If you’re a solopreneur, I’m willing to bet you started your business to gain more control over your work, your process, your clientele, and your time. And that you dreamt of more fully pursuing a personal passion, once you weren’t squished under the thumb of The Man. I’d also wager that somewhere along the solopreneurial road, you were hijacked by your business―and your passion was taken for ransom.
I’m not the betting type, but I am a solopreneur. And I know my kind. We tend to be All About the Work―which, admittedly, is part of the deal when you run your own show, especially early on. But here’s another part of the deal: all work and no passion makes for a dull (and possibly grumpy/exhausted/disengaged) solopreneur.
In my case, while I’m a corporate communications writer by trade, I’m a storyteller at heart. And for years, I desperately tried to give this passion an outlet. I’d block an hour during the workday to crank out an essay, but client work would take precedence. I’d vow to write on Saturday or Sunday, but the last thing I want to do on the weekend is camp out behind my laptop.
Finally, on New Year’s Eve 2014, I made one resolution: to really, truly, no-excuses carve out time for passion projects. I crunched some numbers and figured out that I could write for clients four days a week and dedicate the remaining workday to writing for myself.
Since January 1st, “Passion Project Fridays” have produced a short play and eight essays. And they’ve reminded me that solopreneurial life should not be All About the Work. My business may have kidnapped my passion, but I paid the ransom and got it back. We’re finally reunited―and it feels so good.
Nicole Christie is a writer and storyteller who splits her time between Seattle and Montreal. She is also the principal and creative director of NICO, Inc.―a one-woman firm specializing in fresh, honest, engaging employee and marketing communications for Fortune 500 corporations, leading-edge creative firms, and rapidly growing new technology companies. You can soak up her solopreneur wisdom at http://nicolechristie.com/.