Starting a business is hard. Really, starting any big project is hard…I admire all the people out there who are brave enough to undertake some of these projects. Reading one of Molly Hoyne of Stratejoy’s great bloggers on the support needed to create a business and follow dreams made me realize how much the unspoken dependence on my own network scares me and makes me wonder if “I’m enough” while pursuing my own dreams.
Most of my clients are very driven and self reliant. I fall very strongly into this category myself. I often feel “guilty” that I’m not contributing enough and that I’m not carrying my own weight. I feel selfish and indulgent for not being able to “support myself” with the equivalent of a full-time income, not paying market-rate rent, not being able to go out with friends without wondering how I can put gas in my car to get to the random jobs I have so I can make this dream work. I’m smart and driven, I should be able to start a business, maintain my standard of living and make it look easy! (The word “SHOULD” tips me off that perhaps I need to reevaluate my expectations of myself for sanity’s sake)
Looks like I’m not alone:
I worry about spending money that I didn’t earn on things we need. I worry that I am taking advantage of a wonderful man(or in my case, roommates & friends). I think about friends whose spouses have supported them through grad school, and then they switch off and support them in kind once they have a great job with their new degree.
…If I think of myself as being in a sort of “Artist Graduate Program” it all feels pretty normal and acceptable instead of indulgent and selfish. I won’t end up with a degree, but I will probably end up creating my dream job and doing work that fulfills me every day.
(My First Lesson in Marriage http://networkedblogs.com/f63t )
But the challenge comes in knowing that the sacrifice is paying off. Do my friends think I’m a slacker that can’t keep up? Does my family think I’m foolhardy? Do I feel like I’m being a freeloader?
The upside to all of this is learning that I am still ok, still liked, and can survive with my head high. People see I’m working hard, people are willing to hang out with me, and maybe even buy me a glass of wine on occasion. They’re still showing me support, and giving me the emotional fuel to support my dreams (the friendship–not the glass of wine, not that it hurts!).
The best thing I can promise right now is to somehow pay forward all the karma & good will I worry I’m “burning”. The world doesn’t operate in a vacuum and neither do I. The article reminds me that we can all have time to work on our dreams, to be supported, and when the time is right, we’ll be able to do the same for others. The momentum is picking up, thank goodness. That still doesn’t’ make it easy.