When I set down this road about three years ago, I had no idea that self-employment would be the harshest challenge I would ever meet.
The exciting sense of self-direction quickly turned into constant fear since success or failure were now entirely on my shoulders. Never had I ever worked so hard or felt so unequipped and lost. But at the end of the day, the satisfaction is incomparable and I have never been happier or more productive.
So here is a strategy that will help you navigate the stress so you can make the most of self-employment
Expect ups and downs
The illusion that things are going to be smooth all the way is one of the biggest seductions into self-employment but the truth is that it isn’t all freedom and joy. You will find being answerable to people and of course there will also be hard times.
No business takes off overnight. No matter how much research or preparation one puts in, it usually takes a few years to really understand your business’ cycle, how it actually works and to make smarter decisions.
Ease into it
Don’t quit your job until everything is in place. Consider your job a means to lay down a financial basis for your new venture.
Do part-time work
This is especially important in the initial phase of self-employment, while you’re establishing your business relationships and cash flow. Having this income stream creates a different mindset and eases anxiety over money allowing you to concentrate on making the business thrive.
Manage your time
There is a compulsion for business owners to work all hours God gave to man. But not resting will ultimately result in a burnout. You are the major asset in your business, and if you don’t take care of yourself, if you’re working below par, then business can’t proceed as it should.
Set boundaries around ongoing activities. Perennial responsibilities like marketing can take up every spare moment if you let them. Set clear boundaries around the time you spend on ongoing tasks like networking, social media, and so on.
Schedule work when most productive
The best thing about self-employment is that you are now master of your time. So use this luxury to produce at your peak by working at your most productive time. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you have a noontime or early-afternoon slump?
I have a group of people I run to when things get tough. Not only do they comfort me, but they also give me practical advice. So consult with more-seasoned self-employed people. They can help you navigate the challenges that may be new to you.
Self-employment is more than just a way to make money, with all its problems; it is a great opportunity for personal growth. So embrace the changes, challenge your beliefs and enjoy your new life.