Why I Keep Getting The Worst Advice
I recently signed up to receive business advice from a local group of volunteers, many of whom are retired from their own small companies or freelance work.
Aside from some possibly out-dated advice about marketing, I left with this feeling of unease in my belly.
My mentor suggested I eliminate anything from my website, my marketing, and my work that is not directly related to selling my copywriting services. Because that’s what makes money; that’s what prospective clients want to see.
And he is right. That’s how a business makes money inside our current systems. Pick one thing, preferably the most lucrative, and “optimize” that thing until you can’t anymore.
My work for other people, while I enjoy it immensely, is not the only thing I’d like to highlight — on my website or otherwise.
I also write essays to reframe conventional thinking.
I also practice and teach yoga and meditation.
I also talk endlessly about (good) books.
And I spend most of my days “deschooling” my kids (and myself).
I wouldn’t say I’m particularly complicated; but like everyone else I know, my work is complex and multi-faceted.
The thing is, though, I don’t have anything to prove the real possibility that my multi-passionate method of advertising will work.
I have not experienced much in the way of financial success via my website, particularly since the start of the pandemic.
I don’t want to squeeze my work into one money-making avenue. Even if that’s the one that will make the most money.
I don’t want to eliminate everything else about me to advertise what I can do for other people — even though I love what I do for other people!
But underneath all these layers is the bigger (and better question):
Why do I keep seeking outside advice when I seem to know internally what I want and need?
There’s guilt: for not earning enough.
There’s fear: of missing my babies; of missing my Soul’s work.
There’s anger: about the guilt and the fear.
It reminds of this beautiful prayer within Paulo Coelho’s Brida. A witch named Wicca says,
“We feel guilty when we go out to work because we’re leaving our children in order to earn money to feed them. We feel guilty when we stay at home because it seems we’re not making the most of our freedom. We feel guilty about everything, because we have always been kept far from decision making and from power.”
Ah… there it is.
Within this system I have always been kept from my power. And that’s what I’m so desperate to change (that’s why I can’t seem to follow the rules without gut-wrenching dread that I’m sacrificing my Soul).
The catch here, though, is that now I know my power resides within my own body.
Yes, the system continues to work to my detriment. But I’m no longer kept from my power in the same way. It’s like I’ve been holding the key to the cage this whole time — but I’m also blindfolded, sometimes belittled (and I think someone keeps moving the locks).
deep inhale. deep exhale.
I can’t see the solution with complete clarity (yet); all I know is that I need to stop asking for outside advice.
Or maybe, I need to start asking myself for advice first.
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