have to have faith that everything will work out for the best. It has before. It will again.
Lisa Butler is a web designer, developer and blogger at Elembee.com. She offers straightforward web guidance for making it happen online. When she’s not sleeping in or working from her studio in Tulsa, OK, you can find her at the dog park with her dog Dobby (yes, like the house elf from Harry Potter), or with her bags packed for her next adventure.
Image credit: Lisa Butler