It’s Friday night, well actually it’s Saturday now, 12:47am.
My girlfriend was out volunteering tonight, and if I’m not spending time with my girlfriend or exercising, I’m working. I work all week and all weekend because I love to work. But even more, I work like a dog because I’m scared and I live in fear. We’ll get to that in a minute.
But for now I want to take a second and just write about how happy I am. Sometimes when I think about where I am with my freelance career and the level of success and freedom and control I enjoy in my life it makes me cry. I’m crying right now actually. Maybe it’s the thoughts. Maybe it’s the Adele playing in the background.
Or maybe it’s the fact that I can blast Adele in the background while I do my work.
I came from the bottom. And now I’m here. I know what Drake is talking about.
I’m scum. I’m not supposed to be here. I’m a fraud.
That’s how I feel everyday. I came from the bottom and I achieved my goals of working for myself. There is nothing that can describe that feeling. All I ever ever ever wanted to do was to work for myself, not have a boss, and have control over my income and time. And I made it.
But there was a time not too long ago where I hadn’t made it yet, and every second of every day all I was thinking about was making it, and all I did every second of every day was try to make it.
Tonight I went to Chick-fil-a and while I was in the drive thru-line I had a flashback to not too long ago when I had gone to the same Chick-fil-a on a lunch break. On a lunch break from what job? On a lunch break from a piece of shit “job” selling AT&T U-Verse door to door. That job paid $26 a day and there were no real commissions (good luck getting someone to change their cable by knocking on their front door).
I quit that job (I quit a lot of jobs) on the first day after me and my partner got back to the office at 10pm. I quit that job on day 1 because I was tricked into the job from a Craigslist ad. These smooth criminals were able to take me out to lunch, show me their office, and get me to sign up to work for them full-time without even telling me what the job was or that it was a job selling door to door.
That’s how desperate and pathetic I was. Big, smart, master freelancer Jason Rothman got tricked into a door to door selling job that paid $26 a day.
That wasn’t even that long ago. I’m ashamed of that experience and I don’t even tell friends and family about it, and it boggles my mind to think about how far I’ve come since then and how much clearer and smarter I think now.
So I had that flashback tonight. And everyday I have flashbacks to other low-paying jobs like working at an accounting software company where they were so bad at training employees that 6 months into the job I still felt useless and had no idea what I was doing. Or at the web design agency job where the air conditioning in my small office that I shared with another guy was broken and daily it was 77 to 82 degrees in there. I worked there for 11 months sweating through my white-collar shirt every day in 80 degrees. I felt really valued at that company. Nothing says we appreciate you like letting the air conditioning go broken for 11 months. Or I think about the time I worked as an accountant for a big Oklahoma City oil and gas company where I sat for 9 hours a day doing nothing but thinking about how much I hated my life.
I’ve had some bad times with jobs, but man, all that is so over now. Now I’m on the wave. Now I’ve got my pirate ship. Now I’ve got clients who love me and who I love. Now I have my dream career where I control my income, my time, and who I work for and with.
I’m on the wave and I swear I’m never jumping off.
Every day of my life I live in fear. I live in fear of poverty, but even more, I live in fear of failing and having to go back to the old jobs I used to work. I think about it all day. I wake up in the middle of the night to nightmares. The fear of failing never leaves me, and it drives me every second of every day.
This probably isn’t healthy. It can’t be. But it’s my life and the fear is a part of me just like an arm, an eye, or a heart. The fear is in me and I can’t shake it.
But that’s okay. A lot of people benefit from the fear that drives me.
I benefit because the fear drives me to do great at my job and add value to my clients’ lives. My family benefits because the fear drives me to do great and take care of them. And my clients benefit because the fear drives me to work so hard for them and do so great for them and add so much value for them that firing me would be inconceivable.
I guess in a way I’m thankful for the fear I live with and those bad job experiences. It drives me to stay on this wave and do a great job at my freelancing work.
I’m going to go back to listening to the sweet sweet Adele and continue to do my work.