What I learnt this week… appreciate how far I’ve come so far

Work-life balance

Finding the right balance between busily building your business and sustaining a healthy personal life is really difficult, especially in the early stages of your business journey.

There are many things that you need to manage all at once – business development, networking, admin, marketing, plus the actual work that brings in the money. Sometimes, it’s tricky with this busy schedule to find time to take a rest, unwind and have some fun.

This week once again I’ve realised the importance of having some rest over the weekend to recharge my batteries. I love the flexibility of being a freelancer, which allows me to spend a bit more time on networking and business development when there are good opportunities, and then finish all the work at some other time. Unfortunately, some other time often needs to be late in the evening or over the weekend. In general, I don’t mind working over weekends, but when a busy week kicks in, it’s hard to keep going without a proper break.

How far you’ve come

I know I’ve talked about this topic several times already, but it’s a big topic for me: self-worth and Imposter Syndrome. No matter how much I do work on myself, I still often feel that I’m not good enough because I compare myself to those far ahead of me.

Compared to people who have had their own businesses for 5+ years and have 10+ years of work experience, I am still only a beginner. But to my clients, business partners and other freelancers, I am the expert in my field. It’s important to always see both sides – looking at where you want to get, but also seeing how far you’ve come so far.

Looking at the bright side

Even though the majority of the feedback I receive from my clients is really positive and happy, on the odd occasion there’s someone who isn’t 100% happy with my work (mainly because we did not have the same understanding of what’s realistic to achieve on social media, a simple communication misunderstanding or being genuinely unhappy about the results). I’m alway trying to learn something from each piece of feedback and improve myself and my services.

But by being really cautious about my business, after all, it’s my baby, I tend to take negative feedback much more personally than perhaps I should.

The other day I realised that anytime a client emails me or requests an ad hoc meeting, my first instinct is to think that something went wrong, that they want to complain. It might be just me having trust issues or being really unsure of myself as a business owner,

Do you have the same issue? How do you deal with negative feedback and customer complaints? I’d love to hear what you’ve found the most helpful.

Book Corner

Last week, I started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and I absolutely love it!

I often feel torn between the need to be social and my own desire to be just on my own. I’m still trying to find the right balance between getting out there and enjoying the energy that a great networking event brings in and being on my own, quiet and having time to let my thoughts settle.

This quote from the book really captures the whole dichotomy:

“Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet.”

How about you? Do you prefer going out and socialising with lots of people or do you enjoy quiet evenings at home with a good book more?