Do You Want to be Self-Employed or More Employed
Stop. Stay. Go. The choice is ours.
‘They’ say write what you know.
The following post is about the choice I made to leave my company, Communications NewRayCom to work in a Call Centre.
(More on the Call Centre later.)
Some of what I say will resonate with you. At the least, I hope is gives you pause to reflect on your own choices.
The first quarter of 2016 has been particularly rough.
I had hit bumpy roads before.
But like the potholes in my Montreal neighbourhood, the bumps were mountains and the holes, crevices.
This time, my wheels fell off, my tank was empty and I was stuck standing still in the middle of the road watching life drive by.
What went wrong?
I enjoyed what I was doing too much.
Well, when you really like what you’re doing, you tend to want to do it all the time.
And when people tell you they like what you’re doing, that’s all the validation you need.
I loved doing my weekly Ray2Go/LunchBunch Show.
I got to hang out with a panel of good friends and special guests who engaged with me and expanded my knowledge of marketing and business.
I invested many hours researching, producing and promoting the shows on various platforms.
Not being able to sign up a sponsor, I was out-of-pocket for all this time invested.
I also published a weekly marketing newsletter that took much time to research, curate and format.
This left little time to market myself.
Yes, all the content I was creating was a form of marketing. (I believe it’s called content marketing.)
But it wasn’t was selling.
It wasn’t a total waste. I built a large online community.
What I didn’t build, was a large online community that converted into clients.
You can’t take “likes” to the bank.
Social media has changed since I first drank the Kool-Aid back in 2009.
Social Media, especially Facebook, has become another broadcast media – like television and radio.
The platform’s survival depends on gaining enough viewers (subscribers) to generate advertising revenue.
Oh please, not another social media post…
As much as I remain enthusiastic about the business potential of social media, I had hit a wall.
I couldn’t bear another “list”, “How to” or how (…insert latest tragic event here…) can tell us about social marketing posts.
There are many experts who do an exceptional job of that.
But as my friend, Danny Brown says on his website: Danny Brown
“There’s more to life than social media.”
Can I get an “amen”?
I’ve written 187 marketing newsletters starting in 2011 with a weekly Google+ tips to a curated list of articles about online marketing.
I created 146 blog posts, produced and hosted over a hundred Ray2Go and RayBunch YouTube Shows.
On top of these, are guests posts for Steamfeed.com, and other sites.
While I tried to infuse my personality into all my content, I felt constrained by remaining true to “my brand.”
There is a freedom that comes from not being self-conscious.
There’s a lot of chatter online about lot about being authentic, of telling our own stories.
It takes courage to be yourself.
I try to be real with the content I create which is why I find social media posts constraining.
I’m a strategist. My thing is “the big picture”.
While I enjoy coaching and walking people through processes, I enjoy more providing the “why” of the process.
With freedom comes responsibility.
Freedom is a major advantage of being self-employed, but it also means freedom from benefits, weekends, and holidays.
In short, freedom from having a life…until you make the big bucks.
Freedom can also be paralyzing.
Ever watch someone at a donut or ice cream counter?
They had tons of time to decide what to order while in line, yet, when faced with the choices, they hem and haw until you want to place the order for them.
You Can’t compete with the big guys.
Being self-employed often isn’t scalable.
I couldn’t compete with agencies that provided a shopping lists of services.
Even if I had access to a talent bank of expert freelancers, companies didn’t feel secure trusting this “new fangled” social media thing with a solopreneur.
Ray working at a Call Center?
I’m not sure how much control I had in making the choice to move on.
I was stuck at the stop light in my business, I could choose to stay in limbo and yield to whatever comes my way or drive ahead.
Or I could plan a new route, press the accelerator and go.
The new route to me to Image-24, and inbound Call Centre.
I consulted for the business last year.
Their progressive attitude and strong company culture was impressive and refreshing.
When owner, Gary Blair invited me to join the management team as Director of Digital Marketing, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
The timing couldn’t have been better.
I was at a point where I felt like a failure.
I thought I had thrown away the last six years.
I was wrong.
Those last six years equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to help a Image24 reach their business goals.
I was feeling too old to compete.
But it was precisely my lifetime of business experience along with my social media expertise that got me the offer.
What have I learned from this experience?
Be resilient, and above all, be yourself.
Thank you for sharing your time with me.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view past Ray2Go shows on my YouTube Channel or the audio podcast on Soundcloud.
Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com.
My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions.
Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture.
You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call