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The Challenge of Being Self-Employed

BEING MY OWN BOSS

Since I was a child I’ve dreamed of becoming my own boss! It seemed like something that would never happen, I believed I was not strong enough to do that but the longing kept growing inside me.

Back then I wanted to become a psychotherapist or a masseuse, but instead I’ve been taken down a different road – I never could’ve imagined that this was what I would be doing – I didn’t even know you could make money from crochet patterns!

There are so many things that drew me to a self-employed job but most importantly it was being the one in charge – that I am in control of my own time and no one else can decide for me.

I’m very uncomfortable with authorities and with someone having control over me and my life (like my parents did), therefore being in charge gives me a big sense of freedom and I still have to pinch myself everyday.

I’m doing it, I’m there!! I’m where I’ve always wanted to be.

BEING CREATIVE FOR A LIVING

Another big reward of being self-employed the way I am is that I get to make money from being creative! Something I also never thought would be possible for me.

But that is also the challenge. If I was running a non-creative business it would be more like having a list of things I could do, I could even shut off my brain for a bit and just let my hands do the work. The job would be the same way everytime, I would know exactly in what order and how to get the job done – there would only be one way to do it, and I wouldn’t have to rely on my creativity.

THE PROS AND CONS OF A CREATIVE JOB

Being self-employed gives me an immense sense of freedom and the opportunity to switch between different kinds of creative work –
writing (posts, listings, patterns), photography, editing videos, designing, sketching and crocheting.

Not everything will earn me any money – most of what I do on my website (apart from the shop) is something I don’t earn money on!

Unfortunatly relying on my creativity for earning money can be tricky. When I am creatively stuck, not motivated or not feeling the need to create, I can start to panic.

JUDGING MYSELF

These are some of the thoughts I get when I feel mistrust in my creative process:


You’ll never feel like creating again.
You should just give up now.
Find a regular job!
What are you doing!? You can’t do this.
Why did you choose to do this? You suck at it
People are maybe not complaining about you right now, but just wait – they will because they are thinking your work is bad and stupid
Look at x, x and x, maybe try do what they’re doing instead (even if it’s not your style), they have more success than you
Be what people expect you to be, don’t be yourself.
You can’t do anything, look at all your stupid and ugly projects
You should really start making other designs than what you’ve made until now
It’s not good enough.
I know you like to make very simple and neutral designs, but it’s so boring, maybe use some bold colors and do more “crochet style” designs then you might have some success!
What you’re doing now is not working.
Do you really think people will support your work? your work is not special or unique.
Do you even like doing this!? you don’t! and you probably never will again.

We can all get thoughts like these, and it doesn’t help to try and undo them or force yourself to think differently.

It’s NORMAL to judge ourselves. We all do in one way or another – some people don’t even realise how hard they are on themselves (I didn’t in the past), these thoughts were just a part of me.

But recognising the thoughts, actually realising that they’re there helps me to separate them from myself. These are my parents words that I have internalised – I know it’s not the truth but it can feel very true in the moment – I’m not perfect, and it’s okay to judge yourself.

I’m not going to start judging myself for judging myself!


ALLOWING THE MISTRUST

I know that these thoughts are fear and mistrust speaking. I’m judging myself because I feel unsafe and mistrusting of my life and myself. I try and teach myself to let go and trust that I don’t have any trust. That it’s ok not to have trust or acceptance right now – it’s still gonna be okay. I can live and still be unsure of myself, I don’t need to strive to feel good about myself, because I don’t right now.

Even if I don’t make any designs or crochet anything for a while – I will still be okay.

“MAKING IT” IS NOT ABOUT MAKING MONEY


The good thing – and what I’m realising day by day – is that making it is not about making money.

It’s more about strenghtening the community I have created. It’s about me being here. And I love being here everyday!

Creating means that I need some sort of motivation (and not to be too judging towards myself and my work) but being here has no requirements.

I can be here and be exactly who I am – both the mistrusting, depressed and fearful Mati and the joyful, creative and excited Mati.

I like sharing both my creations, other’s creations, posting from my everyday life or thoughts about healing – I like that on these platforms there is no right way to be or do.

I think that is what benefits both me, the community and my business the most – the consistency not in how much or little I create but my consistency in just being here, just being me.

And no that doesn’t make me any money, but it’s worth much more!

My creativity might not be reliable. But I am. I’m gonna keep being here – and even if I create less or not at all in some periods, I’m still here and I’m still going to share what’s on my mind and heart in whatever way, form or shape I feel like it. And that’s what keeps me going and will spark my motivation and creativity again.

Allowing to be and do and share/not share what I feel like right now, creates a sense of trust and safety and it expands so I start to trust the process again and ultimately I think that is what will make my business survive in the long run.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE CREATIVELY STUCK


I’ve written a list – both for myself and for you to use – that I will look at every time I feel demotivated or not feeling like creating:

– update your website/patterns/listings/profile bio/picture

– take photos/make videos

-reach out to fellow creators (make a poll/quiz/ask questions)

– share other’s work!!!

– unravel old projects (it’s like free yarn!)

– visit your local yarn shop (avoid rush hour) and look and feel different yarns (and buy some!)


– go for a walk – look around and up, notice colors and shapes (look at what people are wearing)


– drink water, nap, buy a plant, cry, punch a pillow, turn up the music


– allow yourself to do less than regular (leave the dishes
and laundry, wear pj’s all day, eat chips instead of dinnerchips can be a meal too _justnanna reminded me of this!!)

– what if you were not a creative? what would you be doing instead?


– breathe <3 and remember we can’t constantly be “on”, sometimes we need to turn “off”, recharge or do something completely different!


2 thoughts on “The Challenge of Being Self-Employed

  1. This is so comforting knowing my “Big Sister” is always be here for us 🥰

    1. So happy you’re here <333

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