I remember distinctly when we had our first baby. In my mind, I had envisioned this newborn baby as all Kodak moments. Rocking sweetly. Cuddling. I had no idea that our first baby would be colicky, that he would not nurse well, that we would have to supplement with bottles, that he would be lactose intolerant, that he would cry endlessly for no reason for weeks on end. My Kodak moments were completely replaced with reality. And the reality was my chest hurt and I was getting no sleep. Having a baby was NOTHING like what I envisioned and yet years and years later, I wouldn’t trade that baby for anything.
This also happened when we week we got a puppy. My kids had asked for a puppy approximately 1,597 times. Our resolve had finally worn down, so we decided to get them a puppy for an early Christmas gift one year In my mind, I had this complete Kodak moment of how getting the puppy would look. I had envisioned Mr. Magic and I going to buy the puppy by ourselves and putting him in a box and somehow getting the box delivered to our house Christmas morning at like 6:00 am and then the kids bounding down the steps at 7:00 in the morning and us popping the top off of the box and this adorable dog bouncing out and us being the BEST PARENTS ever.
Please tell me some of you fanaticize about this Hallmark movie stuff too?
So we got the new puppy and instead of it being Kodak moment, I immediately found myself googling “how many times a day should a new puppy poop?”. I wondered if having a newborn would be easier? I was wondering if I’ll ever sleep through the night again? There was no bounding down the steps to see a dog jumping out of the top of the box. Instead we met a woman in a Walmart parking lot you, guys. We didn’t have a kennel or a food dish or any ideaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa of what we were getting in to. Our puppy has not been precious nor perfect nor adorable. Instead, he chewed on my new rugs and peed on my carpet. And while it’s sweet, a puppy is just waaaaaaaaaaaay different from what we expected. Eventually we felt different about Cooper. But right then we were thinking “what are we doing?” and “are we cut out for this?”.
Can I just tell you that this is exactly what starting a business is like too!
You have these Kodak moments in your mind about what starting/running a business will look like. You think that it’s going to be a clean break of you quitting your old job and beginning your new business. Or perhaps you envision just making the decision to start your business and immediately having sales. Whatever vision you have conjured up in your mind … I can assure you that it will not go like you planned.
I started my painting business 17+ years ago… and 3 months after starting it, I found out I was pregnant. I was pregnant and I painted for living. In my mind, the timing could not have been worse.
I would just like to go ahead and offer up the idea that perfect timing is a grand illusion. There is no perfect time to have a baby, no perfect time to buy a dog and certainly no perfect time to start a business. You’re going to have to pick a date and just do it. And there will be a lot of bumps and pains and things that transpire that don’t look like the grandiose vision of self-employment that you had in your mind. You will wonder if it’s a mistake?? You will wonder if you will starve to death?? You will wonder what were you thinking???? But, like anything else, the crooked paths are eventually made straight and all the crap that you have to go through in the beginning eventually turns into a precious toddler and hopefully a beautiful Goldendoodle and hopefully for you…… a thriving business.
If you are someone who needs help navigating your business because it’s not been all Kodak moments, I encourage you to sign up for my free workshop video series.
Self employment is my absolute favorite thing ever. I could never ever, ever work for someone else again. But it hasn’t been easy and I have had to learn through trial and error. Let me teach you what I have learned so that I can save you from some of the mistakes that I have made.
Let me teach you what being a self-employed creative entrepreneur REALLY looks like. It is not all Kodak moments, but it IS worth it.
If you need more on perfect timing, I encourage you to listen to my podcast with Christy Wright or watch my free video on on Perfection is killing your business.
PS…. new goldendoodle’s name is Stella. Yes, we did it again. We went through that stage again. She and Cooper have been the best decision our family has ever made. Just like self employment. 😉