On January 15, I resigned from a secure corporate position and embarked on an entrepreneurial journey. I formed a corporation to pursue freelance writing and life counselling. I had given considerable thought to the professional shift in preparation, particularly the financial volatility I would introduce into my life. It would take some time before I earned a salary similar to my full-time job. As a result, I anticipated the first few months to be slow owing to customer and audience development.
As a result, I believed I was adequately prepared. However, I was so wrong since I had overlooked the majority of other factors aside from finances. I was unaware of how much the corporate structure aided the free spirit within me until I began freelancing.
Time is far too valuable.
I was shocked at how much time and energy I had after quitting my work. I transitioned from a 9 to 5 structure and meetings to a completely flexible schedule that allows me to do anything I want, whenever I want. I awoke without setting an alarm and took walks whenever the weather permitted. This, I believed, was the reason I became an entrepreneur in the first place.
It was liberating, and I felt fantastic at first. However, as time passed, I realized a few things. I still required “some” structure in order to function optimally. Yes, if something triggered me, I could take a mental health day. However, I required a semi-structure in order to accomplish all of my objectives.
I started experimenting with time management approaches such as the Pomodoro technique and deep work. Nothing worked perfectly for me. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on a timetable that requires me to meet only two conditions: write 2000 words for non-freelance work before midday and complete the first draft of freelance tasks at least one day prior to the submission deadline.
And how about those dreaded “weekends”? Do I adhere by this labor law or not? The majority of my writing and coaching clients followed this rule. However, because I first lacked conviction, I worked weekends as well. Which brings me to my next point.
Will you recognize when you require a break?
Working all week was not enjoyable, despite the fact that I took a few breaks when I want. It was difficult to keep track of breaks, and it appeared as though I didn’t get at least two full days of doing nothing as an entrepreneur.
I missed those pre-covid automated coffee breaks and walks with coworkers. I missed workplace gossip and going to a pub after work. I couldn’t even take a break during the day without feeling guilty since I felt as though I should be working constantly. After all, this was on my time, not an employer’s.
Several times over the first several months of my freelancing career, I experienced burnout. What I didn’t realize was that I was now my business. There is no one else in this location. As a result, I needed to be in peak physical and mental health in order to conduct business with my two firms. Most essential, I needed to take a break before to actually needing one. That meant that I needed to schedule frequent breaks throughout my week.
Now that I’m retired, I take the weekend off. I feel like a loser for being forced to adhere to the age-old weekend rule. However, I am aware that this is the best course of action for me. My friends invite me out on weekends, and it appears as though the entire world is in vacation mode. Therefore, why would I want to go against the grain if it isn’t working for me?
How about administrative tasks?
I am an MBA graduate. As a result, I assumed I was knowledgeable about all facets of running a firm. However, I was unprepared for the multitude of small tasks that required my attention, from following up on client emails to paying invoices at month’s end. I’m not even going to get started on maintaining monthly accounts.
As is the case with the majority of writers, I despise administrative work and avoided them for as long as possible. However, there comes a point when you simply cannot postpone it any longer. At the start of your trip, you cannot even outsource it due to a lack of cash flow and a desire to conserve every penny possible.
I’ve learned to motivate myself to send timely invoices and follow up on emails by associating these administrative tasks with larger goals that are meaningful to me. I’ve linked my invoicing to self-care because how can I take care of myself if I don’t have money to live on? Self-care is a primordial need for me, and hence making this link clear encourages me. Additionally, I pair these administrative activities with some big music as an added bonus.
Are you confident in your product or service?
What motivates you to rise each morning? Is that justification relevant to your product or service? If not, reconsider your motivation for becoming an entrepreneur in the first place.
Throughout my trip, I questioned my sanity and considered whether I needed to return to a full-time work. However, what kept me in the driver’s seat was my genuine belief in the work I do. I write largely about mental health and see my work as a solitary drop of water in the ocean of mental disease. I’m pleased in my coaching job when a client gains confidence in their own talents after a few sessions.
This is why I have pledged never to return to my corporate job as a system and process administrator. It never provided me with much satisfaction. This is what sustains me through times of adversity. I believe in my profession not as a way of earning money, but as a method of making a positive contribution to the world.
How do you sabotage yourself?
Each of us self-sabotages in unique ways. When I’m afraid of what life will bring me next, I escape by watching reruns of The Mindy Project. I’m not even a fan of television shows.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll frequently attempt self-sabotage, and you’ll occasionally succeed. It’s worthwhile to become acquainted with your favorite way of self-sabotage before to leaving the security of your corporate employment. It’s extremely probable that you self-sabotaged yourself when working full-time as well, attempting to escape the uncertainties inherent with entrepreneurship.
Stop Doing That Sh*t: Put an End to Self-Sabotage and Reclaim Your Life, Gary John Bishop walks the reader through the process of determining why they self-sabotage. We all have unique motives for self-sabotage. Following some investigation, I discovered that my rationale was because I did not believe I deserved success. I was not certain that I was deserving of nice things. As a result, I refrained from doing anything that would result in a favorable conclusion.
Which synergy do you have in your life?
When you first become an entrepreneur, everything is urgent, and you have little outside assistance. When I first began freelancing, it felt as though I had to labor constantly to get everything started.
Additionally, I was engaged in two activities: writing and coaching. I’ve always considered these two aspects of my life to be distinct. Each firm is independently incorporated, and each has its own marketing plans and tactics. Suddenly, it dawned to me that I should instead seek synergies between my two firms.
My writing on self-improvement and mental health issues has the potential to be an excellent marketing tool for my coaching business. On the other hand, my coaching clients provided me with a wealth of material for writing. Even with social media platforms, I am able to effortlessly repurpose content across channels and enterprises. My life became significantly easier once I streamlined processes and established a system to integrate various aspects of my life.