Rewind to the year 2001. I was sitting at my office desk in my lunch break. It had been another tedious morning at my 9-to-5 job (or should I say 8.30 to 5.30 …and beyond).
I had been nurturing the idea of starting my own Virtual Assistant business for a while. I reached for the Yellow Pages (local business directory) and leafed through it. I wanted to see what the competition was like for similar businesses in my city. There was no category for Virtual Assistants so I looked under ‘Secretarial Services’. To my dismay, I saw pages and pages of them. I couldn’t believe it.
I felt like giving up.
What was the point of setting up my own business if there were already so many?
Fast forward to yet another mind-numbing day at yet another office job (contracting was my specialty). Different office, same rigmarole. In spite of seeing the lists of secretarial service businesses in that Yellow Pages, I continued with my plans of setting up my own business. I didn’t know why, but I felt that I would still be successful in spite of the perceived competition.
I had no other option anyway. The thought of trundling into the same (or similar) office jobs for the rest of my working life was not an option.
I had started mailing out flyers to local businesses, but to no avail. It was demoralising, sticking label after label onto envelopes on my evenings and weekends, getting no response back.
I felt like giving up.
That day, I was offered a permanent office job instead of a contract role. They liked me, thought I was great at the job, wanted me to stay. I was sorely tempted. It would have meant good pay and bonuses, stability, and the boss wasn’t really that bad, was he? I told them I’d think about it.
On the sardine-packed train on the way home, I weighed up the pros and cons. Freedom and stepping into the unknown on the one hand, security and office shackles on the other. A sensible voice whispered ‘Take it, it’s good money and the job’s not bad’. However, a louder voice murmured ‘But won’t you feel like a failure if you give up now?’
I knew that the answer to that was yes, I would feel like a failure if I took the job. And so I didn’t take the job, and in spite of feeling like giving up I went ahead with my plans to work from home. Today, I look back on that decision and smile.
Think about some times when you felt like giving up. Maybe even today, there’s something you feel like giving up on. You may be in the same situation as I was, wanting to work from home. Or you may already be working from home, but not getting enough work. Maybe you’re trying to make a living with internet marketing. Or perhaps, it’s something completely different you feel like giving up on, such as losing weight.
Whatever your situation, if you feel like giving up, as we all do from time to time, ask yourself honestly, will you feel like a failure if you give up? If the word ‘failure’ doesn’t sit well with you (it’s kind of negative, I know, but it was enough to propel me forward to what I really wanted) – ask yourself what the alternative is to giving up on your dreams. A lifetime of tediousness, when you know you’re capable of so much more? A lifetime of feeling heavy and lethargic, when you know you could feel lean and healthy?
Whatever your situation, I hope this has helped motivate you not to give up on what you really want. Please share any thoughts and experiences you have by commenting below!