I’d love to know what you think about all this…
You know the ones. The good-looking ‘entrepreneur’ sitting by the beach, cocktail in one hand, laptop in the other. Or the business woman at her perfectly organised white desk, smiling as she drinks coffee from an on-trend mug.
And the promise: “You can be like me!”
When you’re dealing with a messy house and a schedule you can never get on top of, these vendors (and yes, that’s what they are) can really get under your skin.
Because yes, they can teach you a lot. Yes, they are offering value and support. But you don’t have to be like them and you probably never will, even if you follow their instructions to the letter.
I started thinking about this a lot when I decided to enter the mentoring and coaching space in 2021. People in the industry seem to share a lot of idealistic images, making it look like they have the perfect life, full of never-ending holidays and endless funds.
Smoke and mirrors
Here’s the thing. I have met and worked with a lot of people who fit the bill of being ‘successful’ and ‘rich’, many of whom earn money from home. Behind the scenes, no matter how great their Instagram shots look, it’s never 100% organised spaces and beachside cocktails.
It’s hard work!
Being a business owner who earns six or seven figures means there is always busyness, pressure, frustration, setbacks and unexpected expenses, even for the people at the very top of the food chain.
There is nobody, no matter how easy their life looks on social media, who isn’t pushing hard all the time to make their success happen. Yes, these freelancers and entrepreneurs get better results but they’re still spending a lot of time being engaged and productive themselves.
For one thing, creating a perfect image on Facebook and Instagram takes hours of planning and work! Even if the content uploading is delegated, you still have to be involved in the process as the entrepreneur.
My pet peeve is seeing pictures of people working at the beach. The beach is glary, it’s windy and the sand gets in everything. Who can get anything done in that environment???
Walking your own path
“Be like me”, implies that all you have to do is take a course or follow a few steps and your life will change. But we are all different. Our brains hold us back and reward us for different reasons. Starting the day early won’t work for everyone. Neither will affirmations. Some people thrive on deadlines. Others prefer to work and earn money from home without feeling pressure.
In desperately striving to make your life exactly the same as someone else’s, you’re ignoring the fact that the other person has their fair share of problems as well. What we don’t see outside of the Instagram frame is the relationship struggles, the health issues and yes, even the debt and financial stress. No matter how successful people are, they no doubt have problems of their own which would hold us back from trading places, if we only could see the entire picture.
Nobody is perfectly happy. Nobody really lives their entire life on holiday (lazing by a pool gets boring pretty quickly). Seeing people present themselves that way, as if all they did was flip one switch to change bad habits and earn a zillion bucks really annoys me.
Those Insta-perfect moments are fleeting. Like the pic at the top of this article. Anyone can stand by water with their arms out while someone takes a photo. It doesn’t mean they’re better (or happier) than other people.
What is success?
For me, success isn’t an Insta-perfect life or invitations to red carpet events. Instead, it means doing a job you enjoy and having enough in the bank to put a little bit aside each month. It’s being able to earn money from home so you have time and energy to spend with the people you love.
Success is not about handbags, expensive cars or even a picture-perfect home. Because people can have those things and still be desperately unhappy, not to mention worried about how they will pay for them all.
The final myth is that so-called ‘successful people’ have all the answers. It’s just not true.
Of all the people I know who are closest to that ‘ultimate success story’ picture, the ones I admire most are always open to learning. While they like guiding others, they seek to be guided as well. They appreciate that it’s an ongoing journey, they pass on their knowledge and they look to others for guidance and inspiration.
The entrepreneurs and freelancers who I look up to actually tend to be super normal people. They have a nice home and a decent car but they’re building wealth gradually by putting some money aside, not flashing it around.
The Six Figure Freelancer model
Don’t expect a lot of Insta-perfect images from me! My house is a freakin’ junkyard and my kids’ faces are too dirty to put out there.
Instead, I want to go on the journey with you.
I’ve been walking this path for a while and I want to let you know what I’ve learned. And rather than saying ‘Be like me’, my message is ‘Try this’. I can let you know what has worked for me and for others. From there, I want us to keep learning together, whether you are planning to earn money from home or looking for another way to generate income.
The goal of Six Figure Freelancer is to help new freelancers to navigate the choppy waters of getting started, so you can see what it fits with you. I’m trying to offer options instead of instructions and the supplies for your journey instead of the exact map (spoiler alert: there is no final destination anyway).
I don’t want you to be like me! I want you to work out what the path to success looks like for you.
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