Don’t quit (just fix it)

Image: Jen Chillingsworth

It’s easy to toss out the bathwater with the baby. Wait… Or is it the other way around?

Anyways, what I’m talking about here is the tendency — my tendency, anyways — with starting a thing because I really enjoy it, then getting annoyed with one aspect of it, then focusing intently on that one sh*tty aspect, then blowing it out of proportion, then quitting the thing altogether.

If you find something that sings to you and you can see yourself doing it — like, for a living — this is gold. It hardly ever happens. Make it a practice of character to follow it through. Alas, when things pop up that annoy you about it — which they surely will — try to work on tweaking those small parts of it instead of walking away from it entirely.

For example, if you like freelance writing, but hate the part about squabbling with clients about rates, etc., instead of throwing up your hands and walking away, try taking care of that one problem so you can keep enjoying the rest of it. Maybe post your rates on your website so it immediately turns away people unwilling to pay those fees. Or post past case studies that reveal what you charged for them to give some context. The cheapskates will click their way back to Fiverr and leave you alone.

Or, for another example, if you enjoy blogging, but find it hard to come up with new ideas, instead of quitting, sit down for an hour (set a timer) and jot down as many little seeds of ideas as you can. Fill up the page with little inklings that show potential for sprouting and growing into full stories or posts. Just one or two sentences for each one. Keep them in a log so you can quickly grab one at will to expand on (that’s what I do).

I’ve walked away from more things than I can imagine that I truly enjoyed because I let one or two easily solvable issues take over my mind and kill it for me.

Sometimes you have to work through the dip. Good things take time and patience. They take ironing things out and figuring out your own way of doing them. There is no template. But by working through them yourself, you’ll have a thing you enjoy. And you’ll be doing it in a way that suits your nature.

Doesn’t get much better than this.

More bits and bops from Jonas Ellison