There Is Freedom In Letting Go


The other day, I heard someone say the phrase “the worst thing in my life never happened” and I couldn’t have related more. Maybe not so much at this age (the perks of growing older and becoming wiser), but at some point in my life that was me. I used to date someone who would tell me all the time “don’t worry about what hasn’t happened yet” but, I used to think that they were just talking nonsense. I was always under the impression that, if you wanted to properly manage your projects, your career or your life you’d have to be constantly worrying about all the possible things that could go wrong so that you could prevent them. But, the reality is that one thing is doing a proper risk assessment, and a completely different thing is living with the anxiety and paranoia that everything could go wrong at any minute. It’s not healthy and is very counterproductive.

The future that we imagine is not real. You can plan your whole life in advance, and I can assure you that nothing will turn out the way that you expected. When you are a worrier, and you are continually planning for the future, you become some sort of mental time traveller. Your body is in the present, but your mind is in the future. You end up missing out on what is going on in your present life for worrying so much about what could happen in a hypothetical future.

Thoughts are not reality, and this is a tough lesson to learn. Whatever you imagine that could go wrong, or whatever is causing you anxiety and preventing you from moving forward, is only in your mind. It doesn’t exist because it hasn’t happened. And you certainly can’t predict the future.

The best way to combat those negative thoughts is to remember that life is not a performance, it’s just a long rehearsal, a draft. All our lives are only works in progress. I’m not saying here that you mustn’t have an idea of where you want your career or your project to go, but give yourself some room for improvisation. Learn to surf the metaphorical wave that life is and enjoy the ride.

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To Satisfy Your Clients You Must Understand Them


As I write this post I am finalizing the migration of all my self-promotion and marketing communications from MailChimp to MailerLite. After 4 years of using it, I came to realize that MailChimp doesn't fully understand the segment of their target that I belong to. In the words of Eugen Herrigel, author of Zen in the Art Of Archery, in order to hit the target, the archer must become "simultaneously the aimer and the aim". If you don't understand your target, how can you serve them well?

Don't get me wrong, MailChimp is an outstanding service and it has gotten to be one of the best mailing services in the market today. I have used it for my mailing campaigns, for my weekly newsletter, for my blog subscription service, and until I finish migrating to MailerLite I will keep on using it for my documents download workflow. Nevertheless, over the last few months, I have encountered problems with some of the templates that affect only specific geographies. But, because I am on their free plan I do not have access to their technical support. They don't offer a means of contact for their non-paying users.

I am a freelance photographer, and like most freelancers out there I have a very limited budget for my business expenses. Therefore, I rely on services which offer free plans to be able to operate my business. "So you are a business who's trying to make money from your clients but expects free services from your suppliers?", you may ask. As contradictory as this may sound, businesses like these that offer free plans are not really doing it out of humanitarian reasons.

By offering free limited plans, free trials or even free forever options, these services grow their client base faster and have more chances of becoming mainstream without having to invest too much in their marketing. They also get thousands, if not millions of users to test their services and give them feedback on potential issues. But ultimately, and more importantly, is that they can go to their investors and show them how popular they are and ask them for more money. So, in a way, they put their free plan users to work for them.

Obviously, a business model where the majority of your clients don't pay you is not the type of business that we all dream of running. But I am sure that, like me, a lot of freelancers and small businesses out there end up subscribing to the paid plans of these services when they can finally afford to or when they consider that it is time to use the more advanced features that the paid plans provide. I have done it myself with some of the services that I use, and the only reason why I hadn't done it with MailChimp yet is that frankly, I can't afford them at this point.

But then I ran into MailerLite and from the start, I felt that they were the right fit for me. They are an unpretentious company based in Lithuania that prides itself in having a small team of people who work for other people. No big corporation aspirations, no nonsense. That's the kind of supplier that I want to have because that is the type of business that I want to be. On top of that, their templates are beautiful, their website is easy to use and so far I am in love with their service.

So, even if this sounds like a paid post I can tell you that it is not. This is a client testimonial from someone who fully identifies with their ethos. Because why would I want to be the client of a business that doesn't really understand me and that doesn't even offer a communication channel to hear what I have to say.

Photo by Andrzej Gruszka.

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