We're always the hardest on ourselves

One of the many things I like about writing regularly on my blog is the feedback that I'll at times get from some people. It can really help me see how other people are interpreting what I'm writing and how I can communicate better.

Last week I wrote about my new pricing model and some of the challenges that come with it, and a few people sent me some emails and IM's. A couple folks just asked what happened, others told me they thought it was great that I was sticking to my new approach and trying to be innovative, and still others told me that basically they thought I was nuts and making a mistake.

The feedback has had me thinking a lot about how we can be really hard on ourselves, and maybe sometimes unnecessarily so.

When I first started my business I had a two month project that started and ended in about the expected timeframe. When it was over I started another, and that continued for a while. Then I worked on another, and so on.

In the three and a half years since starting Ideal Project Group I've formed great relationships with a number of companies, built a mobile application, created a new service to build websites for small businesses, started a community to test applications for the Android operating system, and began producing a monthly podcast.

My point is, my company is probably in better shape than it ever was the first year or two I was in business. And after all, part of the goal of my new approach is to get paid a smaller amount of money by a larger number of clients. So then why do I feel compelled to write something like "hanging by a thread" when I'm encountering a challenge that in many ways I expected to face at some point?

I think it's because we're always the hardest on ourselves. At least this can be true for me, and it hits me in two ways. First, I tend not to look at where my business is and where it came from, but where it is and where I'd like it to be. These are two entirely different perspectives of course and certainly impact my view of things.

Couple this with the fact that if all I'm doing is talking about the positive things happening with my business, but none of the challenges, I feel like I'm lying by omission. That would only be sharing one part of the story, and I think it would be a disservice to anyone reading this blog. So I'm regularly asking myself whether I'm sharing enough - am I being as open as I should be? Of course that's usually followed by the question - Am I being too open?

What I've realized though is that I'm probably just being hard on myself. I could just have easily changed the title of my post to "Laying the new foundation" and that would have changed the tone entirely. And maybe that would have been a better way to talk about it. I don't really know, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.

The other thing that's become clear though is that I do need to do a much better job of explaining why I have moved to my new pricing model, and why I think it's better for everyone. I haven't done that quite as well as I should so I'll be making a point of talking a bit more about how it benefits my customers as well as my overall business strategy, and give more reasons as to why I think it's where the future lies for service companies.

In the meantime, I'll try not to be too hard on myself for not having done so already.