When nothing goes wrong

Him: “It’s only been a few days.”
Me: “It’s been two years.”

I’m so tired of my work. I take so much time and effort to get even the smallest littlest of gigs that I don’t want to do them when they finally come in. After getting solvent in the first 6 months, we haven’t made much more than that in the last year. Technically, I’ve been at this for two years on March 13, 2015, but it feels like I’ve been doing this forever.

I started blogging five days a week in February 2012 in an effort to figure out what to do with my life. Early on, I said that leaving Los Angeles was in our five year plan, and nearly three years later, here we are. I love Portland, I feel like this is really my home, even though I haven’t been here a year yet. The real test will come this winter. If I can make it through a dark, wet Portland winter and still feel like I belong here, I think that’ll be it for me.

So, what am I whining about, and why can’t I seem to care about work, the only thing that kept me in LA so long, my apparent passion? In those early posts, I talked about wanting something to invest in, something that I could identify with. And yet, here I am only a year and a half in to that dream and I’m completely out of fucks to give. I’m too tired.

When I started this, I was all prepared for failure or success. The last thing I thought would happen was that I would get neither. Nothing bad has happened. Every campaign has been completed and paid for, no one has been upset with my work, nothing has crashed or burned, and by all accounts, everyone is happy. And yet, here I am making no more money than I was this time a year ago, and fighting just as hard for the privilege to do so.

A lot of things have gotten easier, but the largest part of my day is still as difficult and draining as it always was. Getting clients is like pulling healthy teeth. They don’t want me, they don’t need me, and half the time I’m convinced they don’t even like me. Once I have them, they seem to love me, but getting them on board is nearly impossible.

Then, somebody brought this up at a networking thing the other day, and I think it’s the crux of my issue. Ironically, it’s one of the reasons I moved here. Portland is saturated with marketing freelancers. Which means more structure and support systems, but also more of us competing for less projects.

From my starting up days in LA I knew that calling people I could then drive to meet was the ticket to rapid conversion, but I think it’s taken me six long months to really realize how much smaller this market is than in LA. Everybody here already has somebody, or they don’t fucking need anybody and they’ve been asked several times if they do.

So, for freelancing the answer is to hit the virtual streets of another city. It may be time to turn my calls back to LA, where I have some traction, and am more than likely to visit now and then.

But will people commit to someone they can’t see? They’ve done it before. Some of my best clients are people I’ve never met.

In the meantime, I have something else on the table that looks very shiny and new from where I’m sitting. The question is, what will it look like in 16 months?