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Whose fault is this?

Posted by Deidre Rienzo on

Welcome to Week 38 of my adventure as a member of the Marketing Plan Group. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a website copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning from my group experience.

Stab me. Please, somebody stab me. Put me out of my misery. (OK, I don’t actually want to be stabbed, but maybe kidnapped and taken somewhere warm and sunny – with margaritas.)

I will try to subdue the tears of frustration long enough to share this experience. Sniffle. Sniffle.

I took a project.

I took a project that wasn’t exactly “in my market,” but I thought, sure, what the hell, I can do it.

Why did I do this? You probably know what I’m going to say. For the money. The big Benjamins. It seemed like it would be worth it.

How silly I was.

Is it really worth it to put myself through this mental and emotional torture?

The project is a medical education project. I need to follow a 90-page syllabus and find and cite resources. I feel like I’m back in college, except then I would have dropped the class. It’s not that I’m not capable of doing it so much as I can’t stand it. And my brain isn’t exactly wired this way. So it’s really challenging.

Enough complaining. Now onto blaming.

Oh wait. A mean, horrible boss didn’t give me this project… I did.  

When I told Ilise that I wanted to throw my computer out the window, she said, “Good.”

“Why Ilise?” I whimpered, “Why could this possibly be good?” And she said, “Because this really helps you learn. I bet you won’t do it again.” 

Hallelujah. She is darn freaking right about that.

So, if you’ve been there, tell me I’ll make it out alive. And if you haven’t been there, hopefully my experience will dissuade you. Don’t be swayed by the money! If you hear yourself saying, I could really use the money, and, I’m sure I can figure it out, run! As Alisa Bonsignore said on the CFC Freelance Success Panel, “every big mistake has had to do with chasing the big paycheck.”

I’ve said no before. Lots of times.

But money can make you think irrationally.

Besides the torture, high blood pressure, and crying at the computer, why else should we not take these projects that are outside our elements?

• Even though we “can” do it, the clients might be better off with an expert (if at least for the simple fact that, in my case, she would have received the project on time!)
• These projects take us away from what we are best at, from developing those talents, and from chasing after those types of projects.
• Taking these projects make you a “bad boss” to yourself! (Luke Mysse talked all about this in his CFC presentation, Who’s the Boss.)

I read somewhere that in order to keep your brain young, it’s important to vary the things you think about and the way you solve problems. This is not the way to do it. I’d rather learn to salsa dance. Or do the NY Times crossword.

Have you been there? What have you learned?

  • More in: Marketing Plan Group Journal, Marketing Plan in Action, Posts by Deidre

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