As a small business owner, there are so many times when I have experienced self-doubt and have not been motivated to get out of bed. I’ve been overworked and underpaid, and gone weeks without receiving any good news about my business.
Over the past few weeks, I have changed things around. I was at a real low with my career, reading up on how writing and editing are useless skills and how the media industry is dying out and there are simply no jobs. I felt it. I would send so many emails and pitches and never hear back.
It was always my goal to get into national magazines, but it looked like it just wasn’t going to happen for me. So now, instead of fighting it, I’m accepting it. And when that door in my mind closed, and I realized I needed to stop chasing this pipe dream, it opened my mind up to so many other possibilities instead.
What if, instead of waiting for validation from a publisher, I simply put up my work on my own blog? What if I go after smaller magazines that pay just as well, if not better? How about trying different kinds of writing out and seeing where that leads me? What about focusing on connecting with people over publications, and working those connections instead? How about investing in my LinkedIn page and website to showcase my talent?
Now I realize that going after these publications was like trying to get scraps after all the other animals have eaten. It just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I can invest in myself and get the entire meal to myself.
It’s a long end game. It’s not like a magazine, where I could be published within a few months, get a paycheck, and feel that rush of seeing my byline and bragging about it to friends, who would congratulate me and then forget all about it within 10 seconds.
I’m not into that momentary pleasure anymore. Investing in myself is the goal. Thanks to the internet, I can put out my own content, build my own site, and do so much to further my career on a budget. I don’t need gatekeepers to keep me down.
I encourage you to take small steps and determine how you can also invest in yourself, starting today.