Flat on my face.
That’s where I’m going to end up if I don’t regain some perspective, pronto. Pride usually comes before a fall, after all.
For a couple of weeks now, I have been well and truly failing to practice what I preach. Oh aye, I can pontificate from a lofty pedestal with the best of them, but just lately that very pedestal is shooglin’ and shaking. In fact, I’ve been in very real danger of coming a cropper. And if I do end up on my arse or sprawling in the dirt, I will only have myself to blame.
See, recently I have been failing to match my own self-imposed standards in self-employment. My actions in enterprise have fallen somewhat short of my policy objectives. For over a year I’ve been talking the talk from the lofty heights of my pontification platform – in theory I’m all about running this business to my rules, with my own code of practice. I’m all about getting the balance right and being the best you can be. Jeez, it’s been writ large on these very pages often enough. Sorry ’bout that folks – turns out I’m little more than a horrid wee hypocrite.
So it’s to the soundtrack of hollow laughter that I have to admit it – just lately I’ve over-committed and under-performed. Despite pontification that it’s not how I do business, I’ve been putting myself right under pressure. Saying yes when I should have said no, setting unachievable deadlines, not charging enough, piling more and more on, yada yada. And believe me, that preaching and pontification seems pretty pathetic at this very mo.
I’ve not ground to a halt, nothing so drastic, and this rabbit’s not totally trapped in the headlights. But by piling it on to too high a level, I’ve not been able to see the wood for the trees.
(BTW, this is not a case of being too hard on myself, it’s actual fact. And anyway, we sole traders haven’t got line managers to keep us in check, so we’ve got to give ourselves a good boot up the bahookie when we’re not performing quite up to scratch.)
I dunno if it’s just the time of year, and the onset of the all-too-familiar symptoms of Scottish SAD, but I feel as if I just cannae keep up. I’m doing the work, and doing it well (fingers crossed that my clients agree), but I feel like I’m wading through mud. My business mantra of preparation and performance is still there on paper, but my personal performance has deffo fallen short of the mark. I haven’t been able to find that wee extra edge, that entrepreneurial energy and verve. I can still flick a switch when occasion demands, but my bulb is certainly not burning quite so brightly.
I don’t even know if I should be admitting this shit – maybe nobody else notices a slight dimming of commercial chutzpah. Some might say it’s not very businesslike to ‘fess up to one’s failings, and even my usual “sod that” approach to the rules of the small business game feels a bit phoney right now. But I’m only human, subject to same swings, roundabouts, scrapes, trips and bumps as all entrepreneurs. Hopefully getting it all out there will help me turn the corner and get the gas turned back up to full peep. I’m aiming for the magic and sparkle to be back long before Christmas.
‘Til then, its my pedestal and I’ll fall if I want to.