Rena Tom Rena Tom

On Being a One Man Show.

Yes it does feel like that sometimes, doesn’t it?  A constant balancing act to keep the music going, a never ending show where you’re always on.  Today I was going to write another article about tips and inspirations, but instead I decided to write about the other side of making it. On being lonely and sometimes feeling crazy. The side we never talk about, but also the one that plagues our motivations constantly. I won’t bore you with my everyday gripes, but I wanted to acknowledge that this is a constant reality for any creative entrepreneur starting out.

I read this great article sent from a friend by Darius “Bubs” Monsef about the pits of being a founder and I want to share it with you. The author is in the tech industry and talks about a totally different reality than most of us. But what resonated the most was the idea of always having to put on an act, that any inkling of a struggle is a sign of weakness.

I bet we all can relate to that.  If you ask me how’s business. I would normally answer, “Awesome!  I am passionate about what I do, I get to design and make my own product, and I constantly meet and collaborate with amazing people. I’m moving forward with this, that, and the other…etc.”  When really I feel lonely, overwhelmed, and crazy sometimes. I have post it notes coming out of the wazoo and I’m nearly always talking to myself.  It’s hard sometimes, really hard. It’s like being a one-man band and making up the song as you go. I’m constantly trying to keep it all going while trying to stay fresh creatively. So if you ask me, why don’t I quit?  I’ll tell you that I’m happy to do it and that the juxtaposition of it all. Unless we’re really close, I will never tell you the mental battles I face. I wouldn’t admit it to you, because it probably acknowledges some type of failure to myself.

In this case, it’s less about having the emotional support from others or about finding the right resources to make it easier. I have an amazing group of personal and professional friends and I meet with new people every week. Also I probably have every productivity app to date. It’s all in the nature of taking a risk to put yourself out there and being mostly accountable to no one else but yourself. It takes a certain personality and talent to make it happen. So kudos to you!

What do I do about it? I freak out a lot. I work out. I talk to people. I ask questions, I get answers. I feel relieved and it happens all over again. In short I do the best I can and that’s all I can do. If the drumstick drops and I miss a beat, I pick it up and keep on playing. I’ve come to realize it is part of the process that I just didn’t account for when I signed up for this and I’m okay with it, for the most part. Lately, I’ve been more honest about it and it helps. The only tip I have is to find someone you can relate to and share your story.

Here’s the article again:

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Christine

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  1. Carolyn says:

    Well said Christine! 

  2. Laurel says:

    Thank you for this! You articulated my feelings perfectly. I absolutely love what I do, but sometimes I feel like I’m gonna go nuts.  It’s nice to hear someone else talk about it.  

  3. Monica Lee says:

    This is so true and it does help to know someone else is out there AND that your feelings are normal. Your mind is the final frontier!

  4. Syrah Gilley says:

    Great article! So true about never sharing the crazy bits of owning your own business. Any updates on your favorite productivity apps?

  5. Thanks everyone! Didn’t offer much, but Im glad it helped.

    SARAH G: Im into these 2 apps lately:

    – Evernote for all my random lists, notes, and ideas on the go.

    – Action method is great for breaking down large goals and small projects alike. Its accessible on every medium and color coated =)

    Other than apps-

    – As simple as it is, google doc is easy to share and access anywhere. I like to workations personally.

    And in gmail – canned responses can be a lifesaver. Find it under gmail> settings > LABS > canned responses app.

    Thanks again, and let me know what other subjects you might be into hearing about.


  6. Keely says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, struggles I have all the time and it is lonely! Reading this just gave me an optimism boost so thank you!!

  7. Valerie Rice says:

    Thanks Christine for sharing so honestly. It’s refreshing to hear that I’m not alone (although yes, lonely) in running my creative biz. It also reminds me to get up to MSS more often. Thanks! 

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