Going out on your own can be scary, no matter how far along you are in your career or how many jobs you have lined up. Not knowing when or where you’re getting your next paycheck from can be utterly terrifying, but the exhilarating part is it forces you to grow, network and evolve. I left my full-time job in the middle of 2015 and went fully on my own at the start of 2016 and let me tell you, I was terrified! I spent most of 2016 holding my breath and praying more work would come my way, and guess what? It did. Working for myself not only gave me full control of my schedule (hallelujah!) it also gave me the flexibility to follow my passion and create my skincare line MARA. Below I’ve rounded up the five things I’ve learned about being my boss.
The Importance of Building a Routine
Once you no longer have to be at work by eight or nine in the morning, your whole morning routine starts to change. What once was systematic–wake up, brush teeth, walk and feed pets and out the door–is now merely an option and it’s up to you to keep it up. This was incredibly hard for me at first. Even though I’d always get my work done, the first few weeks I found myself laying in bed and watching another episode of my fave show in the AM, or I’d start doing chores around the house. Creating some sort of routine for yourself in the morning is vital to sanity as it creates something familiar in the sea of unknown that is freelance. Now, I try and schedule a morning workout class most week days so I’m up, I get my heart pumping and then I’m ready to tackle the day.
Create a Work Space
I’ll be honest, I didn’t do this until just a few months ago and it changed my life! I spent two years working in all different parts of my house–at the dining room table (a popular choice), on the couch, and in this half-baked office that felt like being in jail. After starting my second company four months ago, I knew I needed to make a change in order to succeed in my business–because if I wasn’t comfortable in my work environment, how on earth would I prosper at the helm of a new endeavor? Now I know not everyone has an office that they can give a makeover too, but it’s honestly as simple as getting a desk. I find that many grown adults ditch the desk after college, but it’s actually crucial to set up some sort of space where you dedicate to your work, especially when you’re working from home. Dedicating this area to your career allows the rest of your house to feel like home again.
Expand Your Mind With Carefully Targeted Books
When you work at a full time job, you underestimate how much knowledge you absorb from your peers. As someone who has always been drawn to learning, I quickly realized that working for myself alone at home, I was lacking the new knowledge I once got from my colleagues. I now make sure to have a line-up of good reads that help build my mind and my business. A few of my favorites: Sapiens by Dr. Harari, Just Kids by Patti Smith, You Are a Bad Ass by Sincero, In the Company of Women by Bonney, Tribe of Mentors by Ferriss, and the entire series by Harvard Business Review.
Everyone Has Slower Moments
Social media makes it easy to feel like everyone else is crushing it. One scroll through a feed and it can be hard at times not to get down on yourself, especially when you see people working on projects you would dream to be apart of. Know that it never stays slow forever and there will always be more work on the horizon. There is enough to go around and if you keep putting in the time and networking, good things will come your way too.
Be Strategic With Networking
Since you do have free reign of your schedule, it’s easy to get excited and attend all the events, lunch meetings and the like your heart desires. But being away from the desk means away from business, and it’s important to remember that sometimes you just have to say no. Be strategic with the networking events you clock out for so you’re not digging yourself into major overdrive getting your work done.
Do you have your own business? Let me know what it is below!
LOOK LIKE A BOSS