How to make self-employment more bearable
This goes out to the all the business owners out there who were crazy enough to follow the self-employment path! I see you, and I know that the road to where you are wasn’t easy. This is to the creators, the self starters, the folks that get up every morning because they want to, not because they have to. Most people thrive when they have someone else making the schedule and telling them when they need to get their work done. We are not those people!! And sometimes, it’s actually super hard. Because YEAH we get to be our own boss, but if we don’t whip ourselves into shape, we don’t make money… and then things get real.
In order to make our business work effectively and smoothly, we have to be our own bad guy, and take ourselves into the bosses office. The rewards can be great, but these kinds of jobs only work if you are incredibly passionate about what you do, and are determined to make that happen, even when it takes a while. So without further ado, here are some of my own findings in how to make self-employment more bearable.
1. Get Dressed
the number one most difficult part of being self-employed is motivation. Other people may look at those of us who work for ourselves and say “it must be awesome not having a boss!” And it is awesome… sometimes. The rest of the time we’re stuck trying to make ourselves get off the couch, mourn having no co-worker friends, realize we don’t have anyone to ask about business advice, get those contracts right and insurance figured out.
I’ve found that getting dressed can help make you feel less like watching youtube videos and more like answering mail. Seriously, if I have pants on I feel a lot more like I need to get my crap together. It will signal that it’s now work hours and keep you productive for longer.
2. Schedule a time to get out of the house
Speaking of motivating yourself, one way to feel a little bit more like you are running a business is to do your work elsewhere. I’ve become a lover of coffee, because I like to drink it, but also because I enjoy editing and doing computer work in coffee shops. If you plan for a specific time to be somewhere, you can get yourself working earlier. Or you can schedule at least an errand or two during the day, and come home ready to do the tasks on your to do list.
3. Don’t stop seeking out inspiration
I think the biggest reason most of us start a business is because we have a passion. We love what we do so much that we have this super drive to create something out of nothing, and the consistency to keep doing that over and over. I know from experience that it can be easy to get lost in the business and the work, and forget to keep putting emotion and creativity into each project.
Don’t forget to plan a creative project every now and then, or turn off the electronics and lay on the floor and listen to your favorite album. We are artists after all. Whatever keeps your fire going for what you love, that will make you a happy worker.
4. Find a community to join
If you haven’t found a creative or business community in your area yet, you should definitely do some research to really see if any groups exist. I’ve moved a few places now where creative business owner meetings have started to pop up, and there are all kinds of Facebook groups for photographers and other creatives.
These communities are a life saver when something happens with a client, or your computer, or you have a question on anything in your field and you need advice. If you can go to an in person meeting it can be so nice to know there are a lot of other people with the same drive and passions that you have.
Being self employed can sometimes get lonely. Don’t forget to read another of my posts: “Why No One Talks About Loneliness”.
5. Being negative about your situation is not a solution. Being proactive is.
The truth is that no one automatically cares you aren’t where you want to be in your business. Woah! Look, I’m not trying to be a jerk! We all need a smack in the face sometimes, even if it’s from ourselves. You won’t get help without asking for it. Your situation won’t change unless you do something to change it. If your business model isn’t working, then the only thing there is to do is change it and see what could make it better.
I know this better than anyone, because I’ve had to give myself plenty of smacks in the face. Not everyone comes out successful, so you HAVE to be honest with yourself and analyze what you need to work on.
6. Hire someone to help with tasks you aren’t good at
I think self starters have this mentality that they need to do it all, and sometimes we need to let go and call in a professional with a part of our business that may be handled better by someone else.
It’s hard to want to spend extra money out of pocket, but if it actually saves you a lot of time and is done better, it would be worth it to represent you better as well. If you suck at making websites, you better spend a bit of dough on a person to make one, or even a great template. If you can’t figure out all the outrageous complications for self employment taxes, do yourself a HUGE favor and hire an accountant. It’s okay to not be able to do everything!
If you are looking for a community to join, I would recommend “The Rising Tide Society”, which is a creative business owner and entreprepreneur community with groups that meet all over the United States. By the way, it’s FREE! I have volunteered to be the leader of the Pensacola group and it’s been a wonderful experience so far! Check out their website below-
I hope you got something out of these above tips, and if anything realize a lot of us are in the same boat! So in conclusion, wake up, put some pants on, get some coffee and start your day like the business boss you are. Until next time!
- Rae <3