Did you ever read The Enchanted Wood and The Magic Faraway Tree books as a kid?
Over and over and over again.
I was a bit of a loner child and didn’t have that many friends, so my friends were characters like Moon-Face, Silkie, and The Saucepan Man. I recreated the Magic Faraway Tree in the countryside near my house, where my brother and I used to explore and play…
In case you’re unfamiliar with the books, the Magic Faraway Tree was a kind of portal into another world – or lots of other worlds, depending on when you arrived at the top of the tree.
Some of the worlds were awful – like the Land of Dame Slap, an unnecessarily aggressive schoolteacher. And some were fabulous, like the Land of Birthdays.
But none were so much fun as The Land of Do As You Please where – unsurprisingly – you could think about what you’d like to do and your wish came true. It got the kids in the story thinking about what they wanted to try out most in the world, then allowed them to do so.
That stuck withe me: that I could try anything I liked and have a damn good go at making it work.
We’re lucky, you and I. We live in the Land of Do As You Please. We’re adults. I live in the Western World, you probably do too. And we run a business.
My business is my Land of Do As You Please. I get to decide exactly what I want to do, when, and how. I choose whom to work with.
I can get up whenever I like, work whenever I like, arrange my time however I like. So can you.
One of the things I hear often, and it gives me a sad face, is business owners saying, “I have to do this thing. I have no choice. I’m not in a position to say no.”
The thing is, those business owners are wrong. Your business; your rules.
And, yes, easier said than done. I can almost feel your indignation through the airwaves, but before you hit reply to yell at me, listen up: I’ve been there.
I’ve had the most awful client in the early days of my business (seriously, a total shithead) and my life was miserable right up to the point my mentor reminded me gently that I was dealing with him by choice.
That moment, where I wrote off £3,000 worth of invoices I was owed, was the most liberating I’ve ever had in my business.
I could not afford to say goodbye to that cash – but I did it anyway and it was the best decision I could have made. The second I decided, I felt like a million quid and far better clients came along the very next week.
Yes, I have responsibilities. And yes, I must make sure the stuff I choose to do is good for my clients and my business and the world in general.
But I get to choose who and when and with whom it all happens.
You live in the Land Of Do As You Please right now.
Print it out in big letters and stick it in your office, and every time you feel powerless or pushed into something or railroaded, read it and sit up a little straighter. Then do as you please.
About the Author
Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites vickyfraser.com and cookiesforbreakfast.co.uk. She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
PS. Want more tips from me? Sign up to my daily emails below ⬇⬇