There are many challenges we face as INFs, as intuitives and as - well - human beings who are working on our own thing.
I'm deliberately vague when I call it 'doing our own thing', because I've found that this looks different for each of us, and you might find that it changes over time. For example, in my case:
- The first time, I was building an education business alongside my Masters.
- I've also tried to be a freelancer.
- I've started various blogs and podcasts.
And, right now with INF Club, I am transitioning towards being an "indie", which is my way of saying I intend to make a consistent income from my business. In some ways, I am living the indie life, in other ways - because my business is not producing an income with some regularity - it feels as if I am still working towards being "indie". It can start to sound confusing, can't it, but hopefully you get my drift...
You see, there's an ongoing balancing act at play here. And it's been there for the large part of the last 5 years (with the exception of around a year when I was in full-time employment).
And that's working on something, and working towards something (a business that's impacting more people, and income being one of the byproducts), though also not attaching oneself firmly to the "success" of it - i.e. the money.
Let's face it, money is important. I need it to survive (the basics), and to thrive - supporting myself and my freedom (to live, to explore, to have the experience I want to), and hopefully that'll allow me to support my future family, too.
But when it comes to the various side-projects and businesses that I've worked on: to be in a position where I feel relaxed and am pacing myself without attachment to outcomes, feels most healthy and freeing to me.
Every time I start to think too much about money, about getting somewhere, about any kind of outward success, this attachment to the end goal trips me up and doesn't lead to the greatest outcomes. I usually find myself overwhelmed, stressed, burned out, or otherwise focusing too much on my work and letting the rest of the ingredients for a 'happy Jas life' fall by the wayside (e.g. exercising, spending time with people, having space in my day).
I feel fortunate to be in the position I am in, currently living with my parents and in a financial position that is comfortable. In fact, most intuitives I know with a business are in a similar, comfortable financial position where they don't need to rely on the income from their business. My feeling is that, for most of us, having a business to build where we're relying on its income is usually not a healthy place to be in, and it doesn't allow us to experiment and grow slowly, in a way that lets us pace ourselves, listen to our intuition, and take little steps forward.
(Sidenote: there is a narrative around entrepreneurship out there which is one-sided, inaccurate and unhelpful. Shoutout to my friend Elizabeth Miner who is sharing the real stories of entrepreneurs - many of whom are intuitives - on her Entrepreneurs IRL podcast; I was one of the guests fortunate to be interviewed - Episode 7).
However, for me, there is a still a 'ball-park number' I'd like to reach with my online business, one that would allow me to live comfortably and independently - and this can easily translate to:
"I am aiming towards x, therefore the more I work the faster I'll get there."
I cannot tell you how unhelpful and damaging this is.
Some would say - I've seen this "out there" in the world of business advice - that you need to "throw your rucksack over the wall and cut the chord", to put some fire beneath you to help you make your business succeed.
For me, personally, I have enough internal motivation to keep moving forward, and not feeling financial secure would not be good for me or my business. It goes back to the point earlier that I made around having some financial stability, and not having to put myself under immediate pressure to make money.
My motivation is my own passion for serving fellow INFs and intuitives (as cliched as that sounds), standing on my own two feet, and supporting myself and my future family; as I write this I am single, as I was in 2015 when I left the City, but I knew in my heart that a big reason for doing my own thing would be to be around for my partner and kids, if it's in God's plan for me to have them.
I am not Elon Musk (who apparently survived off tins in a tiny apartment pre-infamy), neither am I Gary Vaynerchuk ("hustle, hustle, hustle"). Nor am I trying to build funded businesses of that scale. I'm all about the self-sustaining, company-of-one, indie vibe.
And so, each day, I have to tread the line of doing "enough" and not "more".
Enough feels good to me, more feels overwhelming. Some days, I feel like doing a little extra, other days (like last Thursday after a busy week), I felt like doing less.
Enough is where my wellbeing is stable (better yet: thriving), more is where my wellbeing starts to suffer.
Enough is being grateful for the here and now, enjoying a two hour walk with my friend like I did this afternoon, more is where I barely give myself a lunch break (like my days working in the city), and stay fixated on my screen, partly being productive, partly flicking between tabs and otherwise procrastinating.
A friend of mine recently told me that she read in a book: "If you don't feel rich with what you have right now in your life, you won't feel it when you have 'x' amount of money in the future."
Enough is knowing that I am enough in the here and now, more is wishing that I was more... or saying that I will be enough only when I have achieved or earned more (and then getting there to realise that, in fact, I am still the same person; just like what happened when I used to workout only to get bigger).
Enough is happy with who I am, more is chasing a happiness that doesn't exist. For me, it's about putting one foot in front of the other, being mindful to feel content in the present.
Enough didn't always feel like it was sufficient, but nowadays to me it's... well, more than enough.
👤 Jas Hothi is the curator of INF Club, a place for INFPs, INFJs & intuitives who like to write or create. Subscribe to his newsletter and you'll receive Happier, an e-book sharing how he navigated his transition away from conventional '9-to-5' life & began his creative, heart-based journey.
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