“I am a failure.”
During the past few weeks that thought has crossed my mind more than once. “Why did I ever think I could do it?”. And I have even been looking into supermarket cashier jobs. Maybe that would suit me better.
I’ll tell you about what has been going on after I handed in my MA thesis. I was so eager to get done with my studies and finally start my business. I’ve been self-employed for a year now, as a blogger and, furthermore, I’ve been consulting and planning social media campaigns for businesses. It was my plan to start doing it full-time after finishing my studies. It is my passion and everything I’ve done so far, I’ve been very, very proud of. During the last years I have accumulated quite an understanding about online marketing and I do have some witty ideas, even if I say so myself.
It started off so well: after my studies I went to fairs, met up with several companies, planned big campaigns and a full instagram-takeover including various blog collabs, put hours and hours into research, ideas, presentations and Skype calls. Apart from that I was invited on press trips to Peru and France and planning a big 2-week campaign in the USA. You have no idea how excited I was about everything.
Then gradually it began: The Peru team was too big. My flights were too expensive. There was no budget. No time to work with bloggers right now. Someone else was chosen for campaigns. Companies decided they’d take care of their social media internally. Believe it or not: every – single – project – failed. All my enthusiasm, all my time, all my plans and ideas.. for nothing.
Now you know the reason why my motivation and enthusiasm have been gone for a few weeks. Why I have posted barely anything and needed a lot of time off. It was just a lot to handle – and promise, I didn’t yet mention everything that went wrong. This is just a tiny fraction.
My parents keep asking me how my career is going, my grandpa tells me to get a proper job. And yes, I have considered those supermarket jobs. I know that I’m an academic, but at least they’d make more money than I make now. So the big question is:
After struggling for weeks, I have decided not to give up. I believe in what I’m doing and I know I’m good at it. I just have to do it better. I don’t really think every successful entrepreneur got it right the first time. I’ve been very unlucky, but I might have been doing some things wrong as well: possibly a lack of a solid plan and trying to do too many different things at once.
So this is my plan on how to cope with failure:
- Believe in myself. I know what I’m good at and won’t give up on it.
- Have a vision. I’m going to write down what I the main things are that I want to focus on (my social media consultancy business + empowering blogposts).
- Have a step-by-step plan. What do I need to do in order to achieve my goal? (e.g. build a homepage for my business, contact possible clients, write 2 blogposts per week).
- Accept that nothing comes from nothing. You need to keep in touch with your clients, be active on social media, suggest ideas! I’m not one of those bloggers who get to chose from their overflowing mailbox which brands to work with, so I have to do the work myself!
- Have a long-term plan. This is what helps me most! I can imagine how bad I’d feel thinking “I have no idea where I’m going, I have no plan for my life!”. I’m so thankful that I have decided that I’m moving to London to study Graphic Design in September, this way I know that I’ll be doing something very effective and important until 2018! That knowledge is a lifesaver.
- Missing some expertise? Study! Do an online course or take evening classes. I’ll go to London to study graphic design (more about it here) and I’m sure that it will be extremely helpful for my business too, when my work will look much more professional. Education is the one thing that’s never too expensive.
- Mental + physical health. The knowledge that I’ve gained 9kg over the last year doesn’t make anything better. Now I’ll get back to running regularly (and eating a bit less sweets!), so I’ll hopefully feel overall better about myself soon!
I found this quote, and it really empowered me: “Entrepreneurs average 3,8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence. There are a lot of people out there with good and marketable ideas, but pure entrepreneurial types almost never accept defeat.” -Lisa Amos
I’ll keep believing in myself, but I’ll start working even harder. I’ll make myself a master plan and work it off step by step. I still believe in myself and my dream and I will make them work!
PS.: And if you’re from an PR Agency or brand and need someone to take care of your social media, plan influencer campaigns or just want a blogger to happily promote your products or destination… click here to email me!