The Cinderella Syndrome
In my new book, Peeing in Peace (yes, shameless plug), we talk about the Cinderella Syndrome - how a mom transforms into Cinderella when she leaves the house and heads into the office. But now that I've been off on my own these last six months, I've begun to realize that the Cinderella Syndrome takes on a whole new meaning when you're launching a new business and have to start all over again.
Suddenly, escaping your kids so you can put on a trendy suit is not the vision of Cinderella that's conjured up in this truly uncomfortable scenario. This time you are Cinderella, hard at work in your bunny slippers, mopping floors, sweeping up after everybody and constantly being passed over by the people who you thought were your friends when you had a swanky office, a big title next to your name and an expense account.
When you go off on your own, you quickly realize who your friends are and who has no use for you whatsoever. While many of my former contacts still take my calls and respond to my emails, I can now count on one hand the number of times many of them have come through for me.
The funny thing is, the contacts that I've made since leaving behind that big stable job have actually opened the doors to new opportunities and I've found there are people just like me in the same exact boat who have left corporate jobs and are willing to lend advice and support me as I grow my fledgling business.
Other times, I've met people who believe that my former association with a major TV network could potentially help them get ahead. I quickly realized that if I can't help myself get into the Prince's Ball, I sure as hell can't help someone else break in either.
While I've actually become pretty comfortable with my PR business, the worst part about being on my own have been the times that I've had to be my own publicist. I've officially decided - I hate pitching myself - so when I finally got a publicist to pitch our new book, I thought things would be easier. I thought my contacts would be impressed that we went from being self published to getting a real publisher behind us and would instantly put us on their shows. But I thought wrong. Now, instead of being rejected directly by one of my contacts, I'm being shot down indirectly. And hence, that's why I feel like Cinderella before the ball. I keep hoping one day my time will come, but every time I come close, someone slams the door shut and sends me back home to sweep the floors. Or worse, I wind up getting my own clients booked on things but then when it's time for me, I don't make the grade.
Rejection is one of the toughest things any business owner or aspiring artist faces when putting themselves out on a limb or out on display. And I'm determined that one day, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but sometime in the not too distant future, my own fairy godmother will pop in, grab my hand, pick me up off the floor and say, hey - you belong on Oprah! But until that day arrives, I'll just be here biding my time with my mop and broom.