30% FUN / 70% SHIT
Whenever you tell someone you work for yourself or working for yourself & from home you will be greeted with a lot of assumptions like you stay in bed until 10, you wear pyjamas to work and you can nap whenever you like. And yes you can do those things, if you are willing to not sleep through the night. But the reality of running your own business is not just the fun stuff like pictured above. It is a lot of emailing/meetings/briefings/crying/accounting etc. Some days I get to spend hours creating, some days I don't create at all. Working for yourself means also being a marketing manager, customer service consultant, accountant and the creative in whichever field you are in. That is something to learn straight up.
LEARN TO SAY NO
This goes hand in hand with trusting your gut. Saying No. Now sometimes you can't say no, sometimes you will need that frustrating brief/client/project to pay your bills and that is completely okay. But this is about learning to stand up for yourself and say no when something isn't right for you.
ALWAYS OFFER AN ALTERNATIVE TO ‘NO’ IF YOU CAN
This one is something I am really putting into practice this year. Sometimes I get a brief where it doesn't feel right or I know it won't work for me and I will just say no. (pats self on back for learning that word) But now, instead of saying just no, I will elaborate, I will say why I don't think something will work but what will. What will get me excited and what I think would be an amazing project. Now they may come back and say no or just not reply but at least you gave an alternative.
DON’T PUT OFF FINANCES
Get organised from day one. Get your online accounting system set up, start filing your receipts and get organised. It is not fun but it is more fun than laying awake at night because your BAS statement is due.
CHARGE INTEREST ON YOUR OVERDUE INVOICES
People hate paying invoices so make them hate paying late invoices more.
TRUST YOUR GUT, ALWAYS
When something doesn't feel right, it is because it is not. I didn't learn this straight away, it was maybe only at the second half of the year I started to practice what I preach and even then I still get caught up from time to time.
NOTICE YOUR HABITS & WORK WITH THEM
Probably the biggest thing from working for yourself is that you become incredibly self aware. You realise how you work, when you work, what things annoy you and why, how you deal with certain situations. Knowing yourself and knowing your habits is one of the most important things you will learn from working for yourself. Take that knowledge and use it to your businesses advantage or for change. I have a blog post coming up that is all about this topic so stay tuned.
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU
Don't give it the time of the day. Don't consume it. It is none of your business.
MAKE SHARING A PART OF YOUR PROCESS
This was only brought to my attention after an afternoon walk with Michael. We were talking about social media/sharing/creative work and he mentioned that even if this wasn't my job that I would still be creating and I would still be sharing because sharing is a part of my process. I had never even thought about it before but it is true. I am very instinctive and impatient in my process. As soon as I get an idea I am trying to execute that as soon as I can, not rushing but at least starting it. I then instinctively start shooting it, videoing it and sharing it. Not even to get feedback or get anything from it because it is dangerous to work for admiration but it is just a part of the process for me.
YOU WILL GET LONELY
I am an introvert who loves spending time alone but even I get lonely. I don't have face to face meetings due to interstate/international clients so to be honest I don't really get out much. From when I wake up until Michael gets home I can not hear my own voice or another's voice. So I have learnt some ways to combat this: Vlogs/Podcasts/TedTalks/Music or any other audio recording. I have also got into recording on Stories. It makes me feel like I am talking to someone and helps get things off my mind. Another blog post is in the works that is completely about this topics with all my favourite audio.
Do you work for yourself? What have you learnt?