Keep Reaching

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?

-Robert Browning

 

Some days, reaching for what’s beyond our comfort zone feels too difficult. It’s hard to push the boundaries, and often situations outside our control test our patience and willpower.

I remember shortly after college, I went to work at a PR agency that was notorious for riding its junior staff exceptionally hard. While I was slaving away 80 hours a week on a low starting salary, one of my college buddies was off “working” at a ski resort, continuing to live a carefree and fun lifestyle for several years. I had many moments where I questioned myself. Am I a chump? What am I getting out of this? But I persevered, and the rewards did eventually come my way (my friend, on the other hand, found herself unhappily in an entry-level job relatively late in life).

I’ve found myself in similar situations ever since. If you’re a highly motivated independent PR pro, you’ve likely had moments when you question the choice to challenge the status quo. It’s hard when we read on Facebook that a colleague is sitting by the pool drinking margaritas, while we’re slaving away on our newest blog post or reading up on the latest technologies and tactics.

But the rewards are worth it. Not only is it more exciting to keep learning and growing, but this path offers more opportunities and options. Far from being left behind, those who reach for the brass ring are shaping the future of our profession – and many solo PR pros are blazing the trails to do exactly that.

Have you ever had moments of doubt about the course you’ve taken, and how do you shake it? What are the benefits you’ve seen as a result of pushing yourself?

  • I tend to have doubts about the path I’ve chosen when I focus only on what I’ve given up by going solo or what I might be missing. When I look at the whole picture and the “flip side” to my choice, I almost always feel like a winner!

  • That’s a great point, Alison – I think we all have moments like that. For me, my doubts come when I’m feeling lazy. Punching a clock sounds pretty good sometimes! 🙂 Of course, when I was a teen and actually had to punch a clock, I would daydream about doing exciting and challenging things for a living (which, of course, I do).

  • ssumner

    Having one of those moments of doubt as we speak…Just starting out on my own and struggling to find boundaries (with clients, work hours, etc.) but realize how lucky I am to have the power to create those boundaries, as opposed to someone else defining them for me.

  • Well said!