There are the things you plan for and the things you never expect.
Creating a business you love will definitely present you with a few things from each category.
When I started my freelance web writing and social media marketing business, there were things I knew to count on – the occasional flaky client who disappears into the ether and doesn’t pay; the high-maintenance client who expects the world on a silver platter, haggles over every insignificant detail and expects you to make yourself available for phone meetings at the ungodly hour of 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, when most sane people are enjoying normal activities like catching the latest episode of Mad Men; the feast-or-famine cycle that dogs you until you finally get your marketing right, and so on.
Then there were the things I never counted on, things I couldn’t have predicted.
Here are five that come to mind:
1. That one of my best clients would come from answering a craigs list ad, and that I’d still be happily working for her over two years later.
2. That people would offer $10 per blog post/article/piece of content with a totally straight face, then when you kindly object to working for such a rate, act shocked, haughty, self-important and stunned that you find this insulting. The corollary to this is people who will actually take those assignments.
3. That I would have to subject myself to a drug screen, a breathalyzer, a TB skin test, a pertussis vaccine, having a vial of blood drawn, and a lengthy discussion about worker’s comp and who would cover me if I got injured on the job, for a freelance writing contract with a healthcare client.
4. That people find it odd that I’m skilled in, a: writing web copy, blog posts, email marketing campaigns, case studies, press releases and so on, and at the same time, b: social media marketing and strategy. I don’t say this to brag. It’s just that several people – including a few clients – have expressed surprise about someone being able to both write well, and plan and implement effective social media campaigns. Yet I know many other people who have this same skill set. Hmm, it’s a mystery.
5. That the stories I wrote in 7th and 8th grade, and the “books” I made with handwritten content together with images torn out of a magazine as illustrations, would be turn out to be good preparation for one day launching a writing-oriented business in my adult life.
Maybe you have similar stories. If you own a business, whether you’re a one-person show or a 10-person or more operation, you’re bound to.
If so, I would love to hear them. Let’s all share, shall we?
Please share your story about an interesting or curious thing that happened to you as a small business owner or solopreneur that you didn’t see coming.
This should be fun. ; )
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