If it hurts, stop

Earlier I decided to go for a barefoot run on my treadmill. I already run in sandals so I know how to do a barefoot running form, but I wanted to try it out and see how it worked.

(In all honestly, I did it because I didn’t feel like going downstairs to get my running sandals. Too lazy to walk downstairs but not too lazy to go for a run. Figure that logic out.)

So the run started good. I was keeping a good pace. Wasn’t overheating. Basically everything you’re told to do on an easy run.

But then around the 10 minute mark my feet started hurting. It was a kind of burning pain on the bottom of my feet. Thinking this was nothing I kept at it. But then by the 15 minute mark it was getting pretty intense.

At 17:15 I had to stop. I didn’t finish my run.

Well how does this relate to freelancing?


When freelancing, there are things that we each do which cause us pain. Maybe it’s trying to do our taxes. Maybe it’s dealing with a problem client. Maybe it’s starting a project when we’re already overbooked.

Whatever it is, we take it on knowing full well that we’re going to suffer. But we do it anyways.

Not just once either. No, we do it over and over and over. We continue to do something that causes us pain. (Just like how my feet started burning 10 minutes into the run and I kept going)

Sometimes this could be called grit. Or resilience. You’re toughing it out.

Or just being stupid.

The difference between toughing it out and being stupid is a tiny tiny sliver of delusion.

“But all this hard work will be over soon” “I just need to get to the top of this hill of work, then it’s all easy” “I just need to keep running and my feet will stop hurting”

Yeah. Right.

You need to be honest with yourself. Will slogging through this actually make it better? Or are you just hurting yourself and your business? Seriously.

“My taxes this year will be easy because I did them last year” When have your taxes ever been easy?

“Once I finish this project, I’ll be able to scale back my time and take some time off” Really? I’ve worked with a lot of clients and talked to a lot of freelancers. Happy clients usually want to buy more of your time, not less.

Be honest

If you must do something that hurts, at least admit it. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that it’s going to get better later.

I’ll leave you with a quote my mom used to say

Doctor it hurts when I touch it!

Well, then stop touching it.