An Entrepreneur’s Story
WHY GETTING PAID FOR WORK YOU LOVE CAN BE SO DIFFICULT
Create work you love and get paid. This sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it?
If you've made a choice to get paid for doing work you love, you might have figured some of this out already. Not only is entrepreneurship a choice, but it is also a series of decisions. And it's an epic journey of personal development too.
I'd like to share with you why I feel personal development and a holistic approach to business building are essential for your happiness and consistent income.
Furthermore, if you're a service-based help-y kind of entrepreneur like me, I think you'll find this particularly useful.
I think you should start with what feels easy.
I'm good at some things and not so good at others. In fact, I love to write but have some pretty epic learning disabilities that involve reading and writing. So writing is something I love, but it's really time-consuming, and I can't say it's easy for me.
More than that, I also enjoy some things more than others.
Then there are the things you don't want me to do for you - like remember where the car is parked or take care of your bookkeeping.
I bet you're the same.
And aren't you happier when you're not hammering away at things you find painful?
If I have to focus most of my time on the things I know I'm not very good at, it stresses me out. Furthermore, I can end up feeling inadequate when I don't get an opportunity to spend time doing things that let me shine.
Make sense so far?
Align your work with your strengths & core values.
I had no idea how to articulate my values or why this is important until I was well into my 40's. The younger Val would have thanked me for this tip.
Clarifying your core values will help you stay focused on the right things for your business (and your life). Some of my values include freedom and deep connections with others. And a few of my strengths are innovation, creativity, listening skills and empathy.
Knowing your core values and recognizing your strengths are necessary skills in the entrepreneur toolkit. Most people I talk to don’t have a lot of clarity on either of these things and if they do, they aren’t sure how to use them as guidance for good business decisions.
Be prepared for setbacks. If this were easy, everyone would do it.
Numerous articles online report that 50% of companies fail within the first 5-years. We don't know how many people end up creating something they enjoy doing. Since this percentage continues to go up, I suspect that happiness is not in massive supply for many business owners.
If you're the one creating the business for yourself, it should make you happy, right?
Going into it, you should understand that being the master "chooser" of all things j-o-b does take a lot of work.
Entrepreneurs can find themselves underpaid and chronically stressed about money, clients and work that do not fall within their zone of natural skills and talents. Feelings of happiness, stress, analysis paralysis, impostor syndrome and complete burn-out can also swing wildly.
The good thing is, each business and each entrepreneur is unique.
So you don't need to feel like you should be doing everything you see other entrepreneurs doing. You don't need to stress about that. What someone else is doing really has nothing to do with you.
Understanding your way of work is essential if you want to craft a business and a job you enjoy. The business you create must integrate well with who you are, how you work and what you need; this is my holistic approach to business building.
Your business needs you
It seems evident that your new job or business can't function without you, right? If something doesn't work for you, your business can't function very well.
However, If you create a job that aligns with your core values and natural strengths, you'll improve your chances of success and have fun.
What's not to like?
But there's one other requirement for business success on the personal development front, and I'm talking about getting real with what you need.
You and I need different things
What works for one entrepreneur may not work for another simply because we are all different. Understanding what you need for success is crucial.
"Needs" are the essential, non-negotiable things you must have to be your best self, the best spouse or the best mum. These are the foundations that keep you happy and healthy.
When you see other business owners online doing things, you can remind yourself that their business meets their needs. What works for someone else does may not work for you because what they need and what you need will be different. You might need to leverage completely different strengths than someone else.
You're the only person who can make sure you get what you need. One way to explore what you need for a job you love is to ask yourself a lot of questions. You can start with the following:
- What kinds of support will I need?
- What do I need in my life to be my best self?
- How do I work best with people?
- When do I work best?
- How much time off do I need?
- How much income do I need to feel financially secure?
- How much money do I need to have saved to support me until I make the income I need?
- How do I need to show up as a Mom, Daughter, Spouse?
- How much sleep do I need?
This list can go on but you get the idea.
Here's a quick recap
Understanding your core values, strengths and what you need for success will help you create your own job and get paid to do something you love.
But like many things in life, this isn't easy for most people to do, and that's why I'm here. We learned to go to school and then work for someone else. We didn't learn how to explore our natural strengths, align our lives with our personal values and understand how to honour our unique needs.
These things don't often come together quickly without some help. And for good reason.
In particular, I've noticed that most passionate, change-makey, creative, caring, service-based entrepreneurs do not understand how to use this information to create a successful income-generating business they love.
And here's another reason why.
There is a difference between a job and a hobby
One of the most misleading pieces of advice given to entrepreneurs is to do what you love or find your passion and do that. And sure -do that if you want a hobby, but if you're going to create your own business and create your job within that, just be aware, there's more to business success than doing what you love.
As you can see now, there is more to creating a job you love that pays the bills than merely following your bliss.
Following your passion as a primary business strategy just doesn't work.
But it tells many of us what we want to hear. Who doesn't want to simplify the complexity of entrepreneurship down to something that sounds so fun?!
Sadly, it's just another reason why so many are broke and stressed out.
Getting paid for work you love starts with these 4 things
- Know what you need for success
- Align your work with your core values
- Leverage your natural gifts & strengths
- Learn business and marketing basics
Some entrepreneurs get parts of this "formula."
From my experience, coaches, therapists and helping types will get the value of the personal development and self-awareness parts. Still, they won't always see how that applies to their own business. MBAs, marketing types and money-driven number crunchers might understand some of the business and marketing basics but often don't get the importance of lifestyle and personality insights.
Lifestyle driven entrepreneurs often lack business basics, and business-driven entrepreneurs often lack lifestyle & personality insights. And from what I've noticed, many don't get either entirely.
My experience tells me that we need both business basics and personality insights to create work we love and get paid. Not everyone approaches business like this or feels this is essential to their entrepreneurial goals. If you want to create work for yourself that feels inspired and aligned, works with who you are, how you work and what you need -you're in the right place.
Let's not forget the power of the Internet & the techy bits.
Last but not least, I feel the Internet is a powerful tool for the entrepreneur today. Technology shouldn't make anyone nervous or feel left out of today's techy online world. I know this stuff. I know that you don't need to be super techy to take advantage of what the Internet has to offer small businesses. I know that non-techies can learn what they need for their businesses and thrive.
I have your back with the techy stuff, so hold that thought if that's you. You're safe with me.
I'm an online business coach with a 20-year career in digital media, who's also been an online entrepreneur many times, I'm also very tech-savvy.
Most of all, if you're creating your work, you should be able to earn you an income on your terms and enjoy it.
Sound too good to be true? It's not. :)
I'd like to introduce myself.
Hi, I'm Val :) nice to meet you.
I like words
I like to write poems and can appreciate words when they get all bendy and creative-like. I also love pretty pictures and all kinds of creative expression. If you want to test this, I can write a poem about any word or topic you provide. Send me an email, and I'll do it for you. I'm not saying it will be a great poem, but it is fun and easy to do. I did this once for a boyfriend, so it's a thing in my head now. If you are bored and want to partake in a weird internet opportunity, I am happy to oblige.
More than fun with words, I love animals and care deeply about this planet
I talk to all creatures, even bugs and plants, which sounds like this: "Hello my tiny plant-y, I'm so sorry I overwatered you. Oh no, your leaves are falling off! Here is some paper towel for your bottom. Ugh, that paper towel is exceedingly wet now you've sat on it for a few days. You must have had a sopping plant bottom. I think you might die. You have round leaves, and I heard that round leaves mean good luck, but now I wonder what killing you might mean".
I am single -and I have a cat. No connection.
Like single female cat lovers everywhere -my friends keep giving me cat things. I can assume these gifts must be, so I have the correct clothing and dating ambiance for Mr. Right. As a single lady, you can find me in my home most evenings, with full kitty gear.
I drink tea from kitty-cat teacups and have many cat tea towels.
Considering the perfect Tinder cat pic does make me giggle. Just kidding, I'm not on Tinder.
All kidding aside, I love my cat accoutrements. It's easy for me to find gratitude in everyday situations.
I believe there are a great many things to be grateful for, every moment and every day. Creatures in my life also make this easy.
I am artsy fartsy, or I’d like to think so
I can browse artists on Instagram and Pinterest endlessly. Beauty is another one of my core values. Creativity expression, nature, souls, it’s all beautiful to me.
I like playing with creative projects, but don't do that as much as I want too and haven't sorted out why yet. Painting, mixed media, photography and some digital art are what I play around with right now. I am always interested in exploring what other people are doing creatively!
People, stories and deep connections fill me up
I studied Anthropology in university and particularly loved a 1st person narrative workshop on women's history. We each possess an extraordinary story. Do you feel we can tell these through the work we choose to do? I do :)
Being a university student was a lot of fun. My brain was perhaps at its pique, I talked a lot over pints with cerebral pals about "all the things." In a way, what I do with you is similar. We meet, get to know each other, create a deep, meaningful connection, have lots of fun using our brains, get creative, and talk about important things :)
I'll drink herbal tea from a ginormous cat mug, bring a real cat and soak it all up.
Age doesn't matter
If you are in your 20's, you likely have more sense than I ever had. Your generation continues to make my heart grow whenever I learn more about you.
I am a GenX. That means I am a lot older than you if you're in your 20's and if you're a GenX, you're likely saying OMG I can't believe I've found someone who can help me who's my age!!
I attract mostly women, the lovely Millenials, lots of GenX and a few beautiful Boomers. If we mesh, we mesh. Age is just a number.
Did I mention that I'm tech-savvy?
I had an online business in the 90’s. I sold 35 products related to animal health, mostly to the US, Australia and the UK. My friends still blame me for convincing them all to get Palm Pilots. However, I'm still the reason (in my head) why they all have smartphones, laptops and The Internet today.
It’s true, I did jump on the Internet as soon as it was available. I was an early adopter, and for a good reason, I am painfully dyslexic, and Word Processing saved my academic life.
You may find my perspectives on technology, the Internet and how we can use it for our businesses rather unique, also seasoned and sound.
Personality tests astrology and the woo-woo or fluffy stuff
I think of myself as very down to earth; however, I do find many things insightful, and you might say they are a bit flaky sounding, but once we meet, let's talk about that, and I'll tell you why I find this stuff so helpful.
If you ARE into personality tests & insightful info about your beautiful self that makes you pause and reflect a bit, I'm likely an HSP. Are you? And I didn't know anything about HSP's until I worked with a beautiful human and client named Mary. She can tell you more HSP's.
I am also a Sun in Pisces and a Moon in Taurus.
In summary, if you want to work with a sensitive fish-bull with a personality, only 2% of the world's population have, then I'm your gal!
I knew it.
Here are the resume-like highlights of my credentials
- I am a trained coach and an experienced strategist & digital marketer
- With a 20-year Digital career behind me
- Started as a web developer before the Dot Com Crash, then moved into management for large marketing and strategy projects in the corporate world
- I've had many successful side-hustles and full-time entrepreneurial gigs
- Certified Life Coach from The Institute of Life Coach Training
- Holistic health & personal development advocate: mind-body-spirit for the win
No mud no lotus makes perfect sense to me.
Curious to know more? I'd love to meet you. Let's talk.