Lately, life has seemed overwhelming. I’ve been getting bogged down by all the elements of running my own business—and everything has felt like a fight. Fighting to land a job (quoting and negotiating jobs), fighting for payment (misunderstandings and miscommunications), and fighting to keep up with all the paperwork and administrative tasks (expense reports, invoicing, etc.). So behind in the paperwork. Tired. Tired of staying up late to work. Tired of budgeting every few days living a life of fluctuating income. Tired of feeling guilty for not spending enough time with friends. Tired of saying the same things over and over, “I’m trying to build a life with MORE time for you all.” Just tired. Tired to the point of frequent tears while sinking face-first into the largest square of my studio apartment’s carpeted floor.

Why do I share these things with you? Because they are REAL. Building a business is no joke. It takes perseverance. Dedication. Resilience.

It also takes VISION.

One of those times laying face-first on the floor crying out to God in exhaustion, He transported me above myself, showing me another perspective. As I lay there, I saw in my mind’s eye the larger picture. I liken it to film, where the camera pans over an entire town, then focusing on the street, house, and room. In this case, I was panning out. And what I was seeing was GOOD. Real good.

After a few years of not writing, I had the formatted draft of a book I had cowritten sitting on my table, one that allowed me to write humor, a genre I’d always secretly wanted to break into; I was starting to land the clients I’d always wanted—authors and pub houses (most of my time was now spent editing books and helping people find agents and publishers—everything books—love love love); people were accepting my recently increased rate without question (five years in the biz equaled time to raise that rate!); and I was finally starting to write for myself again, with a project in the works and a group that kept me accountable. On the personal front, I had a few true friends I talked to on a regular basis, individuals who had been with me through this whole crazy journey and who loved me the way that I was, even on the crazy days when my hot-blooded Yankee Italian came out; my family and I were growing closer and talking about things with openness and love instead of sweeping things under the rug; I now had FaceTime, which meant more opportunities to chat with the nephews… Just a lot of good things. More I could list, but you get the picture.

But all these good things, these GREAT things had been clouded by too-limited vision.

This experience taught me that whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I need to mentally pan upward and see things from a broader perspective.

In my case, the feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm, the more frequent bouts of tears are NOT signs of failure or impending doom. They’re signs of GROWTH.

And I realized that I need some help with larger vision. I have survived in this business and have fought my way through the brambles to get to this point of working with dream clients and doing things I love—I like to call myself a renegade—but I’m tired of fighting every day. And I’m realizing I don’t have to. With a little help from a business mentor and other experts such as my friend Melissa Perkins Capps who runs an organization business, I’m going to learn how to think larger and how to streamline all those tasks that are cluttering my attention away from the dream clients and projects. I’m going to get help with creating systems for the everyday aspects of running a business. I’m going to get help with accounting and finances. I’m going to build a team of helpers. Not be afraid to ask for help. Help is not a bad thing. Asking for encouragement is not a bad thing.

It doesn’t mean you’re weak; it just means you’re human.

It also means you’re growing.

It’s a good thing.

I reached out to my Facebook community the other day, admitting I was tired, that running my business was feeling like a fight, and I needed some encouragement. When the encouragement started rolling in, I ended up having to go to the café bathroom because the tears started flowing. I hadn’t realized how hungry I was for someone to tell me I was doing well, to just keep going, that they believed in me. I didn’t want to quit. I just needed some encouragement.

I’m so thankful for the support I have in my life. So thankful for the God I have in my life. So thankful for this gift of vision and where it is leading.

When life is getting you down, try it. Pan away from the moment, from the issue at hand, and see the larger picture. Are things really all bad? You may be surprised at what you see.


2 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. Andrea, Well, I just opened my e-mail, after a long spell, and came upon your submit of your recent frustration. I thought as I read, of some thoughts that may be of encouragement to you. I came from a home where my father as long as I was around was an entrepeneur. Yes there were times when my Dad lost his cool due to the trials and struggles of the work that he did. I believe that it is part of the dynamics of being your own boss, everything relys on you in order for that pay check to come. When things don’t go as smoothly as planned, or something comes up that puts a monkey wrench in your scheme of things, frustration happens.There’s no third party you can go to that will help you solve your delema, other than God, but you are the only one at present to get through whatever presents itself to you. I believe you hit on something about stepping back and getting the bigger picture of things. We sometimes get in a rut and at times can’t see anything other than the problem in front of us. Take heart my dear, as I tell Rebecca many times, “This too shall pass”, Somehow the sun comes up the next day and you get a whole new day to try it again. It’s amazing what a fresh new perspective of another day can give a situation. Another aspect of being self-employed is making yourself take time off for yourself to get refreshed, have a balanced life and perspective of life in general. This is something I wish my Dad would have done more in life, and I think it would have made his life a lot more pleasant for him and his family. Another aspect of organization in the business realm just happened to be a discussion that Shelton and I was having the other day. You may not know, but Shelton had for many years been an accountant and payroll officer at a very successful business here in Goldsboro. He was discussing with me how he had each day organized out to do a specific job, and it was a part of the overal plan to meet a weekly goal(payroll). He also had weekly goals, that helped meet monthly goals, and monthly to meet yearly goals, etc. Each day he would only concern himself with that daily goal, and work to his best no matter how long it took him to get that days job done. If he got done early that day with the task, he might work on the next days job, or part of the weekly job, whatever. He would not let the overall job overwhelm him, as his only concern each day was to get that one days job done, that’s all. When he did this, he was always able to meet his goals, get the job done and not get frustrated or overwhelmed with the big picture and meet the goals he had set out to do. I thought that , that was a very intersting way to look at a lot of tasks and to get a lot of things accomplished, just by organizing oneself with your tasks and goals in life. Maybe these tidbits of information will be of some help to you. I trust you will find your way thru this. It sounds like you have a good support group of friends, which is very important as well. God made us to need each other, so it’s good to have the imput of others in our lives. Take care my dear, and have a bright and happy life! Love to you from your “adopted” Mom………….Wanda Whitman….smile

    P.S. Please excuse my run on sentences and mispelled words, I’m sure there’s a plenty! Ha.

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