financial stress

Financial Stress Freakout: One Lady’s Tale

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Don’t you hate those moments in life where you are chugging along just fine, maybe you are even feeling proud of recent accomplishments and optimistic for your next big move, and then WHAM, a big ol’ mind fuck!?!? Ya. Well. That was my day thanks to a tsunami of financial stress. 

The Context

I have been trying like hell to advance this blog into a “money maker” to help me get out of debt and “live in the black”. I have handwritten post-it reminders stuck all over my apartment that say “convert and monetize blog.” I do this because I simply couldn’t live with all the financial stress and uncertainty. And guess, what? I made the first big moves on that front the other night. I laid down my coin and converted my free WordPress.com platform over to the self-hosted WordPress.org. I placed a bet on myself and only flinched slightly at the associated expense.

You should also know that my mind is now open and all my antennae are ready to receive. I’m more open to suggestion, ready for advice, willing to learn than ever before. A few days ago, I signed up for a free online webinar I saw advertised on Facebook. Tailored for women entrepreneurs, it sounded perfect.

Today, I attended the webinar and, quite simply, it sucked. A bunch of empty marketing hooks and motivational mumbo jumbo wrapped in a cute Australian accent. I vowed I’d never deliver over-hyped self-help BS to my friends, my followers, my readers. This Aussie might make a lot of money but she’s a shyster. I am not. (insert shining moment of self-affirmation and self-love here)

The Freakout

As I drive home, I reason that perhaps the Universe has something better for me. I just need to find it. On a whim, I search my podcast app for keyword “WordPress”, hoping for some technical knowledge that will help me in the upcoming weeks and months of developing out my new site. I land on the WordPress Chick. Perfect! I find an episode called something like “Things I’d Do Differently”. Perfect! I listen. I admire. I respect. I FREAK THE FUCK OUT!

What she is saying are simultaneously the simplest and most mind-blowing things to me. I realize in the span of 43 minutes that I have NO FUCKING CLUE what I’m doing with this blog. I’m not a financial guru. I can’t even balance a checkbook! I don’t have any clue about paid advertising or affiliate marketing. I don’t even have a product to sell! I haven’t been collecting emails. I don’t have an intellectual assets. I don’t have a network. I don’t Tweet. I don’t PinInterest. I don’t know KPIs, or CPAs, or click-ratios, or SEO long-tails.

Suddenly, I’m defeated.

The Return to Sanity

I retreat to my apartment and drop my bags. I empty the dishwasher. I stare at the pile of laundry on the floor. I open my mail. I chug some wine and crack a beer (Don’t judge. I was out of wine.) And then I sit down with my laptop and I start writing. And by the time it’s taken you to read to this point, I’ve realized one thing…one very important thing.

I love to write. I really do. I have a voice. I have a brain. And I have some things to say. I am a professional copywriter who’s writing a blog. I’m know a bit about marketing, being in the business for 15+ years. I have made some remarkable progress on my personal finances over the last 12 months. I have no credit card debt. I’m dealing with my tax debt. I have some savings and I’m about to go on a vacation in 4 days that is already pre-paid and planned for. I’m smart and, best yet, I have friends who will help, including you, my valued reader.

No, I’m not expert in living a profitable life. I admit it. And no, I’m not The Lady in The Black, not yet but I’m working on it. And in the end, isn’t that what life is really all about? Appreciating what you have and working toward what you want to be? Freak out on occasion if you must. And then calm down and work your plan. Even if it’s not perfect.

Thanks to Kim Doyal, the WordPress Chick, for the proverbial slap in the face. You are one cool chick! I look forward to learning lots from you.

How do you survive a financial stress freakout? Does it come in a bottle with a cork or a cap? The Lady would love to swap stories! 

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