You know those movies where the picture just starts to slow down… and melt?
Then catch fire?
Well, that’s Berlin.
from the movie Atomic Blonde
According to my coach Sara, I actually had a life, before the renovation started.
I wrote every morning – which is opposite to my current plan to prioritize biz building activities during the day.
But I knew what I wanted, and was serious about my career as a writer.
I just stared at her through our Zoom connection.
“Really? I did that?”
It seems so long ago I did anything that remotely resembled work, instead of like days on end completely wasted, waiting for the walls next to the new windows to be fixed before I put the furniture back.
The kitchen floor to be put in, before I put my laundry machine and stove back.
Just generally waiting for things that on paper should have been done already, like the locks being replaced. I should have had my peace and quiet back days ago.
But I didn’t.
I don’t remember having done anything remotely productive for over a week.
Except creating plans which all went down the drain for one reason or the other. Sara says that it’s just as important to know what you don’t want, and that I ve made progress because I know all the stuff that doesn’t work, will never work, and most importantly: That comes with new shit sandwiches.
I ll get back to those, don’t worry.
Either way, after getting rid of all shitty plans and strategies, I decided on committing to this highly advanced, multi-layered sales and marketing system.
It’s a little bit too fancy, but I m taking my chances here..
The system that will turn me into the first Dutch 7-figure Rock Star Writer is this:
1. make books
2. sell them.
Which is to say, nothing fancy at all, but the only thing I ever wanted to do in the first place. I m no longer going to do everything I believed I HAD TO do to become a successful entrepreneur and to evade a bleak future of being on a payroll.
At risk of this post becoming boooring for non-entrepreneurs, a little on why I chose this unlikely strategy.
It is suggested, taught, and told as something Thou Cannot Skip, that every business should have multiple income streams.
So in my case that could be:
– writing for magazines and websites
– creating books and selling them
– public speaking
– teaching private yoga
I ve always thought it made sense to use all my talents to make my business a success. But now I see two really BIG reasons why the multiple income stream theory is basically nothing more than an urban legend.
A myth we entrepreneurial people bought into, because it seemed more logical than accepting the truth that in reality, we may have no control over our income stream.
Or that maybe, if there is a sense of logic behind it, that it’s all mindset.
That your ability to receive, also known as making money or revenues, has got nothing to do with what you offer, and has everything to do with how comfortable you are with people paying you.
We actually didn’t discuss this money mindset in our coaching call, but that’s what I believe is true.
If I can’t receive money in one line of work, I won’t be able to offering another service either.
But aside from that, two reasons why having multiple income streams is certified bullshit. And in particular for creative entrepreneurs.
Offering multiple things will turn you into a plate spinning entrepreneur. You may enjoy keeping all the plates up in the air, but if you re a creator, fragmentation takes away the power of what you’re offering. You’re not fully connected to that one thing.
Instead you’re spreading yourself thin.
And the second reason multiple income streams are not a good idea, and this goes for ALL entrepreneurs (not just creatives) is:
Every service or product comes with its own shit sandwich.
A shit sandwich is a term coined by Elizabeth Gilbert (at least that’s how I know of it) that you’re going to have to deal with the mundane, the annoying, the things that are a lot of work.
Things like admin, customer service, answering email, getting your terms and conditions on paper and getting legal insurance.
That’s why, in my opinion, you should never sell at a low price point, because the shit sandwich is exactly the same!
Whether I sold my yoga per class, or in a package of a few hundred euros: the work I had to do to sign up the student, was the same.
So although 4 income streams may look appealing, it also means having to eat 4 shit sandwiches.
I got this insight only this week.
Because every time I was toying with the thought of using my yoga space – which I kept hiring as a business address, because I don’t want to give the Chamber of Commerce my living address – every time I wanted to go use that beautiful and fully equipped yoga space to teach privates, A SHIT SANDWICH SHOWED UP.
Something that was directly linked to the studio, that gave me just such a sinking feeling.
And after this week’s new shit sandwich, it suddenly dawned on me:
I may be drawn to the romantic idea of teaching one-on-one yoga; But NO WAY I m committed to the point I m willing to eat shit sandwiches over this!
And then I realized I m actually not willing to eat shit sandwiches for any other income revenue.
The deal is make books and sell them. Repeat.
And I have no idea where I am in this story, but I can remember starting something that had a point 1 and a point 2, and only making point one.
Because the second reason I m not going to spread myself thin offering different things (f.e. books AND services) is because I simply can’t.
If I learned anything the past couple of weeks and especially the last days, when the renovation wasn’t done when they had repeatedly promised it would be done, I have cried, gotten angry, and now I m just completely numbed down.
I m like:
“You have the key, whatever.”
I m like an overworked hooker: I don’t even respond anymore when someone comes in. I think they need to finish it some day, and then I ll sign. But if they just leave the stack of tiles on my balcony, and the ceiling unpainted and so on?
Not going to sign anything, but otherwise: WHATEVER.
It’s your renovation, not mine. And I’ve got my toilet and my bathroom and next week someone is coming over who can help me to put the stove back on the gas.
I don’t need anything from the housing corporation or contractor. New keys would be nice, but like I said, whatever.
Anyway, what all those weeks and the last couple of days taught me, as well as all the shit sandwiches getting served; What all the crying and the emotional roller coasters taught me;
I m just not up for all this SHIT.
Even if having multiple income streams would be the only way to make this work, there’s just no way I m going to pull that off, energy-wise.
Maybe it’s the burnout from last year, combined with the renovation and all the stress about quitting my yoga studio and not knowing where the money will come, but I simply cannot AFFORD to spread myself thin offering multiple things.
My mental capacity is limited.
Even writing this blog post, I get distracted all the time. Losing my story and my reasoning. My cognitive skills are mediocre, and I don’t know if that’s permanent or temporary.
Just that when I considered getting therapy, I decided NO. NEVER.
Either this is going to work.
And I m going to get an income out of working my own business, being the scatterbrain that I am.
Or I m not.
But I m not going to wait or invest to get “better”. Because if I don’t get better then I ll have even more time wasted!
Not after all these weeks of renovation stress.
And now I ve really lost my story.
I m not even going to try read back and make sense!
But one last point I wanted to make, was that I realized that the threat of having to get a normal job, was immobilizing me.
And could for life.
Even if I started making money selling books in 2019, or 2020; For the rest of my life I could still be worrying about what I was going to do if it stopped and I had to go work for a boss?
With the possibility of getting suicidal, because I had no idea how to soothe my brain, now that I couldn’t write anymore for 4 to 7 hours a day.
That’s why I have made an important decision:
Every workday I m going to work ONLY on the biz side of things.
So that I can start building my confidence that I can work normal hours (not writing whatever the fuck I want) and LIVE.
That I ll squeeze the writing in at night time, or on weekends, and still not get mad.
If I can do that, not only am I maximizing my chances of making money from my writing – since I m making a day job out of monetizing it! – but it will also give me the confidence that I can have a workweek similar to what I would have if I worked a normal job.
And don’t need to write 3 to 7 hours a day to stay sane.
My goal is to work normal, entrepreneurial workweeks. No writing, just working exclusively on my biz for 30 hours a week.
And with the same foggy, stressed-out brain that wrote this post, if I have to.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
About this blog
TGIF is Chapter 28 of my diary 7-figure Rock Star Writer
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1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2018
2. I M NOT CHANGING MY FUCKING SHOW
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
4. Blote Kont- verhalen over mannen, macht en dagjes uit (Dutch)
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