I’m not busy. And it feels so good.
This week I’m fully booked with clients. I’ve woken up at 8:45am, taken Milo out for his morning walkies and enjoyed an oat milk coffee in my KeepCup. I’ve had breakfast whilst watching an episode of Friends on Comedy Central. Happily sat at my desk ticking off tasks from my list. Polished off copy for my clients. Been to the gym in the day (my favourite, because it means the squat rack is always free!).
I’ve headed out to shoot with my sister and enjoyed fresh air sans weekend crowds. I haven’t been spotting exciting emails and Tweeting about it. I haven’t worried about attempting to finish work by 5pm. You know what? I actually haven’t even been working until 9pm Love Island hour, because work is delightful and I genuinely love not being busy.
Much like many other fellow content creator-writer-business owner hybrids, I’ve spent the last week or so hungrily reading and digesting Emma Gannon’s newest literary release: The Multi-Hyphen Method. I won’t give too much away here but in short, if you’re into the business/freelance content that I create or touch upon on Daisybutter, you’ll certainly find it an inspiring read.
The first chapter is founded upon the idea of success and how we each define it. Not only was it one of the most reassuring things I’ve read in a long time, I finished the chapter feeling inspired and motivated and oh so sassy. Emma dissects the definition of success and explores why we connect ‘success’ with having loads of money, a two-up-two-down-house, a suit, an office, etc. and how it might actually be a ‘thing’ for some of us — many of us, in fact — to go against that idea, because our own version of success is different. You all know I’m an advocate of smart working, using your time wiser instead of filling 9-5 with menial tasks, and I’m constantly battling for a good work-life balance. But it wasn’t until I finished reading the opening chapter of The Multi-Hyphen Method that I realised I do have a great balance and in turn I am a successful businesswoman.
When you tell somebody that you run your own business, immediately they ask where your store is and how much you earn and how much rent is. ‘Isn’t rent absolutely shocking these days? You’re in a dying trade.’ For some reason, there is still little to no understanding about how someone can be a business owner without attempting to be Tesco’s competitor.
And for goodness sake, how is it okay to ask somebody outright how much they earn?! So, in return, I politely tell them that I’m a writer and provide businesses and brands with words to capture their sales and meet their objectives. ‘Pfft, but does that pay the bills? How can that be a real job?’ It certainly does pay the bills, and it has done for 26 months now. What the hell is a real job?
My definition of success is simply to earn enough money to live the life I want to live, on my own terms. I’d like to be able to treat myself and my loved ones, and have the freedom to define each of my days without feeling obligated to put a bum at a desk in a fancy office. In that sense, I’m incredibly successful.
Personally I’ve never found that earning obscene amounts of money could leave me feeling like I didn’t need anything more.
Is a stack of cash (Dragon’s Den style) as gratifying as knowing I’ve been able to treat my hard-working parents to a lovely dinner out as a family? Is a day sat in a glass box as satisfying as being able to put my best loungewear on and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch? I’m not busy but I’m nailing my gym goals, smashing my business ones — I’m fully booked for the next month — I still get to publish new posts on my beloved blog, and I get to spend so much hard-won time with my loved ones. It feels so good.
What is your definition of success?