I recently decided to start tutoring again. It's something I did for a number of years, and so am familiar with and good at. I also find it enjoyable and fulfilling, and it pays pretty well. Ticking all the boxes.
As 'freelance marketing' hasn't worked out for various reasons, I'm hoping this becomes my new income-generator. Without putting too much pressure on myself because, well, I'm an INFP. So we'll see how it goes.
I've refreshed my tutoring profiles online, collated the various recommendations I received, and even made a personal 'tutoring' webpage, with information and video. (Yes, video... these are always interesting).
Next, I needed clients.
The quickest, simplest way I know of getting to clients.. delivering leaflets to the local streets of my suburban town; plenty of middle-class houses and families around, my ideal audience.
Focusing on a 'new project' is challenging for me at the best of times. I have to stop myself from making my brain cogs go into over-drive, and freak out about *the end point* of this new project; instead, it's healthier for me to 'feel out' a new choice, and go with the flow, so I'm not clinging on too much to an identity, or an 'outcome' (which, in this case, would be to work x hours as a tutor, earning x amount of money). Maybe there’s a blog post in this for another time.
This morning, I printed my Canva-designed leaflets on my new, think A4 white paper. I then folded these in half, for posting through letter-boxes. It was a relatively clear and dry day.
Then I hit the roads.
To be honest, I'd have much preferred to post-through-letterboxes on a weekday morning, when the pavements would be quiet/empty, and houses too.
And then, putting the letters through letterboxes. I put some music/podcasts on my headphones, and just quickly - but quietly - pushed through letterboxes.
It's a weird thing putting things in letterboxes. It's a lot more nerve-wracking than it should be! I feel like this is very much an INF / HSP thing.
At one point, I tried to calm myself down by asking myself "What's the worst that could happen?" As I walked away from the front door of one house, I then imagined hearing an angry shout, front door bursting open, and a man - with rifle - shooting at me. I tried not to ask myself that question - or picture that scene - again.
Some doors politely said 'no junk mail' or 'no advertisements' or something of that kind; I gave those ones a miss. I don't want to maximise my chances of being shot at, I decided.
A couple of times I saw, gulp, humans in their driveways, or coming out of the front door. Yikes. I politely asked them "May I give you one of these?", holding out a leaflet and trying to look as calm and friendly as possible. One of them politely declined, the other politely accepted. Wow, I thought, that wasn’t so terrible; humans aren't so bad after all. Something I constantly seem to forget. And especially this time of year, when I'd much rather withdraw and curl myself up into a bawl rather than speak to strangers. I honestly look back on my 5 years working in sales and think How did I do it?
Truth be told, the fear and anxiety never truly went away, even when I had been working in sales for a while. Each morning I'd go in feeling "the dread". It wasn't nice.
Anyhow, I got through it.
Mum kindly helped me post the leaflets, so we trundled together down local streets, and posted in letter-boxes on opposite sides of the road. I even confessed my anxiety to her about posting through doors. "I know what you mean," she said. "It feels a bit embarrassing, like people must think you're putting some sort of rubbish through their doors."
She, like me, can care too much about what others think. She can be a bit of a people-pleaser, too. She also told me that she did leaflet posting when she was younger, and also used to feel a bit afraid, and especially when dogs would bark through the letterbox. (My grandparents ran shops, so I'm guessing the flyers she posted were to do with promotions and such they were running).
Anyhow, I got through it. But it was really interesting to observe my thoughts, and fears, as I posting the leaflets.
I tried to be as quick - and silent - as possible. I took my mind off the fear by listening to music and a podcast. And I tried to remind myself that I am offering a good, valuable service, one which I really enjoy, am very good at, and is very valuable - effectively teaching kids and teenagers and also helping grow their confidence.
It still wasn't easy, though. I won't be doing this again anytime soon.
Well, actually, I ordered 500 A4 sheets from Amazon so I still have more leaflets to print and fold should I choose to. But, after I've gotten some tutoring clients (fingers crossed), I won't be pounding the pavements in a hurry.
PS. My favourite letterboxes were these: well away from houses and doors (I didn't have to do the dreaded walk up the path to the front door), nicely and safely outside the gate. Aaaah.
And I found this sign amusing, too:
Written: Sunday, 17th November, 2019
Something else on my mind...
I'm really enjoying music at the moment. Especially as I lean into my slower pace and self-care this time of year. Certain songs hit my soul - like this one. Others that also hit the spot include: Otto Knows - Million Voices and Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness (the re-mix, too). I'm also enjoying this newly-discovered 'Songs for Dreaming' playlist on Spotify, curated by fellow INF Laura Brehm.
It's all about calming, soothing, nourishing songs for the soul at this time of year. Or, for the matter, at any time of year. I love music. It’s great for my soul.
What are you listening to at the moment?
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