Success is subjective. Can you see the ways you’ve been avoiding it? Can you find what you’re afraid of and move it out of the way?

originally posted: January 26, 2023

Do we really want what we say we want?

Or do we just say things to sound cool, and hope that maybe that’ll make it true? That’ll be enough.

I know that I come off really confident and sometimes like a know-it-all, but I’ll be the first to admit I’m a professional at winging it. Oh, sure I’m driven. I’m fairly disciplined. I’m abstractly ambitious. But more than anything I’m selfish.

I set my sights on goals that give me comfort, freedom, and food. It’s not complicated. I want to work for myself so that I can keep a comfortable schedule.

So that I can avoid the distress of co-worker politics. So that I can sleep in late and stay up all night and watch the sunrise and have breakfast at 3pm.

I work for myself so that I can enjoy the freedom of not having to commute on public transportation with disrespectful and deranged strangers.

And I work to eat. Don’t ever get it twisted. I love food. I need money for food. Don’t we all!? And when you fake out on hiring me you become an enemy to my diet. So just mull that over a minute.

But don’t you think I could be more successful? I do. I know I could.

Someone once told me that I have a big mouth and big energy and I should go after bigger clients. I’m starting to believe they were right.

Should I go after bigger clients?

Shouldn’t I?

Like medium-sized companies with actual budgets? Organizations that already did their business planning, that already know exactly what they want to achieve, that have clearly defined assignments for their subcontractors?

(Haha that’s a myth! No one anywhere adheres to clearly defined assignments. Everybody everywhere always wants to know if you can do this one extra thing...)

Wait, so if I’m so smart and qualified and sarcastic and driven, or whatever, why don’t I just go after bigger clients? Why don’t I chase MORE money from people who actually have money to spend on their business? And people who are actually serious about their ideas?

What am I doing, play small? Pretending I don’t know better. Pretending the familiar is cutting it, when the familiar is barely good enough to cut scotch tape.

It’s Called Self-Sabotage

Read a book, hey. Everybody knows about self-sabotage. It’s when we passively fuck things up “on accident,” by repeating familiar patterns.

We do it when we play small. We do it when we don’t go up for jobs we want. We do it when we make excuses for not trying harder, or showing up for OURSELVES.

We do it because we’re scared shitless of the unknown. And what’s more unknown than our wildest dreams?

I once had a very resistant client who spent nearly 5 MONTHS dancing around her deliverables. She sabotaged herself, the project, and our working relationship by avoiding and resisting the challenge to push out of her comfort zone.

We were planning a book launch, to be the cornerstone of her new professional endeavor. The book was done. The website was up. I was working on the social media content.

All she had to do was outline her business. She kept giving me catchy taglines, and long winded bullet points. At the end of the day she simply couldn’t (or wouldn’t) define what she was giving people. Your business is literally “what do you do for people?” What do you give them? It’s not a 15 page scholarly essay.

We’d spent months on the project, and she’d repeated things to me about how she was a business person and she thought in very straight linear ways… (the things we say out loud that we hope make it true, and will be enough)

But I quickly realized she was scared shitless of everything actually becoming reality. And so as every bit of progress was made, she began to stall. She began to falter. She reverted to long-winded, non-sensical explanations. She opted to make graphics in the middle of my content creation. (Why pay me for content, if you want to make it yourself hey?)

It became clear that she was resisting the fuck out of outlining her business model and its deliverables.

I can’t say whether she actually wanted a business. I sometimes think she just wanted attention, and she needed a reason to justify her book and blog. Ultimately, when the time came to organize, she buckled and froze.

What Do I REALLY Want?

So as the planets all come direct – finally – and I hit year 6 of officially having my own business, I’m pressed to reevaluate on the client experiences and lessons I’ve had along the way. I’m not gonna lie. I am dis-fuckin-satisfied.

I’m dissatisfied in that book-blog-business client who wouldn’t define her deliverables. I’m dissatisfied in the 6 people I spoke with between July and November 2022 who all either ghosted or dragged me along only to flake out hard at the 11th hour.

I’ve made some dope sites, and some colorful content. And I’ve worked with some really inspired and sweet people. But dedication and the follow through and my portfolio have devastatingly little to show for what all I’ve committed to.

I want to write. And I want to put things online that are truthful and useful.

I don’t know that I want “bigger clients” because bigger clients usually involve teams. And teams tend to have men.

The idea of working with men, as in plural, like multiples of man gives me the heebie-jeebies… Especially if there’s any sort of organizational hierarchy. If there are men involved, it inevitably leads to asshole behavior – which was the whole I reason I cut out to work for myself to begin with. So that I could choose what to avoid.

I want to find the wildly ambitious and motivated, dedicated, passionate, idea-driven women. (Or women-identifying) I want to work with serious people who believe in what they do. Who believe they have something worthwhile to share and say and put out into the world.

I want to help them use their voice and the tools of our time to do what they came here to do. I want to be serious. I don’t want some married dude with a newborn asking for my personal Instagram so he can see my life. Be less weird.

Where Is Your Success? You Decide.

Success is subjective. I don’t know what your success looks like to you. But if it’s not here yet, can you see the ways you’ve been avoiding it? Can you find what you’re afraid of and move it out of the way?

My success is not having to battle a client to communicate. My success is having client websites stay online longer than two years. My success is producing material, and finding out that someone used it and it worked for them – as opposed to throwing my ideas into a void.

I think I found a familiar place, and fairly easy pickings, and I assumed that was good enough for me. I got comfortable there, but it was never gonna hold. Making one-off stores that go offline every year is not the look.

As it turns out, I actually want something more. More fiery, more challenging. More energized. More enduring. And when you want what you’ve never had, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done. Or something like that.

I was afraid of being wrong, so I stuck to what felt easy. I never want to give anyone the wrong advice, or send them down the wrong path. But what I’m learning now is these hoes don’t listening anyway. No, but what I’ve really learned over the years is I know exactly what the fuck I’m doing. I know exactly what the fuck I’m talking about.

I know how to write, research, land a point, a build store, build a blog, publish a book, mail a press release, and make a living on my own of my own doing. I know all that because I do all that and have done all that.

I think the trick to stop resisting our own success it to remind ourselves that we’ve done a lot already. Maybe it wasn’t all perfect, but we did it. And we got better at stuff. And there’s plenty MORE that we’re capable of.

I think it’s always important and valuable to gas yourself up, and reaffirm yourself on the good days and the bad days. Preferably before your self-sabotaging resistance kicks in. Need some help piecing it apart or back together? Book your call.


Be serious. Book Your consult Today.



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I'm Ruth Nineke

I know websites, writing, and heavy promotion. I also know you need to stop doubting yourself and book your call with me.

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