Working for yourself can be a liberating and empowering experience. But, it’s not without its challenges. It’s easy to feel isolated, to overthink and trip yourself up, or to get stuck in a pattern of negative thinking when something doesn't go your way.
So, I’d like to share the top 3 challenges I’ve experienced, and have witnessed in others, and how I’ve overcome them.
One of the first things you notice when you leave an organisation to work for yourself, is that it’s just you! I know this sounds obvious, but it can come as a surprise to some people.
My solution is to book in exercise with a friend. For me this is to usually go for a surf, a walk or do pilates. This gives me the triple benefit of connection, endorphins and just getting out of the office. The first year I was self employed I did this once a week; now I get to do it 3 times per week.
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Impatient about business growth?
For the first few years I felt really impatient and wanted to grow my business yesterday. My solution was to surround myself with positive and smart peers. These are people I can have a 5 minute phone call with to troubleshoot an issue, which helps me to avoid overthinking it and to keep moving. I’m also a member of two mastermind groups where we celebrate each other’s successes and strategise for one other. This positivity and fresh perspective is invaluable.
I also hired the amazing Alex Tullio, our CEO brain who we connect with quarterly. This has made a huge difference! Alex helps me to narrow my focus to grow my business faster and with more ease.
Marketing / business development feels really uncomfortable?
How do you spread the word about your business when you just want to do the work (the fun stuff!) rather than become a marketing expert? Here are some options that work for me:
- Collaborate with other people, as they will help to spread the word about what you do.
- Interview interesting people on your podcast and ask them to share the interview with their followers.
- Be interviewed on other people's podcasts, and remember to share with your followers.
- Say YES to left‑field opportunities, like career coaching whilst walking the Camino de Santiago!
If you’re self‑employed, I’d love to hear about some of the challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve dealt with them. Let me know in the comments below.
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