Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fraught: adj (of a situation or course of action) Filled with or destined to result in (something undesirable). in: I am fraught with self doubt.

If I could make just one wish, I think it would be to have the ability to know the difference between instinct and fear. {Oh - who the hell do I think I am kidding? If I had one wish, I'd want money. Plain and simple. Then, it wouldn't matter what was fear and what was instinct.}

I performed an organizational service for a client this past Friday. It was awful. Truly. She has OCD and (based solely on my non-professional and completely uneducated medical opinion) a hoarding disorder. But, she wants help ... she just isn't ready. I learned a BIG lesson. Several of them, actually. The "Coles Notes" version of the story is as follows: I spent just over nine hours working on three of four closets I was hired to organize. I got to hour six (and closet three) and she lost it and had to have everything back the way it had been. So, I did as I was asked. She paid me half of the original $90 quote (which was barely a third of what should have been charged to begin with) and I left ... with a broken heart.

Women like me are the reason we don't rule the world, you know. It isn't that I don't use my brain in the decision making process ... but my heart ALWAYS gets the final say. It is exceptionally challenging to be rational when you are feeling your way through life the way that I seem to do. 

Oddly, this experience isn't the cause of my self doubt. It certainly has coloured my overall sense of happiness a drippy shade of grey, but it is not the culprit in this story. I am.

I am seriously questioning whether or not I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. It would seem my signature move - to cover my head up with my blanky - is seriously lacking in the results department. It pisses me off to think the way that I do of late. I mean, I've spent the better part of the last two decades railing against evil entrepreneurial bosses to whom I dedicated my heart and soul (not to mention brains, creativity and a metric ton of work) ... only to feel under appreciated, under compensated and ... yes, I'm going to say it - abused. 

Of course I thought I was as smart as they were. Smarter, in a couple of cases. Of course I felt completely competent to apply my talents to any job worth my attention. I am good at anything I truly focus my attention on. I am a worker bee... as much as I like to be the queen on the weekends, the reality of my situation dictates that I may, in fact, be a simple drone. You never see 'business for self' bees, do you?

Can you see where I'm going wrong?

It isn't about being smarter. It isn't about being good at what you do - or even being the best. It isn't even about luck (though I have little doubt that luck has factored into a number of successful businesses over the ages). It's about self promotion. Plain and simple.

I seem to have a mental block for that talent.

The past eighteen months or so have been ... priceless. I have learned just enough to make me realize the scope of what I do not know or (in many cases) understand. I have stripped myself down to the bones and tried with all my might to understand myself ... with very limited success. I have learned a few truths that perhaps left a bit of a welt in the process - but the one prevailing truth that keeps smacking me on my mouth is that I strive (often to the detriment of everything I am attempting to accomplish) to be authentic.

I think this is why I am so obsessed with what everyone else thinks of me ... because it is so important to me that I am authentic. Real. Transparent. True.

Here's what else I have realized: Self promotion and authenticity are not happy bedfellows. The reason my previous experiences with the true entrepreneurial spirit (or at least the male version) have left me in complete mystified awe is because they are (or were) so full of shit, I can't imagine how they ever escaped the flies. Full of shit right up to their eye sockets.

That can never be who I am to the world.

So what do I now do with this revelation? Is there a way to self promote and still be true to who you are? Who you wish to be in the world? 

Don't get me wrong here - I am not blind to my short comings. I'm not attempting to be the Mother Theresa of closets here. I just want to be honest and fair and do good work that makes my clients happy. But how in the name of crap am I supposed to DO that with no clients? And how I am supposed to GET clients if I am not self promoting well (or enough ... or at all)?

Ergo, I am fraught with doubt. 

At what point do I call the death and go back to drone-hood ... knowing I'm unlikely to ever align myself with a boss who has a similar desire to be authentic ... or do I fight? Which is it? I'm gambling with the most important things in my life - my family. So - is it fear that fills me with this doubt? Or is it instinct telling me to haul ass and get the hell out while I still can?

You decide ... and let me know, eh? I'm stumped.

Until next time ~

Authentically yours, 

Danica Dragonfly (the contrived moniker that I go by so nobody really knows who I am in real life ... can YOU say irony, children?)