12 Lessons I’ve Learned About Being My Own Boss
I've owned my own businesses for almost a decade now and I learned some things along my journey. Some sooner than others and hopefully this helps anyone newly starting out.
#1: Time management will make or break you
Like some creatives and business owners, I love the fun parts of work like coming up with ideas and working with clients and money...love the money. But the planning isn't something I've ever learned until I learned a few hard lessons dropping the ball a few too many times and realized that I am so much more productive when I have a plan and routine. My anxiety is less and I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I can measure my progress. My clients benefit also.
#2: Mental health is worth more than money
You have to prioritize your self. In a world where we reward hustle, we oftentimes forget that we need to be able to take care of ourselves first to work at our best capacity. You will always be able to do more for others if you are full. I like to say...
It's not selfish, it's self-full. What inside the cup is mine, what's outside is yours.
Achieving a work/life balance seems impossible at times, but it can be done with proper planning, using intuition on which projects to take and taking the time to slow down and enjoy the non-work aspects of life.
#3: Take taxes seriously
When tax time rolls around I am super happy to look at the rewards of setting aside a 1/4 of my income all year so that I don't have that huge price tag hanging over my head. Some people do it by paying taxes, but I've found I like to know what I can expect when my least favorite season arrives.
#4: Confidence is key
You have to have enough confidence to set goals and go for them despite what others may think. Developing the ability to believe you can accomplish those goals and you are worthy of success is important in those moments doubt starts to creep in.
#5: Working for yourself doesn't alway mean working less
If you love what you do like I do, this won't be a problem. But you must be prepared to work on the things you didn't have to handle when working for someone else. Finances, creative ideas, marketing, management, sales, and all other areas fall on your shoulders. Outsourcing can be your best friend.
#6: Ebb and Flow
Owning your own business means there is a constant state of ebb and flow that occurs. Being mentally prepared for those times will keep the anxiety from coming whether you are worried you will not get more business or when you are worried you have too much to keep up. Also check out 10 things to do when business is slow.
#7: Deep professional connections are priceless
Sometimes being an entreprenuer can be isolating and lonely. You will need what I call my "good vibe tribe" to be there when you need support. These will be those who know what you are going through and can relate and help by providing supportive tips and advice.
#8: Never stop learning
Years ago, I got really into Zig Ziglar. His advice on using time in the car to continue your education was such a game changer for me. I loved school and I've loved that we can pretty much use many platforms to continue learning. Podcasts, online courses, webinars, in-person classes are great ways to keep sharp on your industry and learn new things to benefit your clients and lessen your work load.
#9: Get used to talking
I love talking. I'm good at it and I feel so connected to people through sharing. But it can be exhausting and yet so necessary when signing clients. There is something about being able to explain the importance of what you do and why someone needs you that allows your tone to come through more than emails and text.
#10: Learn to say no
We are big on quality over quantity. As time goes on, I learn more about using my intuition to decide what projects are work my time and what type of clients are fully committed to doing the work.
#11: Networking is necesssary
Being an extrovert, I am naturally drawn to networking. I love matching people up with what they do and trying to help people be successful at what they are seeking. My other business, Not a Basic Life is professional mindset coaching and I find that oftentimes, when I network, I sign clients for both social media AND coaching because they were able to get to know me via seeing me and chatting with me in person.
#12: Collaboration over competition
You must learn that collaborating with others will bring you more joy and success than seeing everyone as competition. There is enough business in every field for everyone and we can all make it to the "top"...whatever that might be!
#12: Stop caring what others think
I find that a lot of my clients stall projects for fear of it needing to be perfect. You can not care what others think in regards to putting yourself out there and trying new things.
Have you learned any lessons you'd like to share? Drop them below or send me an email!