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How Do Entrepreneurs With Anxiety Succeed?

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My cell phone with the bulky, pink cover was shaking a little in my hand. I was staring at my calendar app and crying.

I was 30 minutes late for a potential client consultation. It was someone I had connected with recently, and I was crazy excited to work with him.

I had woken up really early, went back to sleep a few hours later and overslept. I was in the middle of having a sinus infection, but the tears came any way.

Both the apology text, voicemail and e-mail went unanswered.

I blew it.

This has only happened maybe one other time, but I was completely devastated. My husband and online friends (yes, I posted my woes on Facebook and in a freelance writer's accountability group) comforted me.

"If it was meant to happen, it would happen. Don't worry about it. His loss."

I was upset about a potential client consultation as though some guy had just dumped me.

Maybe a few of you would understand. I was sick and emotional and exhausted.

But the deeper reason behind my meltdown was pretty simple: I let my anxiety get the best of me.

The life of a freelancer (and really any one who owns a business) is full of "No"s. Rejection is so commonplace, you come to expect it. That's what I tried to do in this case, but I had failed because of my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

I planned (and obsessed over) the call for weeks and now I had messed up. He was probably angry and never wanted to work with me, because I couldn't even show up to an appointment.

You see where this is going.

A couple of days later, he replies. He was sorry that I wasn't feeling well and to not worry about missing the call. We can reschedule at another time.

And that was it.

The response I should have been expecting was the last one I thought would happen. I assumed the worst possible scenario.

Instead of crying and moaning about this one potential client, I could have been doing any number of things: working on other client work, digging around for a similar client to pitch, or simply (oh, yes) wait for a response.

You know, like a normal person.

Situations like that and a chat with one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Lawson, who suffers from depression and severe anxiety, prompted me to work on a book about entrepreneurs with anxiety. I'd like to focus on people who have been medically diagnosed or may be on medication. But I think on the wrong day, any one would have reacted like me.

Although I joke about it being "another self-help" book, I have only found maybe one that specifically focuses on anxiety with small business owners/freelancers.

So far, it's ramblings about my day - the things I think about, how I process every element of my business. I'm probably going to structure it as such - start from morning to evening.

I'll be chatting with therapists, psychiatrists and the like about proper coping mechanisms. Maybe there will be a notes section to add your thoughts.

I'll be sharing others' stories of how they manage their anxiety and run a successful business. If sharing your story is something you're interested in, or you just want to follow me in my book-writing journey, join me at My Freelance Life.

What would you like to read in a book about entrepreneurs with anxiety? Let me know in the comments.



This post was originally published on My Freelance Life.