7 years in the game... What now?
On Saturday, it was 7 years since I ditched my 9-5 job to start my own business! And a bloody wild 7 years it’s been, I tell ya. I was on the fence whether to even write about this or to just write about something else, but over the weekend after some convos with friends and just thinkin’ bout life and business, I have some thoughts I wanna share.
My entrepreneurial journey is definitely not a straight, consistent line up. You mighta seen this meme before that basically sums it up, haha. Even though this is meant to represent the ‘day in a life of an entrepreneur’, I could also just say that’s basically my whole fucking 7 years in business.
In some ways I still think in the back of my mind that it ’should’ be a straight line up, growing my business, making more money each year, doing more epic shit every year… But also, fuck that. I’ve been scheming some ideas based around this idea of ‘ditching the hype’, and this is one huge place we need to ditch the hype and the idea of how things ‘should’ be.
In the last financial year I definitely made less money than I have in previous years, but looking back I was still doing shit I wanted to do, and I made it work. I moved to Queenstown, NZ for summer (something I’ve wanted to do for a long time) and had the best fucking time living in the mountains. I moved to Canada. I launched more magazine issues, including a print issue. I had adventures. I hung out with my fam… And so much more. And here I am. I made it through.
So… 7 years in the game. What now?
I’mma keep making the shit I love making (like The Unmistakable Effect). But also... I’m wondering about creativity and money… While I started 2018 with the idea of going ‘all-in’ on The Unmistakable Effect, I just don’t know if I want to put a big amount of pressure on it to make money — because it’s such a special thing to me that I don’t want to fuck it up. I don’t want it to start to feel heavy, or like an obligation, or a way to make money. For TUE to be the best it can be — it has to feel light and fun as fuck for me to work on. I get that there’s gonna be resistance, and there will be times it’s hard, but you know what I mean.
I’ve had some conversations with friends recently — about what it means to be self employed, and how that path can change over time, even if that means taking a ‘mental break’ from it and getting a part time job, or some contract/agency style work, or just another source of income OUTSIDE our own business.
There’s so many fucking labels we give ourselves (like ‘Entrepreneur’), which inevitably result in a decent amount of expectations and/or pressure to ‘make it work’ or ‘succeed’… And sometimes those labels can bite us in the ass because we don’t take the time to question them or if they even work for us anymore.
I don’t have an answer for this, or a ’solution’, as it’s something I’ve only really properly thought about in the last few days… But I DO know, when I think about having another source of primary income that covers my basic business + living expenses (outside of the magazine), HOLY SHIT does everything feel so much lighter. Like, fuck me. Also, I feel like it would allow me to go ‘all-in’ on The Unmistakable Effect in a different way than I had imagined.
Maybe its more client work. Maybe its some remote agency work. Who knows. But I’m excited about these new vibes and where they’re gonna take me, and The Unmistakable Effect.
Life is fluid. Our businesses are fluid. Our careers are fluid. Shit changes man. Like I said, this journey is basically never a straight line and as long as we’re trusting our gut and doing what feels good — then we’re doing it right.
Yours as I ditch the labels I gave myself + commit to winning at my own game 😜