Posted by: faultlessfinish | February 28, 2011

Lean On Me

There’s something appealing about the idea of running a one-woman (or one-man) show, of being in total and utter control. And there’s also an aspect of terror involved.

When I first started contemplating quitting my part-time job, the decision overwhelmed me. I went over and over the pros and cons while trying to successfully run my business – finally, it became too much. I sat down on my floor, took a deep, shaky breath, and admitted that I couldn’t stay in my own head any longer. So I called a good friend of mine, my “tough love” friend, and asked if we could talk. Over an impromptu afternoon lunch, she told me that I needed to figure out my priorities and take a risk. Having someone else confirm what I had been feeling all along was just the push that I needed. I will be forever grateful to her!

While working for myself has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life so far, it can also be intimidating having no direct boss to guide me. The other day, I ran into a work issue that I had no idea how to deal with. Again, I took a deep breath and then contemplated trying to solve the problem myself. Thankfully, I decided against it and contacted two of my mentors in the publishing industry – their advice solved my problem immediately. Lesson learned again.

Asking for help can be a very humbling experience. But every person, regardless of age or experience, needs to let down his or her guard at some point and admit the need for support. And it’s OK to have doubts. While it may not be the best idea to share them with clients, talk to your friends when you need a confidence boost – that’s why they’re your friends! Admitting fear does not make you any less successful. In fact, being honest with yourself and taking time to understand the areas where you need improvement will ultimately make you more successful. You can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken!

Last week, I had the opportunity to get together with several women in the publishing industry for an evening of great conversation in a casual atmosphere. We shared experiences, questions, and fears. I left the gathering feeling motivated and inspired. I know that there are multiple people in the same situation to whom I can turn to for support, and this is vital in any career, solo or otherwise.

In short, just because you own your own business or value independence in a career doesn’t mean you need do everything on your own. It’s vital to have a strong support system and to admit that sometimes, you just need help. And sometimes, you just need to vent. So thank you, friends.

Happy Freelancing! 🙂


  1. You can take risks without being reckless.

  2. Agreed!

  3. You’re right! “No man is an island.” Even solitary careers can benefit from communities, if not for support, then at least for inspiration! =)

    • Exactly! Freelancing can get lonely if you don’t make the effort to connect. But it’s nice to decide who you will connect with on your own terms.

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