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February 19, 2008

The Meaning of Success, Leather Couches & Procrastination

J0402508 I don't know why I procrastinate. I just do. If given the choice to head into my freezing cold office to write something scintillating, that spells right, has proper grammar and will make people laugh, I will most likely think of 15 other things I can be doing at that moment before planting my butt in a chair and hunkering down. Frankly, the older I get, the more I get sidetracked.

I'm supposed to be writing an essay about what it's like to be a successful female entrepreneur but I've been procrastinating on that assignment the moment I landed it. What does it mean to be successful? Hmm. Successful is as successful does. (thank you Forrest Gump). Do successful people work in basement offices with space heaters and get yelled out by their DH every time they forget to take the plug out of said space heater after a long day procrastinating?

Do successful people go off on tangents? I mean, I can start writing about a topic that interests me, like say, home decorating, then in mid-stream, as I'm writing about a chocolate leather couch, my mind starts wandering to my pantry and I fantasize about a treat that would really help me craft some mouthwatering adjectives. Then, after I've inhaled the last chocolate cake square from my box of Weight Watchers snacks (1 point for anyone who's a WW lifer), I'm back to business, writing about things that strike my fancy. But then the mail comes. And I realize - I better pay some bills. So I whip off my writer's hat again and do a little online banking for a good 15 minutes. Ah, now that my mind is clear, I can write.

Now what was I writing about again? Oh yeah, chocolate couches and what it means to be successful. Forget the couches, let's just talk about success. Are you successful if you make a lot of cash? But what if you're working around the clock and you never get to see your family and you hate what you do but you're still making a boatload of money? Is that success?

Is a person who makes half as much as a workaholic but does what they love the true success story? While money is nice, I do firmly believe that before you can truly make wads of it, you've got to figure out how to crack the code of making money at pursuing your passion. Some people have made a fortune doing just that - just look at all those people in The Secret (no, I am not linking to that book because they don't need to increase their sales on my watch) who preach on about how positive people attract other positive people and blah, blah, blah. I actually never believed the BS in that book until I started giving it a shot and I do have to admit, that positive kharma is infectious. You do wind up attracting lots of successful people, but a lot of times, those people are penny pinchers who want to use your positive energy to help build their own empire or inflate their ego. So when you start using those tools from The Secret, be careful - steer cleer of users - there are many of them and don't start doing business with people unless you know them for at least a few months and can trust that they won't drive you nuts.

It's sort of like dating. If you met a guy for the first time and thought he was amazing, would you marry him right off the bat? No, you'd be an idiot if you did. But why is it that in business, if we meet someone we really like we'll hire them on the spot or take them on as a client and then three months down the road realize they weren't as great as we thought they were?

As I attempt to build my PR company and writing career from the ground up (literally), I've begun to grow wary of hiring people or taking on problem clients, unless of I've known them for years or they've come highly recommended from someone I trust. I'm trying not to overextend myself and more importantly, I am focusing my efforts on doing what I love. It's certainly not a cakewalk because doing what you love doesn't pay the Con Ed bill but someday, I know it will. And when that day arrives, I will hopefully have moved my empire from the cellar to a room with a view. Dare to dream. I better go, this successful entrepreneur needs to shut off her space heater before it burns her leg.


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