Lucky is doing what you love for a living, being surrounded by people who not only support you in doing what you love, but who also forgive you when you become tunnel-visioned and consumed with it. I went to my one onsite client’s office today where I do a monthly series of diagnostics, tests and updates — check out the functionality of their network, each computer on the network, and address any questions, concerns or issues that they may be experiencing.
I work in the office on the farm nearly every day, and this once a month trip out reconnects me with the real world. I guess that, and the fact that I adore the clients, are the reasons I don’t give up that contract, even though it’s not my area of specialization. Besides, it forces me to stay on top of the hardware and software end of technology advances and helps me to work more efficiently in my own “virtual” office and advise other clients on technology solutions.
But when I’m there, I realize how lucky I am. My normal daily commute is across the floor. My work clothes are the denim dresses I throw on after a quick shower and running a brush through my hair. Yes, many days I even work barefoot (gasp!) or in sandals or tennis shoes. I still object to the “bunny slippers” cliche for most home office inhabitants. I used to think that I needed to dress like I did for regular office work to feel “professional” enough to project that over the phone and in e-mail. That was when I was still struggling for clients. I was still proving myself TO myself.
Now, I have a full slate. I’m picky about what clients I accept. I genuinely like and respect and enjoy working with the clients I currently have. And I know that I have something to offer them (even dressed comfortably) or I would have recommended that they go to another service provider. I often refer out clients that I don’t feel are a perfect match to my own skills and personality. It builds my relationship with other entrepreneurs, by sending them business, and helps me to keep my own business focused on exactly the services I want to provide and the people I want to help.
I’m living the life of most entrepreneurs’ dreams and I’ve finally quit waiting for the other shoe to fall, and the business to disappear and the “struggle” to survive to come back into my life. Months and months after the business become successful, I kept waiting for the downturn. So far, it’s never come. I talked with a peer this week, and she asked what I do when there is a downturn in my client load. I told her I just worked, and worked, and then worked some more. I’m sure that sounded flippant, but it’s true.
Any time I don’t have pressing client work, I’m writing articles, working on my own marketing plans, developing tools to help current and future business consultation clients, updating my website and researching the latest information on search engine optimization. So, whenever I get a little break from clients, I’m still working – I’m just working on business building activities rather than on direct revenue-building ones.
The joy is — I love all the activities. Although it seems a bit odd that in my search for a more simple and “pure” life – that I’ve embraced such a technological bent, but there is a bit of logic – even in that.
I do wish I could find a way to reduce the additional workload caused by technology use, and increase the amount of time actually saved with the tools. I think I may even find that balance someday.
All that aside, today is a good day to be a writer and to be offering marketing assistance and consulting from my little corner of the world. And some days I feel a bit odd admitting that my dreams have, with few exceptions, all come true. I still have some goals that are yet unmet. But there aren’t that many on that “to do list” considering the size of the list I had a few years back. I do tend to keep adding to that list, however, so I doubt I’ll ever run out.
As I wind up the day, I wish happiness, joy and productivity to you all – and the time to reflect on how great life can really be!
Now if only there were more hours in the day, more weeks in the year, and more years in a lifetime!