Finding Your Footing: An Introvert's Journey Through Career Building
We all see the people who seem to have the perfect life, the instant success, or the perfect family. But deep down, we know the perfect life isn’t real or attainable.
All we’re seeing when we look at Instagram or Facebook is a highlight reel, but life is lived behind-the-scenes. You don’t see the years of work, sleepless nights, or weekends when you don’t even shower.
Last month was the one year anniversary of my blog and business. That is a cause for celebration in it of itself. It’s been a great reminder to be happy about all the positive things my blog and business have brought into my life.
While I’ve been fairly open on the blog about my journey through entrepreneurship, there are still a few pieces of my journey I haven’t shared yet.
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Today I want to share the gritty, not-so-glamorous parts of running your own business.
Some of you may not know that before this blog, I ran another one. I had it for 4 years but barely reached 15 pageviews a month. It had no plan or direction, and I closed it down four months prior to starting the blog you’re reading now.
Around that time, I quit an awful job to try and make a living writing. Again, no real plan. My “strategy” consistent of looking around on various websites for small gigs.
I did get paid for a few articles and some proof-reading. I pursued freelance writing for about four months before I had to look for another job. It’s still a dream of mine to publish a book, but it has been put to the side for a little bit.
My time pursuing freelance writing wasn’t a failure in my eyes. I tried something and it didn’t work, but I learned a lot about myself during this period of my life.
I now know that I needed to plan more on how I would structure my days. Anyone who has tried writing for a living can tell you discipline is of utmost importance.
After realizing freelance writing wasn’t the right fit, I went back to experimenting with other creative projects.
And it was a long experiment, let me tell you.
For years, I floundered around trying to find something that I enjoyed, paid well, and gave me vacation-time freedom. While I found some decent positions, I quickly found that I couldn’t sit in an office for 40 hours.
I thought I found something great when I worked at a bookstore. Getting paid to talk about books all day? Sign me up!
The “honeymoon phase” of that job wore off quickly as I found that unless you become a manager, it’s pretty hard to find a full-time position. And the hours are less than ideal.
Some of the books that helped me along the way are:
It can be hard not to give in to the pressure to work like everyone else.
Others will try to convince you to take the easy route but you can’t, and shouldn’t, change yourself to fit in or make others comfortable.
Once I saw there were other ways of living, there was no going back. I was completely entranced with the idea of setting my own hours, working on a wide variety of projects, and connecting with other adventurous introverts. I’ve been following that passion ever since.
You don’t have to have it all figured out today. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and start where you are now.
Whether you have an idea you’ve been chewing on for a while, a website already built, or a full-blown brand, you can start building your own career how you see fit. There’s nothing more empowering than that.
How have you built your career? What do you value in a job or your business? Let me know in the comment section below!