An insecure economy, an insecure job market, rising unemployment… none of which are ideal for someone trying to make it work as a freelancer. My last job ended rather suddenly in September and I was left flummoxed and in shock. My husband had just started a one year course, we had just been burgled and now I didn’t have an income either. Whilst looking for other jobs still, I am attempting to launch on my own. Except it’s not really ‘on my own’ at all. Life just doesn’t happen ‘on our own’, or – if it does – it’s not that much fun.
I know that collaboration is the way forward (but still I am conditioned to try first on my own). I recently took part in a course on missional entrepreneurship where, at one session, we talked about ‘skill sharing’ – times when mutually exchanging skills may be more important than exchanging money for skills. In other words, I write your fundraising & communications strategy and you help me develop my website. I love this idea. Yet I know that there are times when good old money is what is needed too.I currently find myself in that place – urgently needing more work that pays!
So I decided to send out an email to some friends this morning, asking for their help. Which is actually harder than it sounds. I swallowed some humble pie in the process – you see, I don’t want to be seen as a ‘failure’. Someone who can’t find work. Someone who isn’t self-sufficient enough to make it on my own… except I am not. I cannot do it on my own. Somehow it is still quite difficult to admit this. To become vulnerable enough to ask for help.
But I bit the bullet. And am waiting to see if it yields any fruit.
I feel challenged by how difficult it was to write that email. Challenged to remain interdependent, to foster interdependency rather than join in our cultural worship of independence. Maybe all of us need to be more willing to ask for help. For as the great Bono once said, “Sometimes you can’t make it on you own”