At the end of last year, I wanted to quit. I’d had enough. Enough of being told my rate was too low, then too high. Leaving voicemails and sending emails, and getting no response. Being told to “follow my passion” and how to earn a “6-figure salary.” Not knowing why I was hustling and following this path.
So I went offline. I stopped blogging, posting on social media and checking my email. I avoided my Facebook community groups and ignored event invites. I let my magazine subscriptions pile up next to my bed, unopened. I turned on Netflix, laid on the couch and pretty much stayed there for a week. Then one day when the internet went down and I was stuck watching the wheel of death I remembered some amazing advice a friend told me in the first few months of running my business.
He said that successful businesses aren’t necessarily better – their services and products can be on par with everyone else in their industry. What makes them successful is that they are still around. When others fell down and didn’t get back up, they did. They kept going.
Then, I got off the couch.
Persistence is defined as “the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” Life is tough, we know that. But sometimes it’s easy to (literally) buy into the story we can get the good stuff without sweat and tears. I knew running a business and building my career as a writer wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t think that at nearly three years in it would still be this hard either. I can see why people quit, especially when the lows are so low.
I really was ready to throw it in and get a “real job” despite knowing that it wasn’t the right move. But instead, I asked myself: “What do I want to do with my life?” “What brings me joy?” “What’s my ideal shit sandwich?” And surprise, surprise my answers were still the same: To be a writer and run my communications business. To use my words to help make people think about their lives and the world differently. Even on the worst days when I feel like I have no stability and I don’t know where my next paycheck is coming from, I still wouldn’t want to do anything else.
So when I was asked the other day how I got the life I want my answer wasn’t money, luck or an action plan (although these things do help). My answer was persistence. Even when I could no longer picture the finish line and I was exhausted and scared I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I had faith if I stayed in the race I’d cross the line eventually.
Featured image from Pexels.