Thursday, March 15, 2012

Welcome to Entrepreneurial Purgatory

Tom Petty said that waiting is the hardest part.

That everyday, we see one more card, take it on faith and take it to the heart. And even though it doesn’t feel like heaven right now, we can’t let it get to us, and we can’t let it kill us.

Good point.

But what happens when waiting feels like the only part? What happens when every day fells like another goddamn sentence in entrepreneurial purgatory?

Because when you hire yourself, you spend a lot of time waiting.

Sometimes for the mechanical things:

Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the client to decide. Waiting for the check to arrive. Waiting for the board to vote. Waiting for the proposal to be accepted. Waiting for the go ahead email. Waiting for the paperwork to go through. Waiting for the invoice to clear. Waiting for the beta launch. Waiting for the site to go live. Waiting for the results to come in.

And sometimes we wait for the intangible things:

Waiting for the smell of blood. Waiting for the perfect moment. Waiting for the ideal client. Waiting for the stars to align. Waiting for the lightning to strike. Waiting for the little breaks to finally accumulate. Waiting for the free work to finally pay off. Waiting for the next big idea. Waiting for the incubation of the current idea. Waiting for the economy to bounce back. Waiting for the revolution to begin. Waiting for the movement to catch on.

This has been my life for a decade.

And every day, when the waves of anxiety come flooding in, when I’m five seconds away from ripping my hair out in a fit of freelance rage, I remind myself that waiting isn’t just part of the job – waiting is the job.

So I hustle while I wait.

I practice fertile idleness and juggle multiple threads of work simultaneously, always up to something, always diversifying my interests, always making myself useful. And I never feel fractured, that I’m spreading myself too thin. I even manage the process with a simple snapshot of every project, every pursuit, every endeavor and every idea I’m working on at any given moment. That way, it’s all under the same umbrella.

Now, no one thing can knock me off course. It’s a diverse portfolio of productivity. And by spinning a lot of plates, I don’t sit there every morning and wonder if the deal is closed. I just live my life.

And when it happens, it happens 

What are you waiting for?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

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