Stay Away From What Might Have Been, and Look at What Can Be | Internetly Vol. 17
On treating each day like a new beginning, the advantage of being a little underemployed, and charging premium prices for exposing yourself to emergencies.
July has been tumultuous.
When I sent out Internetly a day late last week, I wasn’t doing too hot. I had cried a handful of times, to the point where my throat swelled for days afterward. Turns out seeing your childhood dog on the precipice of death really does a number on your psyche. Good lord.
I’m fine now, as these things go. Because life is a roller coaster, what goes down must come...up?
This past week has been positive, full of new experiences. I went mini-golfing. Ate some delicious braised tilapia drenched in chili sauce at Birds of a Feather in Williamsburg. And I rented an Airbnb in Paris for August. It’ll be the first time I ever work remotely from a foreign country!
It sounds ludicrous, but I have to credit a part of this turning point to a TikTok. The melodramatics.
I follow this exuberant influencer, Anna. She’s beach blonde, always smiling and suspiciously positive. She made a video recently about how she maintains her optimistic attitude. “I treat each day as a new beginning. And coffee,” she answers.
While this sounds like something that could be found on a pillow of a TJMaxx store, Miss Anna is onto something here. For whatever reason, the words resonated.
What does it mean to treat each day as a new beginning? What if when we woke up, we felt like we had a completely clean slate, versus feeling obligated to continue our imaginary storyline? Could we feel like we can change our entire life trajectory? Can we?
The novelty has proved useful in getting over my funk. I’ve started waking up feeling present. My first thought of the day is, “What’s going to happen today?” rather than, “Here continues the story of my life, based on how yesterday went.”
The anticipation is energizing. Uplifting. And just plain exciting.
So maybe give it a try. What do you have to lose, anyway?
“Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.”
– Marsha Petrie Sue
🖼 On Becoming a Prolific Creator
This Week: Falling in Love With Failure
If you’re trying to make a living off your creative adventures, failure is bound to visit a few times.
But “failure” is only a mindset shift away from being seen as a positive thing.
The reason why there’s such a negative association with “failure” is that it involves others. People are watching. It’s embarrassing. Being a “failure” is less potent when no one is paying attention.
And if you’re trying to create, then it definitely involves others. You’re putting yourself out there on social media, telling your family how you’re planning on earning a living, quitting your day job.
Failure seems high-stakes because others are watching from afar. But in reality, it doesn’t concern them. They’re sitting on the sidelines, and you’re the one taking action.
So next time you:
Try to land a client but miss the deal.
Didn’t hit your financial goal for the month.
Your creative work isn’t gaining as much attention as you’d like.
Remember it’s not necessarily failing - it’s just the uncomfortable sensation of knowing you’re being watched.
Brush it off, and keep trying.
Constantly failing is more gratifying than being on the sidelines and idly watching nearby. 🚶🏻♂️
🥒 Content Diet
The Advantage of Being a Little Underemployed by Morgan Housel
The 9-5, 40-hour workweek as we know it was originally designed for the endurance of railroad workers.
And yet, this timetable is now mainstream. It drapes over nearly every single industry. For the record, only 0.08% of the American workforce today is a railroad worker. Yes, I did the math.
Clearly, most people are certainly not railroad workers and cannot perform their best with this schedule. Knowledge workers might not get physically exhausted, but mental exhaustion is real.
Morgan’s article is an interesting insight into why our best creative work is done often when we’re not working at all. Since reading it, my guilt towards taking intermittent breaks has lessened. Going to the gym, taking a walk, grabbing a coffee...it’s now part of the workday, rather than an excuse from it.
Doing stuff that doesn’t seem like work - walks, chats, workouts - are often the most important part of your workday. ☕️
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: Panic Costs Extra
I put out this tweet the other day.
It took me a long time to grasp the importance of urgency. Seth Godin knows what I’m talking about here;
“If you work in a field where things need to be delivered by date certain, with zero defects, with high consequences if you make a mistake—then you need to charge a premium for exposing yourself to emergencies.
Emergencies (or even the risk of emergencies) cost extra. Yelling at us costs extra. Panic costs extra.”
For a while, it wasn’t clicking until I realized: Why should freelancers suffer when their clients cannot properly manage their time?
If a client is disorganized, this leads to extra labor. You have to pick up additional work without additional time. Rush through weeknights or weekends to deliver work. And make sure it’s spotless, high-quality, and ready-to-go.
Finding yourself in an emergency means your time is on the line. You didn’t anticipate this. If you find yourself readily handing away your availability, you begin to devalue yourself.
So, if a client is rushing you into an emergency - that’s fine. Because you’re organized, you’ll be able to help them out, do the work, and save the day.
Just make sure to charge accordingly.
If a client is exposing you to time-related emergencies, charge a premium price for doing additional work without additional time. 🚨
That’s it for this week! Thanks so much for reading.
We recently hit 300+ subscribers! Wooohoooo. I appreciate you all.
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Have a beautiful week,