All Give, No Get

Sitting in front of the computer all day, searching for ways to promote your business, only to find that spammers and wannabe-professionals-still-in-their-junior-year-of-college-looking-to-summer-intern-at-your-seemingly-successful company are the only ones knocking on your door, can be somewhat disheartening.

When starting your own business (and I mean s-t-a-r-t-i-n-g your own business from s-c-r-a-t-c-h) you find yourself spending a great deal of time working, and no reward to show for it.  It’s simple when you have a regular job (working for someone other than yourself): if you work at the Slurpee shop, you show up at a given time, sell Slurpees for the given amount of hours, and then a week, or two, later you get a check for the given amount of money.  Simple.  But when you’re starting your own business, you work (and work) with no guarantee that you’ll ever see a dime.

My husband and I recently started two companies of our own: a video production company, which focused mainly on producing promotional videos for clients and/or editing reels and commercials for individuals and small businesses, and a photography company, which focuses mainly on weddings and sometimes pregnancy photos and other personal projects for clients.  While my husband does most of the shooting and editing, etc, I do the business.  I spend most of the day sitting on the couch with my MacBook Pro on a lap desk on my (well) lap.  I look for ways to get our business’ names out there, while spending as little money as possible (oh yeah, we’re tapped out since I quit my job teaching 8th grade to take care of our new baby and run our companies).  Since we don’t have money to spend, I dig for the free ways to get ourselves noticed – but they’re slim.  And after a number of weeks on this couch, not one of the few jobs we’ve gotten recently have had anything to do with my work.  But feeling sorry for oneself does not a successful business make (for some reason I think Brad Pitt didn’t walk into his Thelma and Louise audition thinking, “I’m an ugly loser and I’ll never make a career for myself.”

So I keep on giving (and I’ll give more tomorrow) in the hopes that someone will call, or email, or send a pigeon, saying “Hey, I saw that ad, or that Facebook post, or that Tweet that the most-fantastic-business-woman-ever-to-start-her-own-company” sent out, and I’d loooove to give you money to work on my project.”

Eh, maybe tomorrow.

You gotta spend money to make money… you gotta lift some weights to get some muscle… you gotta kiss a few frogs.  You gotta give (and give) if you ever want to get (unless we’re talking about the Lottery, but I’m not gonna hold my breath on that one).

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