Creatives & Self-Employed: Be Your Own Best Friend

Avocado Tree House

Avocado Tree House

As the month of September begins and I’ve paid my end of August/beginning of September bills, I got a bit nervous about my dwindling bank account. In the past, the jobs and money came rolling in. Like clockwork. Not anymore. As many of us are in survival mode these days and may or may not be handling the stress well, I reminded myself this morning to be my own best friend. Be your own cheering section, pat yourself on the back at least once a week and say to yourself, “Hey you’re making a smart and strong effort to propel your career forward, don’t give up. It will be better next week.”

I remember back when I was starting out, I was in my apartment on a Friday evening, looking into the bathroom mirror and being incredibly bummed that my week just sucked. No lab sales, no photography jobs, no licensing opportunities. No money coming in but plenty going out the other way. At that moment I caught myself getting ready to sit on the pitty pot. All of a sudden my mood lifted as I said to myself; “Don’t worry this week wasn’t so hot, but Monday is the beginning of a brand new week and you will create new opportunities and reasons to get out bed and hit the streets.” Self-employed creative professionals must be able to rise from the ashes and begin anew with all the hope and clarity that renewal brings. If we do not train ourselves to continually refresh our outlook and maintain a positive perspective, then either we must get into the safety of a “real” job or perish.

I know it ain’t easy but we have to try, it’s what we signed up for. Hanging out a shingle is exciting but it comes with a lot of responsibility to your self. Deal with it or you will be consumed by the daily struggles of running a one-person business and all that goes with it. Add to this the responsibility of having a family and you are well on your way to Stress Valley. But it is manageable if you’re your own best friend. I give my self atta-boys constantly, I tell myself that tomorrow will be better. I give myself fun tasks to perform the day after a bad day so I don’t spoil on the whole self-employed thing. It must be working, I’ve been at it since 1980.

If you do the right things, perform with integrity and from the right place in your soul, unless you’re a complete jerk, you will survive, succeed and thrive.

Just to let you know it all works out, I booked one shoot today and touched base with a client who is looking to hire me for a consulting project in the next few weeks. I’m also preparing three promotional packages to send out to people I’ve been in contact with and who are looking to expand the group of creative talents they work with. Add into this mix the efforts of my agent Wendi Kaminski and I know things will work out. And tomorrow is Thursday, my best day of the week for phone work!

Which leads me to my next post: How to determine the best times of day and best days of the week for specific tasks.

Till next time…..

3 Comments

  1. Akitamaya October 3, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    Hi Mike

    Your words and your journey is so encouraging! Good on you, mate!

    Melbourne, Australia

  2. digitalbeast October 3, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Thank you. I actually visited your beautiful country three years ago, Melbourne, Hunter Valley, the Great Barrier Reef and a few other places. Good times for sure. Let me know what you think of the book. Should be out by the end of October.

  3. Michael Stern September 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Thanks Akitamaya. A bit late with this reply because I didn’t know where to look for comments.

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