What a difference

For the last two years, I’ve been running my small web design operation. I knew there was good money in it even for someone whose design skills are paltry at best. I didn’t get serious about running an efficient, effective operation until recently though. In this time, my effectiveness as a business owner has increased by orders of magnitude.

I’m able to charge for my time, my expertise, and sharing information about the things I really enjoy doing: helping people implement solutions that sometimes involve technology.

Things weren’t always like this though. I’ve burned myself out several times before. Given up on running the business. Avoided taking on new clients. Pared down my site to where it was but a shell of what it once was.

Well recently, I got sick of my job. Deathly sick of it.

So I started working smarter. Not harder. I started making better decisions. Looking at where my money was going. Investing in the best tools to run my business. Being more focused and transparent in my marketing. Actually charging for the things I knew I should be charging for.

And you know what? It worked.

It worked in a major way. My income has shot up dramatically over the past two months, and I could probably still run my business if I wasn’t leaving my job with Accenture.

That’s not what I want, though. I’d be doing my clients a disservice, and I’d be selling myself short. I’m amazed at how much progress has been made ever since I made up in my mind that staying with my desk job wasn’t an option. One of the goals I set at the Liftoff Retreat was to replace my full-time income with side hustle income.

I had no idea it would be such a straightforward process.

Even though I sometimes have superhuman confidence, I feel like I underestimated myself on this one. I was unwittingly holding myself back by not putting myself in positions where I had no choice but to succeed. So now I’m making a habit of it. I’m also challenging my friends in the same way.

And I’m challenging you too. Don’t sell yourself short. You know that five year goal of yours? The thing you want to do before you die? Try doing it by next month.

Or better yet, next week. Set a short timeline and watch what happens.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.