This is the second part in this series…and the one I know you’re all here for! Social media can make anyone’s life look perfect with no struggles or frustrations – but we all know that’s not true! All of us have off days, parts of our job we don’t especially like, and things that drive us crazy. So here’s the honest truth about the parts of my job I don’t love…
Communicating via email is great and convenient and can be so much easier than phone calls and meetings. But do there have to be so many?! I feel like I spend a large part of my day responding to emails. Probably something I really can’t change though 😛
2. Negative Comments and Messages
90% of the time, this community is great and so positive. But there are always a handful of people who leave negative or unkind comments or send me direct messages that really hurt my feelings. Although I’ve been working in social media for 17 years, and it’s gotten easier, it still bums me out every single time. Especially in the last couple years when I started being more open about social justice and my feelings on the pandemic and larger social issues, I opened myself up to more trolls. True conversation and engagement is wonderful, but hurtful words do get read by a real person. Remember, behind every social media account is an actual person reading and absorbing your words.
3. Getting Clients to Pay!
If you’re in the freelance/self-employed world, you know exactly what I mean! Some partners are absolutely incredible and pay early and regularly. But there are those few…you need to send a reminder every two weeks, then every week, then every day. Everyone deals with late payments, but if you stay on top of it, it can get better.
4. Coming Up with New Ideas
It’s funny how sometimes ideas free flow out like there’s no tomorrow. But some days (or weeks), I feel like I can’t think of anything new to offer! It’s the creative rut that’s in constant cycle and part of any job. But often when I feel like people are waiting for those ideas, I’m disappointing them if I have nothing!
5. Regular Work Hours…What Are Those?
This is something that I have always struggled with, and I know a lot of self-employed friends have a hard time with. I will always just do “one more email check” or “a quick outfit reel” while I’m at the studio. And, since my work can be done from anywhere, I’m constantly thinking of what’s next. I’m getting better though – and sometimes I don’t even take my computer on weekend trips (a BIG deal for me)! While being a business owner means that you work way more than a 40 hour work week (and at odd hours!), you are also in control of your own schedule. I’ve had phases of my business where I’ve worked 60+ hours a week and was up till midnight every night, and I have had seasons where I can allow myself some extra days off or longer vacations here and there. This can be a blessing and a curse, so use your flexibility to your advantage.
6. Social Media
Yes, social media has made my job grow in so many ways. But it can also be exhausting! I love connecting with all of you (and that’s why I keep doing it), but I don’t love the grind of checking numbers, hyping engagement, needing to feed multiple platforms, etc. It can be a lot. Now, I’ve been able to focus on the few places that I enjoy the most rather than feel like I need to be everywhere on social media.
7. Saying No to Unpaid Work
The ability to say no comes in phases of life and work. Sometimes you need the job to grow your portfolio. Or you have time to take on a mentee. But sometimes you are totally booked and you simply can’t commit the time for someone’s request. I know I don’t necessarily owe anyone a “yes”, but I want to make people happy and support everyone. So turning down opportunities to speak, product samples that don’t align with my brand, mentorship requests, or having coffee with someone’s cousin to give them business advice – it’s hard to disappoint people. But saying no to things also gives me the space and time to say yes to the right things.
8. Getting Rejected
I’ve talked about this before, but I probably get rejected 7 times out of 10 when I pitch for collaborations or new jobs. Sometimes that’s for design work, sometimes for sponsored social content, sometimes book ideas, but it always dings my pride a little bit. I have learned over time that those rejections mean there is something else (often something better) waiting for you in the wings.
9. Business Finances
Paperwork and financial stuff has never been my strong point. And, maybe finally after 17 years do I feel like I’m getting better at the finance aspect of running a business. But I hate it. Luckily, I have an amazing an accountant and bookkeeper who help and make it possible for me to have someone good at it handle it. But I still have to make decisions about managing money for the business, how much my employees get paid, and all that other stuff that my creative brain was not trained to do but has learned to do!
10. When People Think I Don’t Have a Job
A common assumption of outsiders who come across your work for the first time or see you posting fun content on social media, is that this isn’t a real job and that you must have a spouse or partner supporting you so that you can go have fun! HA!
Despite these things that sometimes drive me crazy about my job, I truly feel so lucky that I get to do this super fun, unconventional job and wouldn’t change any of it! I wanted to shed light on the realities of even “fun” jobs, and hope it reminds you all that we all have our challenges in what we do. But as long as the joys outweigh the pain points, it’s a wonderful thing to love what you do!