When times get tough, keep the faith.

It’s been AWHILE since I’ve really sat down to write an update about life as a solopreneur over here at The Bitter Lemon.

Quarter one was really an unexpected success, and for the most part, it was smooth sailing. Yes, there were bumps along the way and when I really think about it, there were several clients and jobs that just sort of disappeared without much notice.

But I chose to focus on the positive and just keep on going. At the end of quarter one, I really hoped to focus more on my own stuff — creating better content for the blog, finding new ways to get creative, offering to teach more classes, and hosting creative sessions over the phone.

While I was able to do those things, quarter two flew by without me really focusing on anything. I was catching my groove.

But toward the end of the quarter, I had a job that was really sucking the life out of me. I definitely don’t want this to be a place where I complain about clients or jobs, but I was struggling with my day-to-day schedule.

Not every client understands, or takes notice, that I have several jobs and clients at once. I am not on-call. That made each day very hectic and I was stressed.

That job ended weirdly, and although it gave me time to breathe, it also meant I needed to scramble and find something to replace it. It was also a blow to my monthly income.

I focused on my other clients, got my work done, but was in general just feeling low. I took lots of naps and spent lots of time locked away in my apartment. When I looked for jobs, none of them looked appealing.

But, I knew I couldn’t afford to be lazy and depressed for long. So, I gave myself the July 4th holiday weekend to rest and relax, and then come Monday, I’d be back at it full-speed.

That week, my largest client called to cut our project. I just about cried. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to afford it, and we’d been working together solidly since January.

Thankfully, the client wanted to keep me on, but just switch projects — whew! The new project is twice the size, and twice the budget, and I am so, so incredibly thankful for that.

This new project gets me out of bed Monday-Friday. I actually meal-prepped for the week and have been setting my coffee pot to brew so my coffee is ready when my alarm goes off.

I also took a lot of time to apply for contract jobs and had several calls this week that were promising.

I’ve been using my “writer’s support group” on Facebook to share what’s been happening with me and many others in the group reassured me that the summer months are usually slow for everyone. I kind of expected that, but it’s good to hear it from others.

Although this isn’t a glamorous update, I feel it is my duty to report the ups and the downs of life after the 9-5. You don’t have that income security, but you do have so much more.

I know that I needed that down time to put things into perspective. I kept trying to tell myself that the slow time is just as important to embrace as the busy times.

I was in a yoga class a few weeks ago and the instructor was saying that oak trees are some of the strongest trees, and if you were to slice it and look at the rings, you can see moments of dormancy.

The moments of rest are what make the tree stronger, bigger, grow deeper roots, have longer branches. Not only do I love this visual, but I do think we need true balance in life. It can’t always be about going until we drop.

No matter what job you have or what season of life you find yourself in, I want to tell you to keep the faith. This entire journey for me has been about having faith in myself, my skills, my work ethic… and trusting that I’m doing exactly what I was meant to be doing at this time.

I am a firm believer that the universe rewards those of us who choose not to play small. I know I was meant for bigger, better things and as long as I keep putting positive energy into my dreams, I know the rewards will be tenfold.

It’s easy to believe in all of the sayings and inspirational quotes when things are going good. But on the dark days, faith counts for double.

So get up. Get out of bed. Get the coffee. And do whatever you need to do to KEEP GOING.

Some mornings, I fully rely on my kitty Blanche to get me out of bed. She always wakes up purring so loud and hard she can hardly stand up! She’s so happy for another day (and likely very hungry) and I take that as an invitation to embrace my situation and roll with it.

Next week, I’m heading out of town on a vacation I planned six months ago. Originally, I figured it would be a total break from my computer and email, but truthfully, I can’t afford to skip that much work.

So, I’m bringing my work along. Although it’s not ideal, that’s how it has to be and honestly, I’m feeling really lucky that I have clients who need my help and there is work to be done.

There is no shame in working hard and playing hard, too. I’m going to get up early, get my couple hours of work done every morning, and then spend the rest of the day site-seeing.

I am still fully-aware that most people do not quit their jobs without savings or a plan, decide to work in their pajamas every day and are also able to take multiple vacations around the world within six-months’ time.

I am lucky, and even during the slow times, I have been able to pay every single bill, and have even been able to treat myself as I see fit.

Good things happen when you fling yourself into the life you were intended to live.

Stay focused, stop comparing, and go do all the things you were meant to do.

For more business advice, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Instagram @Orangejulius7– where I share more of my daily life. Live in the Baton Rouge area? I’m teaching a Blogging Boot Camp this September. If you don’t live in Baton Rouge, you can always schedule a Creative Session with me!

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