- 🔍 How your fear of success ruins everything
🔍 How your fear of success ruins everything
And why clients vanish even though the call went great
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A few days ago, I received a hate comment on my article about how I ditched the 9-to-5 to become a freelance writer. “This is so tone-deaf,” it read. “Not all freelance writers have parents with a house in [my parent’s neighborhood] they can fall back on.”
Aside from being extremely creepy (this person did some online sleuthing to find my parents address) the comment spurred something…rather uncomfortable inside of me.
There’s no denying it: Being able to start my freelance writing business in 2020 while living at home was a huge privilege. With no rent to worry about, I could do low-paying writing gigs to build legitimacy. I could funnell all my energy into business, instead of bartending part-time to pay the bills.
In short: I doubt I would’ve built a six-figure business in two years if I didn’t live at home.
I’ve never tried to hide or deny this, and yet — there’s a lot of shame involved. This chagrin stokes the flames of a long-seated fear: “I have no right to inspire, teach, or encourage others because I had an advantage.”
With this doubt comes the fear of retaliation; that someone (or a glob of anonymous trolls) will smear my character into oblivion.
That’s why for the past few months, I haven’t been posting or “putting myself out there.” It’s the “fear of success” — the concern that I won't be able to handle the scrutiny that comes with attention — that’s the cause.
There’s a quote that goes, “The fear of failure and fear of success. The first one had stopped him from following his dream; the second had stopped the dream from following him.”
So often, we stop ourselves from flourishing, just because a mangled mix of guilt and anxiety tells us we can’t handle (or deserve) what we desire.
But denying ourselves opportunities that might lead to happiness or fulfillment because we’re afraid of a stranger’s judgment is, like, a really sad way to exist.
So today, I’m encouraging you to re-examine why you might be procrastinating or getting in your way of your goals. And hey, if it has to do with outside scrutiny, you can always message me and we can have each other's backs. 🤝
Criss Canning (Australian, 1947), Waratah and Studio Detail, 2003. Oil on board, 45.5 x 35.5 cm.
✍️ Quick Writing Tip
Loved this tip from Ryan Law, CMO of Animalz.
If you spend any time on Twitter, you know just how prevalent this kind of language is (*cough* “10X your productivity” *cough*).
🥒 Content Diet
📚 Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman — I loved this story. It’s about a sudden romance that blossoms between 17-year-old Elio and Oliver, a summer guest at his parent’s mansion on the Italian Riviera. The writing? Stunning. The romance? Swooning. The verdict? Sensational.
Bordighera, Claude Monet 1884
🦾 Tpye.Ai — For the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with lots of AI tools to help me write — and Type.Ai is my favorite so far. It’s “rewrite” function is excellent and always gets the creative juices flowing. Here’s what’s crazy — this 18-year-old kid used Type.ai to scale his one-man agency to a $1M run rate.
💼 How to Quit Your Job by Matt Yao — Matt Yao quit his cushy six-figure (remote!) job to pursue the path less traveled. It took him a year to build up the courage and finances to do so — and he was kind enough to create this guide to help you if you’re curious about doing the same.
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: The Call Went Great, But…
The call with the potential client wasn’t just good — it went great.
“I have this in the bag,” you think. You can already see your bylines (and checking account) growing. So, you forward the client your project proposal, sit back, and await their response.
Except…that response never comes. What gives?
This is a simple fact of life in the (sometimes cruel) world of freelancing. Every freelancer, no matter how gifted, at some point in their careers will have an amazing call with a potential client only to never hear from them again. 🤷♀️
So, how should you deal when this inevitably happens to you?
That’s it for this week!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful week, wherever you are. If you enjoyed this newsletter, why not share it with a writer friend? 🙂