Is my business real?

Hi, I'm Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a web copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide).

Just when I think I've grown comfortable with the “realness” of my self-employment, I find myself thrown off on another tangent.

Now that I’m back in America, I feel a lot more pressure to do well. My mediocre income just doesn’t seem enough anymore. I know so many people with high-stress, high-pay, and long hours—and it makes my gig noticeably different. Ireland was less intense about work.

People keep asking me, “Are you still doing that work-from-home thing?” I started saying, “Well, sometimes I work from Starbucks, too.” My cousin apparently thought I was a phone sex hotline worker. Friends have asked whether or not I’ll go back to my old job now that I’m back. “I’m sure they’d hire you again,” they’ve said.

I think to myself:

This is a business! 

This is a business.

This is a business?

I’ve been doing this for 5 years and still have doubts.

I look around my new office, which because of space constraints is also a guest bedroom. It’s not really a “normal office.” My new desk is probably half the size of my old one. In Ireland I had a “real” rolling office chair, but here, I have a pretty restored chair because I think it looks nice.

Today I just need to remind myself that I love what I do. I’m pursuing my passion, dammit!

Plus, I’m in control of whether my business is real or not, right?

Yet, I wonder if my doubts are founded. How can I tell? Who am I comparing myself to, after all? I guess it comes down to a few questions: What kind of life do I want to live? What are my goals?

Perhaps my business isn’t serious enough? If I doubled my income, would I consider this a real business? I kind of think I would. Maybe it comes down to dollars.

Do you ever have doubts?

What do you think makes a business “real”?