This originally went out in my newsletter this week, but I had so many lovely messages from subscribers who felt relieved that they weren’t alone when it comes to freelancing peer pressure and perfection, that I thought it was worth a share here too.
I’ve been feeling the peer pressure recently.
Every time I log onto Facebook, I’m (super-enthusiastically) told:
- You’re just one Facebook ad away from a six figure business (just as long as you’re OK with paying five figures in FB ads to launch that six figure launch)
- Make SEVEN figures from your online course! Here’s a 15 step plan to do it! Only £4k.
- Raise your prices! Constantly! Even if it makes you really, really uncomfortable.
- You can have a baby, have a million dollar business and have a pristine house and office. To not do so is terribly un-feminist. Pushing yourself to a breakdown is so 2016, darling.
- Everything I’m doing is wrong and everyone else is right, and get with the programme Emma (OK, that one might just be that mean little voice in my head)
How utterly exhausting.
Honestly? I don’t give a damn about having a six figure business right now. If that’s your goal, more power to you! I have nothing against having a chunky bank balance, but right now my goals have to be life-based. I mean, I want to be able to pay the bills, treat myself and my little family and have a semi-comfortable life. But the reason I love being freelance is the flexibility it gives me, the ability to be able to work with people I actually like, and to work from home. I’ve been so focused on ‘proving myself’ financially (partly from guilt that I’m not setting a good example here as a freelancer), that I got a big lost along the way. Which actually limited my income.
I’m also tired of cookie cutter sales language. Big claims without the evidence. I feel like I’m back at school, with the popular girls boasting about how many boys they’ve pulled and the rest of us feeling a bit inadequate in comparison. Except, now they’re charging thousands to teach you how to replicate their success. In general, I’m just a bit tired of the overwhelm and the enthusiastic quick fixes to a big business. My introvert brain needs a break from all that noise!
So, I’m making some changes.
- I’ve lowered my coaching prices. It’s not really the done thing to lower your prices, but I want to help more freelancers (new and established), and lowering my prices makes coaching more accessible. I really believe coaching can make a big difference, and it’s had a huge impact on my life. In fact, as hard on myself as I can be, I think without it I’d have caved in and thrown in the towel by now, instead of relaunching my business and growing it.
- I’m going to get over this peer pressure block that’s stopped me blogging and podcasting until I’m ‘perfect’. I’ve actually achieved quite a bit over the last year, something I want to blog about more.
- Here’s a controversial one – accept that it’s ok for the next couple of years to not be where my business was pre-baby. I have a third of the time I had before to work (and that’s throwing working nap times into the mix). It’s ok not to have a baby and a bazillion pounds in the bank, as long as you’re achieving what you want to (for me, that’s time with my son while affording to pay the bills and helping more people to go freelance or improve their freelance life). On that note…
- *deep breath* Share an income report. This one is risky and very scary, because I don’t have a six figure income (or anywhere close). But there are two benefits: a) it shows you what I actually earn, so I don’t feed into the number bending bullsh*t b) it keeps me accountable with some goal setting for the following month. Because I do want to increase my income, but not by adding to the bullsh*t.