Managing (your own) expectations

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I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end. ~ Margaret Thatcher

I have a patience problem, as in, I have none. I am restless and easily excited and sometimes those are my biggest weaknesses. For me, passion = impatience. A burning desire to move mountains and reach stars and when I decided to branch out and start writing for other businesses I had no idea just how much I would be tested.

I am still learning when it comes to business, but my biggest lesson has been learning to work with someone else’s agenda. Learning how to accept that my work wasn’t always their priority because each business has its own schedules and work-load and I am NOT the centre of the Universe (yet).

My first pitch was a spur of the moment email explaining my situation and how I thought I could help them. Even though it wasn’t a planned move I knew it could lead to big things and I was excited to hear back from them.

From then on I checked my email account hourly to make sure their reply hadn’t slipped by unnoticed and to make sure it wasn’t being held hostage by my junk mail settings. I started torturing myself over the wording of my original email, wondering if I could have done more.

As the week wore on my confidence quickly dropped. I started listening to the self-depreciating thoughts that I had fought so hard to ignore in the first place and I lost a lot of faith in myself. But, even though I was quite sure they weren’t interested, I had to hear it from them and SOON. So I sent the email again.

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I continued to check that I had spelled the email address correctly and made sure that my phone always had 3G so I didn’t have to wait a single second more than I had to for their reply. Somewhere deep down I knew I wasn’t going to get a response straight away, obviously people have other important things to do like feeding their hamsters and changing the oil in their car, but I was like a kid on Chirstmas Eve – all excitement, no sleep. A voice somewhere was telling me “that’s just how business is”, but it was no comfort to my forlorn soul.

Then, one glorious Tuesday, my luck changed and my client was finally able to put me out of my misery. I held in my hand the response I needed to put this all behind me, I thought my rejection was imminent. But, instead, the email I received was a resounding yes and I had my first ever client. My whole future opened up before me in one swift moment, all with a little patience perseverance. And boy was it worth it!

Although the time I waited felt torturous, I now see that a week and a half isn’t a long time to wait at all. I had high expectations for my first venture into self-employment and I should have managed my expectations better. I can’t control other people and business is a hard game to play, some things change in a second and others take their time to unfold. You have to know the field before you step out and I just assumed that everyone would have the same game plan as me (so self-absorbed!). Its good to have goals and high expectations of yourself, but you can’t expect the same of other people. Managing my expectations to suit each situation is something I’m still adjusting to but I will learn with each new venture!

Of course, that wasn’t the end of my battle with patience, there’s more to come next month!

▲ Lilybet ▼

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