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A few months ago I quit my job with no prospects with the goal of becoming globe-trotting, freelancer. What I like to call, the ~new~ American dream. As it turns out, convincing people that they need your services and should pay you for them is a lot of work. (shocking, right?)
I’m stuck in this vortex of writing, pitching, proposing, pitching, client work, following-up (and repeat) that it’s given me tunnel vision, which is both good and bad.
I’m hyper-focused on my goals, but it still does not feel like it’s enough. The other day someone in one of the many, almost identical, freelance and entrepreneurship Facebook groups I‘m in said she sends out 15–20 pitches per day, 5 days a week. That made me nauseous. I had sent 4 that day and felt really productive. I obviously wasn’t working as hard as I thought I had been.
Which led to one of those “what’s even the point” moments that have happened every day since quitting my “real job.”
As freelancers, we’re always trying to validate our value and maximize our time. There’s a focus on productivity that is important might become borderline unhealthy. We compare the amount of work we get done to how much we assume other people are accomplishing, which can’t be good for our confidence or self-esteem. Not to mention, we have no idea what other people are doing. I know I beat myself up for not being as productive as I should be. Mainly because I’m in a place in my career where I can’t afford to waste any time.
But I’m trying to feel less guilty for being a human who needs to do fun, non-work related things to stay sane. So, in an effort to be transparent and hold myself accountable during this nightmarish process of becoming a real life, fully-functioning, self-sustaining entrepreneur, I’ll end this with a list of things I did yesterday that provided absolutely no value to my goals. Feel free to also do these things if you want a twinge of guilt to make you feel alive.
Played Gordon Ramsey’s Cooking Dash -- I built a Canadian restaurant and learned how to make poutine. When you go too slow or do poorly, Gordon shouts at you from the corner. Sometimes I wish there was someone shouting at me when to do things wrong in real life. Maybe then I’d be writing a pitch instead of playing Gordon Ramsey’s Cooking Dash.
Wrote a dialogue for my non-existent TV script -- Every once in a while I get a spike of creativity and have to ride that wave until the moment passes.
Watched the trailer for the Handmaid’s Tale, season 2 — Chills.
Read these for articles on Medium. — How I Write 10,000 Words Per Day, On Staying Sexy and Not Getting Murdered, Hiring Remote Workers Made My Entire Team More Productive.
Watched make-up tutorials on YouTube — I have an unexplainable fascination with influencer culture, and more specifically, beauty influencers on YouTube. They make so much money and love what they do. It’s an excellent case study of effective marketing techniques. So it’s basically research.
Worked on the banner image for a new Medium publication — Akina and I started “That One Time”, to share short stories of stimulating thing’s we’ve done and lessons learned from the experience. Check out the first two articles. If you want to contribute, message me!
The point of this post is that, yes, I felt pretty shitty about having been so unproductive on this particular day, but that’s okay. It’s all part of the process. And today, I’ll make more of an effort to avoid distractions until I’ve accomplished enough things I feel good about.
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