When The Circus Is Not So Serene…
Sometimes, serenity just doesn’t co-operate.
For most of 2012, the circus that is my creative life and business was anything but calm and placid – turbulent, demanding, and disruptive yes, tranquil and productive, no. None of the business plans I had in place saw fruition, the blog fell silent, my freelance clients dwindled, and even the weekly #QuirkyBiz tweet chats suffered.
What’s behind the tornadic upheaval?
My husband and I lost 3 immediate family members in 7 months, all three of them after lengthy illnesses and hospice stays. As a result, I spent a lot of emergency nights, weeks and even months away from home.
There was simply no way to balance the new demands of family with the demands of a just-starting-up multi-faceted creative business. Because both my family and my husband’s were involved, there was no one free to lean on for extra help. And now, when things should be settling down, I’m having to take on a much bigger role with the estate than intended. It’s keeping me off-balance, and all I can say is thank-the-circus-gods for safety nets!
I’m not writing this looking for sympathy.
(I’m fine, I swear) nor am I hinting that I’d like your forgiveness for my broken promises. No, I’m writing this to say that as cliché as it sounds – sometimes, life just interferes.
Sometimes those things are in your control, sometimes they aren’t – mostly, it’s a mix, and there’s not a lot you can do to prevent it.
Being your own boss gives you flexibility, yes, but whether you work for yourself, clients or a corporate overlord, there are limits to your time, energy and attention. If you work for someone else, you’ll sometimes have to take days off, leaves of absences, and at times your work quality will suffer because of distractions. And when you work for yourself, there *will* be times you’ll fail to meet your obligations to yourself, your fans, partners, and maybe even to paying clients.
Failure WILL happen.
And when (not if) it happens, avoid those masochistic tendencies of yours and skip the self-flagellation exercises. Instead, do your best to make things right (whether that means refunds, apologies, corrections, or all of the above) and move forward the best you can, when you can.
Now, I know you’ll be tempted to jump into the comments section and offer condolences. Please don’t! You’re totally relieved of that obligation – Promise.
What I’d *really* like to see are examples of how external circumstances have run your business or projects off the tracks, and how you re-railed the train (If you did!) So ‘fess up and share, won’t you? We all need to feel a little less alone when our trains wreck.
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