Posted by: draknor | March 15, 2012

A Short Detour

Here I am, sitting in the largest Culver’s in the world, with my MacBook Pro open, contemplating a second Butterburger.  It’s mid-March in Wisconsin, and 74 degrees F outside.

For those not from the midwest — the average is around 45 degrees F this time of year!

Sometimes, life is just kind of weird, isn’t it?

I go through these cycles of thinking — excitement about a new idea, confidence as I’m planning for it, disappointment as I begin executing (when reality isn’t matching up to my hype), and then excitement for the next idea.  I’m catching myself going through this cycle right now.  The real estate photography business is taking longer than I… (hoped? thought? wanted?)  Objectively, it feels about right — it takes time to establish yourself, to build up your network of customers & clients.  I had unreasonable expectations & hopes.  Now I’m re-sync’ing with reality.  I think (perhaps optimistically) that its really going to snowball as I get going and start working with more agents, and all this prep work & marketing I’ve been doing starts to pay off — but maybe not.  Maybe it won’t.  I’m confident about myself & my abilities, but this is all new territory for me. Not just the photography (which I’m actually fairly comfortable with now), but particularly self-employment, sales & marketing, networking, etc.  I’m still learning “the game”.

But it takes time — time for the business to develop.  And I don’t know if it will before I start to need a more stable source of income.  And so I find my mind wandering, looking for another “big thing”.  The reality is, short of taking a “regular job”, I’m not going to find a regular, stable source of income quick.  And I have a decision to make — do I keep investing in myself and laying the groundwork for the future (the photography, blogging, networking, etc) while draining my savings & investments? Or do I take a detour, go to work for someone else for awhile to maintain my lifestyle, and keep working on myself “on the side”?

It’s a tricky question.

Seems like I should be able to make it, working for myself.  But it’s not easy.  Or maybe I am not doing the right thing(s) yet.

Part of me thinks the problem is too much of “a little of this, a little of that”.  The photography I’ve jumped in pretty much full-on & really made a commitment (I’ve spent around $12k in business expenses so far!), but as for myself, and my brand — I really haven’t done any real work yet.  Blog a bit here, right a bit there, but most of my ideas are still in my head.

I need a retreat. A strategic retreat, because I’m entrenched in this pattern and just spinning my wheels.

I’ve purchased / downloaded / acquired a large amount of information on online marketing, entrepreneurship, living life on your own terms — I need to consume it, process it, absorb it.  And then act on it, and create.

My favorite modus operandi is to be very intense, very focused, and insanely productive for short bursts of time.  I try to fight that and work a little bit every day on things — and that’s helpful.  But instead of “either/or”, what would be more valuable for me is to figure out when is the appropriate time for each style — and then embrace it.

This weekend would be great, except weekends are traditionally quality time with my girlfriend, and I don’t think usurping that would be a great idea right now. Maybe early next week I can do this kind of hustling that I really need.

Meanwhile, back in the present — there’s a huge bus of students that arrived, so I think it’s time for me to go.  Maybe I’ll skip that second Butterburger…