Just under half of my clients this week have wanted to talk about something other than their business. And when it’s not about the business per se, it’s about the business owner. I am grateful to these clients for the occasional break in routine questions about how to make more money more easily, although I love both halves of my work equally.
This week the “problem” was that people were feeling down or bleurgh, they just couldn’t make themselves work but they feel guilty when they take time off when there’s so much to do. Or they were feeling financially terrified and needed to reach out to someone who knows how that feels when you work for yourself, alone.
I thought it was very interesting that immediately after they had reached out, after they’d booked themselves in, life improved almost immediately in anticipation of their call. It was like the very act of admitting they needed help was rewarded and often very quickly too. It wasn’t that there was nothing left to talk about by the time their appointment came around, more that the admission that we can’t always do everything by ourselves and taking action accordingly brings better news into our lives.
I also felt a bit down myself and a bit bleurgh too and I already knew I’d got a day off planned for Thursday and a good friend who I was going to be able to confide in and that worked exactly as it did with my clients who trust me enough to share their real honest-to-goodness selves with me. Because I was feeling the same and because I’ve felt it hundreds of times before, I know it goes with the territory. This too will pass, it always does. Sometimes that’s comforting enough to remember. (Not always, but sometimes!)
With my clients I had discussions about whether this was to do with the change of seasons, the sudden influx of cold and rain in the UK after such a blissful long period of sunshine which makes everything seem easier. We discussed fears about what if the worst happens. We reminded ourselves that it never does. We counted our blessings and knew we were alright really, with so much to be grateful for. And that we have enough skills, talents and opportunities to build on and start from there. Soon we’ll be back on track.
Talking out your fears and problems and knowing you are not alone and hearing a selection of ideas which might make you feel better, well… guess what? It makes you feel better. And when you feel better you can go off and do something to improve your lot if that’s what it takes.
It isn’t always about doing, actually. Often it’s about sitting with the feelings and being OK with that and hearing their message and honouring it. It can be about going to bed with a good book and a box of chocolate biscuits (not my solution, but I wouldn’t rule it out!). Or having a sleep or a meditation. Or just my permission to stop driving yourself so hard and take the time you need to be a real human being. That way you can remember why you are self-employed in the first place. For the freedom to decide on a novel, a sleep, a walk, a cycle ride, or a coffee and cake out with your lovely little daughter after school. That last one really happened.
If you are not already a client and could use some of this sort of support, book yourself in for one of my Pay What You Want sessions. Keep an eye on my Facebook Page where I advertise their availability daily, Monday to Friday.