Self employment and the fine art of self pity

Woeful and wabbit. Wrung oot and wallowing. Ah yes, this week we at Word Up have been feeling well and truly sorry for ourselves.

It might be nothing more than the January blues. Dear knows, there’s nothing like the sound of the relentless rain rattling off the Word Up windaes to bring on general gloom and grump. And trying to haul one’s reluctant carcass out from under the covers in the pitch black of a dreich Scottish winter morning ain’t much cop either, not when it comes to positive thinking and the sporting of a cheery disposition.

As we Northern Hemispherers know all too well, short days and black mood all come with the territory, unfortunately. But actually, it was simply some of the challenges of self employment that caused low spirits to infiltrate the soul of this sole trader over the last few days.

Running the show by myself has found in me down in the dumps before now, of course. Yes, I admit it, I have occasionally been crabbit and cranky. I’ve shed my share of tears over a lack of savvy in the self-employment shenanigans thus far. But for some reason this week took the business biscuit.

Business gurus and wise enterprise owls all sing from the same “learn from your mistakes” hymn sheet, but learning the hard way ain’t been much fun lately for this apprentice entrepreneur. This week I was simply scunnered at being such a rank amateur. Some of the silly sole trading slip-ups I made not only cost me money, time and energy, but showed me up for what I really am – an absolute beginner.

You’d think I’d be getting better at this small business malarkey by now, goddamit. It’s maddening to still be floundering around in the kindergarten class of commerce. It’s a pain to be pissing myself off so much with idiotic errors.

So yes, I look forward to the moment when I begin to feel as if I really know what I’m doing. But I’m not sure where and when the line will be crossed when I can count myself as a paid up member of the entreprenocracy.

A veteran in the business of business told me recently that I’ll need three years of an “apprenticeship” before I can consider myself fully fledged. THREE YEARS??? I can’t wait that long, I’m just gonnae have to fast track myself.

Look, I might be an apprentice, not yet ready to move up to big school from the business baby nursery. And yes, I made some silly schoolgirl errors recently. But nobody died. I’m not ill, and I haven’t done anything that’s going to get me in trouble with the polis, or HMRC. I’m not bankrupt, and there are even new clients on the horizon. So making a few mistakes made me feel bad, but it certainly wasn’t catastrophic, commercially.

And there’s no way I can wait three years to have cracked it. So I’ll just have to crack on.

Anyway, having a short spell of self pity isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen – sometimes you just need to immerse yourself in a right good wallow (tho’ Mr Word Up and the Word Up wean weren’t so chuffed…). Yes, it’s been a rough week, but it was also a week when some significant lessons about better ways to run a business were learned. The hard way.

But I’m picking myself up, drying my eyes, and getting stuck in all over again. Right after a night on the tiles, that is. Because a bit of live music and a few bevvies in the company of the one I love is sure to send this sole trader’s spirits soaring.