Ten Things I Have Learnt By Being Self Employed

‘I’m just a girl who decided to create her own lifestyle’

I quit my job in November 2017. Fast forward just over two years and I have my own business, am a qualified personal trainer and holistic lifestyle coach.

This was never in the plan. It was never a dream or an aim. In fact, it is the total opposite of what I expected. But sometimes the best things do not come from a plan.

It doesn’t matter how many blogs you skim, books you read or courses you take, there are some things that can only be learnt on the job or as you go. I have learnt a hell of a lot being on my own, by having to do everything myself!

What I will say is that if this is what you want to pursue, before you start, create a plan and don’t quit your day job! It can feel like a gusty move but you really can build your business from the side whilst you keep the safety of your job. Yes, it is more work and you’ll have to sacrifice a few Netflix episodes, tempting invitations on the weekend and you’ll get less sleep. But trust me, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!

For some reflection and some advice for anyone looking to go down the self-employed route (especially if you’ve been doing some extra thinking during isolation), here are some lessons that I have learnt on this crazy journey…

  1. Organisation is key — Of course this was something I already knew as a lover of organisation, but it is so important, now more than ever. Organisation also includes a routine, which is essential otherwise you will fall into a cycle of procrastination and not achieving anything. There are so many things to keep track of, which is why it’s so important to have the right tools for the job. There are so many apps that can do this organisation for you! So there are no excuses
  2. Put yourself out there — as hard as that sounds and as tempting it is to use your freedom to go out late and sleep-in in the morning. Without a manager or an office or even a team to keep you motivated and on track, it can be easy to slip off. Self drive is crucial to survive being self employed. The key is to put yourself out there, get your work noticed, generate leads, get talking, take yourself to events and meet as many people as you can. Putting yourself out there is of course scary, especially because you aren’t a small face of someone else’s brand, you are representing yourself. Dig deep. Take the huge leap of faith and have confidence in yourself
  3. Surround yourself with the right people and PEOPLE in general! Some people understand the self employed life, others don’t. Surround yourself with people that listen to you, want the best for you and truly understand. They will be your support system when you are feeling down (and there will be plenty of those days). Additionally, surrounding yourself with people in general is something I really learnt in 2019. Being by yourself all day everyday can send you a little stir crazy (something we are probably feeling at the moment in isolation). Meet a friend for a coffee in the afternoon (or organise a virtual coffee date), organise plans for the evening, try and work in a coffee shop or co-working space where you are around people. When you are not, you can become very isolated and feel extremely alone
  4. Make self care a priority — running a business by yourself is hard. There’s so much to do and not enough time to do it. No way is there enough time to spend on yourself. You’ll feel guilty for even thinking about yourself. However, I URGE you, despite it feeling like you may be wasting time, money and opportunities; prioritise self care. You will feel rested, calm and be able to approach your work with more passion and conviction. After all, if you go down with a cold, who else will run the business!
  5. Procrastination is your number one enemy — As mentioned above, organisation is key otherwise procrastination can set in. Especially if you are working from home and have meetings to wake up for. The desire to have an extra long lie in or binge on some Netflix episodes is dangerous. If you fall victim to that, it can sometimes be extremely draining to pick yourself up and motivate yourself out of that little hole
  6. Don’t wait for perfection — If we wait for perfection we will be waiting forever. This is something I am still learning about, and have only got to grips with recently. As a perfectionist, this has been one that I have struggled with my whole self employed journey. I have only just come to terms with that fact that PERFECTION NEVER HAPPENS. You need to stop waiting. If you think something just do yourself a favour and TAKE ACTION!
  7. Growth is not linear — sometimes things do not go to plan, they change and naturally grow or even change direction. Trust me, the line of growth of yourself and the business will NOT be linear. The sooner you accept that the more you’ll succeed. Don’t sweat the small stuff, if things don’t go to plan, it’s just a small detour. You’ll be back on the right path again. It is sometimes the detour that is the most exciting…
  8. Being scared is natural Fear is the body’s natural way of preparing you for a challenge. There is nothing wrong with fear, it’s how we choose to respond to it. Step out of that comfort zone, acknowledge the fear and stare at it right in the face. You can do it
  9. Everyday is different — One day you can feel like you are on top of the world and the next day really down in the dumps. This life is an endless roller-coaster. Yes, everyday is different, but there will always be the constant flitting between the unknown panic to feeling like it’s all falling into place. Just be prepared to ride the wave. Once you’ve rode it a few times, you’ll know what to expect and that first crash won’t feel as difficult
  10. You reap what you sow — sometimes we are used to hiding behind a team, or a certain individual but working for yourself means that slacking off involves taking money and time out of your own pocket. You have to reach for success on your own. You are in charge of your own destiny. You have to get up and show up to get results!

For those that are also self employed… what have you learnt?



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Coaching with Claudia

Holistic Lifestyle Coach + Personal Trainer 💫 💪🏼 TOGETHER we will TRANSFORM your MIND, BODY and SOUL