Here’s a fair warning: this is not a pretty post at all.
It won’t make you want to go after your dreams, it won’t inspire you. Actually, it might do the opposite.
But it’s real and it’s raw, and it’s all I got.
I never thought of myself as a solopreneur before starting this blog. But one thing led to another and I started freelance writing, and whether I’m ready to call it that or not yet, I’m running a business.
I wish I can tell you it’s been easy, wonderful, and smooth as a pancake, but it hasn’t.
Most of the time, I feel like an awkward person flailing her arms around.
I still don’t know what I’m doing or how this is going to work.
I just do it and hope for the best.
I keep wondering, “When does this get better? When does it get easier?”
But every day feels like a new beginning.
Emotionally, it’s taken a toll on me.
The Cost of Paving Your Own Road
I don’t hang out with my friends as much anymore because first, I have to worry about money and two, most of the time, I’m stuck in my own head, and third, I feel like I’ve lost interest in a lot of the things that use to excite me.
I haven’t slept well in a while and when I do, it’s from exhaustion.
My anxiety has reached new heights. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel like I can’t breathe.
I forget to eat, something that was once inconceivable to me.
In the last 10 months, I’ve noticed a dozen white hair sprouting on the top of my head. I tried to pluck them out but they just keep coming back.
And in one year, I feel like I’ve aged two.
Did I also mention that my wrists hurt from typing so much?
Yeah, I think you get the idea.
Solopreneur Life Isn’t That Glamorous In the Beginning
Yes, there are some highs but mostly there are a lot of doubts and insecurities.
When I hear from successful solopreneurs about their fears, it makes me tremble even harder because I’m thinking, “Holy crap, it never goes away??” But at the same time, it makes me feel better to know they are human too.
Still, it makes me wonder will it be like this forever? Is this all worth it?
Except I have one problem: I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know what else to do.
Yes, it’s true that I chose this life but sometimes I feel like this life chose me.
I already tried abandoning my dreams but they haunted me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I became more scared of the thought that I might never go after my dreams than going after them. I knew I would never be able to live with myself knowing I was a coward and didn’t even try.
I would lie awake at night for hours trying to decide when I was going to take the leap.
And now that I did, I am wobbly from my leap.
So What Keeps Me Going Then?
Simple. I already said it, I honestly feel like I don’t have a choice.
I’ve dreamt and fantasized about going back to the way things were. When I had a schedule lined up for me every day and a paycheck coming in biweekly.
Life was simpler but also bleaker. I had no passion, no drive, and no purpose. I just lived like a robot.
Now, my life is full of worries and fears which isn’t any better I suppose but I have a real reason to get up every day. I actually feel excited to work.
If you are thinking about going after your dreams, if your dreams require you to give up a lot of things, my advice would be this: DON’T unless you feel like your soul is absolutely dying. Because the risks, the instability, the unknown is just far too irrational for any sane person.
But if you can make it through the initial stage of insanity, you will see progress and growth and it’ll make you smile so wild it hurts, that is until you turn the corner and realize, “Oh crap, there’s an even higher mountain after this.”
And so you start the next emotional roller coaster.
It’ll stress you out, burn you to the ground but it’ll also bring you the sweetest joy and the victory you’ve ever felt.
Staring at my first paycheck from writing even though it wasn’t that much felt like I was staring at gold.
And once you’ve felt it, that’s it. You’re hooked.
So even though my wrists hurt, even though I write about nothing but struggles, this entire experience has made me 10 times stronger than I was. It’s taught me how to stand up and carry on even when I feel vulnerable and like crap.
It’s been a learning process and that’s what being a soloprenuer is all about.