I've been self-employed for 6 years now. This is how much I actually work.

Hi,

I am really happy that you are taking the time to read an actual website. More specifically, mine. Welcome. Imma be blogging, vlogging, podcasting and just overall hanging out LESS on social media come the new year, because I just realized that Instagram owns all my content and I’m like, OH. Should probably create more sustainable ways of doing this dang content marketing thing.

I am about to let you in on my greatest secrets. For real, these are the biggest ones. Except the secret in which when I was a nanny, one of the kids shit on the floor and I was so tired, and I was managing 2 kids, and I just left it for a second and then when I went back into the bathroom, I saw the dog was eating the shit, and I let HIM EAT IT. I LET HIM EAT IT GUYS.


This is the level of secret I am about to dive into with you here. Are you ready?


Okay so here’s the deal: I spend most of my actual life on my phone. I am fully embarrassed of the time I log on my phone daily. Seriously, it’s like 7 or 8 hours a day.


THAT IS WORRISOME. I try to be cool and say, oh, nah! I log in maybe 2-3 hours a day on my phone, but no, I literally spend like 6 hours a day on instagram ALONE.


And this is the worse part… this also isn’t logging the time on my COMPUTER, which is probably like 4-5 hours too.


So, I am seriously starring at a screen most days for TWEVLE HOURS? That seems almost too ridiculous to be true, but on days where I am not with someone else who demands quality time, this is fully the truth for me.

Instagram is part of my job. So, I have reason to be on there. But also…. That means I am working my regular client session hours with my clients, like the thing I actually get paid for , and then, I am spending so much time MARKETING my business. I think I am getting people to know me, trust me, and love me online. This is how I justify it. But I think I am just scared of my own anxiety and when I am still, I feel it. And now that I can’t take Ativan (because the pharmaceutical industry already ruined my NS for 10 years too long), I think I just replaced my dependency on the pill to my dependency of my screens. At first, it kept me alive, so very happy about that. I was awake for 23 hours a day. I needed something to take the edge off to succeed in my withdrawal. But now… it’s time to address the transference that has happened.

I teach people how to create a social media and content marketing presence that works and gets you connection for conversion, AND it works really well… I haven’t even hit 5k followers on Instagram and I never use hash tags, yet my revenue is often in the 5 figures monthly. I do truly believe connection is the best way to get high rates of conversion, rather than focusing solely on numbers.

BUT I have a secret: I am exhausted and I haven’t been to a workout class in years because I believe I have no time. I also sometimes think to myself “I can’t wait to go work” when I am on a date or naked with someone I like. AND sometimes when my mom is talking, I can’t wait for her to be done so I can grab my phone again.

I’ve overtly refused to refer to myself as a workaholic because I’ve wanted to be ABOVE it. And also, my work is really fun for me. It makes me happy.

But sometimes: it’s the ONLY thing that makes me happy.

I haven’t painted, or written poetry that I didn’t intend to share eventually IN FOREVER. Until recently, I hadn’t been moving my body at all until I started going for daily walks.

And no wonder…

I am working a 40-hour work week of just marketing. I spend so much time curating story lines with the people in my life for entertainment value. I do educational posts nearly every day, and I share my stories as a storyteller on the app on the weekly. I spend hours per day answering DMs, connecting via conversations and simply listening and acknowledging the stories of pure strangers.

It’s complex for me, because I am a gemini sun, Venus and mercury. I love to create content. I love to chat. This isn’t a post about how I want to stop creating content. It’s an entry about the way that I am going about it is causing my tinnitus to be much, much worse.

I recently started realizing how many roles I actually occupy as a one woman show in my solo small service based business.

Here are some of them:

C.E.O (Making the major decisions for the biz, working with all the different parts of my business, ordering people [myself] around essentially - AND MOST OF ALL - BARING ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY).

Project Manager (Making sure that everything gets done, in the most seamless and effective of ways. Planning within each launch. Planning between launches to stay relevant and connected with my audience - hello YOU.)

Financial advisor (Projections, projections, projections. Planning ahead for each quarters. Making sure taxes are being saved so I’m not like OH FUCK I AM 15k in debt.)

Secretary and admin role (this means emails, voxer, scheduling, recordings, google drives, payment invoices + backends, troubleshooting any client issues.)

Social media and marketing agency (HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO SEEEEEE ME? How do I stand out? Answer: Mostly impressions of my mother to make you laugh. And also, hours and hours of educational content I pull from my studies and my experiences.)

Website designer (I designed my own site to save some $$ and not be helpless to a website designer, which ultimately - saves me time because in the long run I know how to work everything on the back end myself.)

Copywriter (I write ALL my own content, brainstorm them, post them at the right times so the most people can see them. Hint: Sunday nights are the best.)

Podcast editor (I legit taught myself how to use garage band, RSS feeds, and even made my jingle myself.)

And then my job that I accept direct payment for:

Educator (creating and curating the content for my courses so people have a good experience and feel their money was well spent and… most of all… focusing on being ACTUALLY helpful.)

Intuitive (working with people 1-1, it’s wild how much energy it takes me to read a soul blueprint accurately prior to actually reading it accurately. It demands intense amounts of self-care.)

Coach (fulfilling all my programs and being extremely attuned to someone to help them reconnect with themselves in ways they hadn’t considered yet.)

Freelance copywriting (I sometimes take my private coaching clients projects when it comes to their content.)

I work pretty much 12 hours a day - most days of the week - doing any of these things. I work with people about 4-5 hours a day in sessions, and then the rest of the day, I’m doing all these other things. I am awake for 14 hours a day. So you mean to tell me there are only 2 hours a day where I am not WORKING? How do I fit all my meal times, connection time, bathing time?

I work in my bath. I hold my phone near my face as I’m cooking. And I hate to admit this one… but I sometimes even check my emails WHILE I am on the phone with my friends, putting them on speaker.

And even if I’m not working concretely - I’m ingesting life through the lense of “what could I learn here, that would serve me and other people?”

I’m looking at the world, asking it to show me ideas for content.

And while this is how I like to operate, I don’t think I should be on all the time, because I AM TIRED. I’ve been tired for years - partly because of my life and my #chronicillness issues, but I started a business to create more health in my life, and while it FOR SURE serves me better than any regular 9-5 would, I think it could serve me even better.

And I’m going to figure out how. (And take you with me, because AHHH I can’t stop?)

No, no, here’s the deal: I love what I do. It’s less than ideal how I’ve been doing it. That is what is changing.

I’m not quitting my business, I am quitting being a workaholic.

Which, I am sure will feel like I am quitting my business at first.

I am noticing that this way of operating has beneath it, this fear that everything is going to go to sh*t if I am not always producing. Ugh, darn you the perfect combo of capitalism and of childhood trauma.

Until next time, friends. Hopefully I will have figured out what one even does if they are not working by then? Will I become an artisan baker? Damn it. I’d probably be tempted to find a way to monetize that too.

Asking for myself.

Love,

Emily

Emily Aube