I'm guessing you do your own Thing as you wanted to do things your way. But isn't it interesting that sometimes (usually if we're not paying enough attention) we can get sidetracked into doing something we don't like. Now, you might not realise it at the time—it can sneak up on you and before you know it there you are with a lot of work, or clients, or 'jobs' you don't actually like on your 'to do' list. Hmmm. Not liking that.
And it can start out with every good intention. You get some fabulous clients and you love doing your Thing with them. And then they might ask you to do something else—not 100% your Thing—but you know you can do it, so you do... then you do that some more... then people start to ask you about that thing not THE Thing and before you know it you have some new clients that don't even want your actual Thing—they want the thing on the side.
And then comes the 'money on the table' dilemma...
You know you have some clients who are standing there who have put 'money on the table' for your services and, of course, money is a very lovely thing to have, so you say "Thank you very much," and now the money's in your pocket. But you're not doing your Thing...
Now there are 2 ways to deal with this:
- Cut it out. Don't accept any non-Thing things as work, and only do what you like. It takes courage, I'll be honest (and I've had to do it many times!) as you're there 'looking at money' and not taking it. But it's also time and energy (yours) that you're looking at and if you say "Yes" then you've just used up a chunk of that (time and energy) on not doing your Thing. And eventually this might make you grumpy, maybe even very grumpy.
- Set a limit. Now, you might be smart about this and while you are building up a full-time business in your Thing thing, you will accept some of the money 'on the table' for some sideline things. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this as long as you know it, label it, and limit it. It might be that the majority of your time is on the non-Thing thing while you build up your business. I actually have a lot of clients in transition from doing what they are good at into doing their Thing and I totally advise this 'limited' approach if there is not big pot of cash to support Option 1 to 'cut it out'.
It's less about what you do and more about how you handle it... it's about Boundaries. Of course, in an ideal world, you eat, sleep and breathe doing your Thing and nothing else. But back in the real world you often may need to do a few sideline things to support that ideal. But put limits on it... draw lines in the sand, make a mark (I can keep going with these boundary metaphors, but I think I'll put a stake in the ground here! Ha ha).
Know what you like and do what you like as much as you can. The clearer you get on this and the more you stick to it, the more you'll be doing your Thing the way it's meant to be done—for fun!
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