I Let My Business Die And I Couldn’t Be Happier About It.
Quitting the hustle to follow the dream.
I remember standing on stage at the elementary talent show trying to read a poem that I’d written. I was in third grade, eight years old, and it was a poem about how much I loved words. Even at that young age, I was a writer.
I was not, however, a speaker.
I choked on the words. After a couple of whispered and stumbling starts, I broke into tears, gave the mic back to the principal, and ran off stage.
That’s my earliest clear memory of my love affair with words, and my desire to spend my life playing with them in various forms. In eighth grade, I wrote a novel by hand on loose leaf paper. I kept it in an orange folder, one of those cheap ones that you get in back-to-school sales 10 for $1. It was about a guy who kidnapped the governor’s daughter, and then they fell in love. It was about as good as you would expect a novel written by a 13-year-old to be.
I wrote short stories and poetry. I kept them in one of those blank books. Then in another. Then another. For years, I carried those blank books with me, until somewhere in my adulthood during one move or another, they were lost.
After high school, I continued to write. Novels. Short stories. Not as much poetry as I wrote when I was an angsty teen. Articles. Blog posts. Writing is something that I have to do. If I can’t write, I get twitchy.
And yet this is not what I’ve been doing for a living the last several years. Instead, I built a business as a psychic reader. My branding was unique, quirky, edgy, but it was still a business as a psychic reader.
And I hated it.
But I was good at it. I’m really good at being a psychic. I have an uncanny knack for predicting the future, and I know the questions to ask people to get them to unlock their own secrets. I can read many oracles, and have an ongoing conversation with the Universe, but I hated doing readings, even though I was good at them. Even though clients kept wanting more.
I tried evolving my business into something that suited me better. Something that I looked forward to doing. But it was always still in that same box. Psychic reader. Sure, my readings were deep and edgy, but they were still readings.
I didn’t want to read.
I wanted to write.
But running my business was so exhausting that I didn’t have time to write. And I had to keep running the business because it made money, and how could I turn down money? Every time I tried to leave that business behind, I’d end up behind on my bills and scrambling to catch up by offering… more readings.
I had to keep coming up with new ways to get the attention of potential clients. Even when I didn’t want new clients.
I began to grow more and more bothered by the entire industry of “spiritual entrepreneurs.” The readers, healers, and energy workers who’d adopted the “female lifestyle empowerment brand” business model. It was always a push for more. More money, higher prices, flashier pictures. I couldn’t keep up. I didn’t want that kind of business. I didn’t want that kind of life.
I wanted a simple, quiet life where I can spend as much of my time as possible doing what I want. Which is mostly being alone and writing, with the occasional walk by myself thrown in. I’m a hermit by nature, and one-on-one work with clients didn’t sit well with that hermit nature.
I kept trying to make that business work. And in a way, it did. It financially supported me. I usually made what I needed to keep up with my bills. When I didn’t, there was usually a clear reason, like I hadn’t been promoting anything, so nobody was buying anything. “If you build it, they will come,” only works in the movies. You have to build it, and tell them about it over and over and over and over for them to come.
But money isn’t enough for happiness. Sure, it makes some aspects of life easier, but it’s not all there is. And I was not happy. I didn’t have the time and energy to work on what I wanted to work on. I was so busy trying to figure out how to keep making money doing something I didn’t even want to be doing.
Then towards the end of February, I let it die. I couldn’t bring myself to write more than a half-ass promo post on Facebook, and no one was biting. I’m not sure anyone was even seeing the posts. Facebook’s algorithm hates anything business that isn’t a paid for post. As my savings dwindled to cover my housing costs, I still couldn’t bring myself to do anything for that business.
And now, I’m doing what I want. I took a couple of months to figure out what that was. And it’s the same thing I’ve always wanted to do.
Which makes me very happy.
Oh, I know I’m still going to have to do the audience-building thing as a writer, but I’m excited about that. Because writing is what I want to do, and it’s what I want to be known for.
I have novels to write. Dozens of them even. And short stories. Articles and blog posts. Courses. Ebooks. All the stuff that’s been packed in my head for years wants to come out, and I’m giving myself the space and permission to do that.
Side gigs help. I’m a wicked fast typist, so I’ve always picked up transcription here and there, and in fact, that’s what I did before I started my psychic readings business. It makes me enough to support my life while I work on doing what I really want to do.
While I write.