Self-Employment: Becoming My Own Boss and What I’ve Learned So Far

 
 

Never in a million years did I think I would be sitting here writing a blog post about self-employment. I guess that’s why they use the phrase “never say never” because hell I am my own freakin’ boss now! I should start by saying this journey to self-employment has not been easy and I am still learning through trial and error how to be my own boss every single day. Lucky for me, part of this self-employment gig for me includes being able to write this blog and share my experiences with you. And since I like to be real and raw with you, I want to be totally honest about the struggles, fails, and successes of being my own boss.

So, here is what I have learned since becoming a self-employed girl boss (this still applies for you too, dudes!).

 

Quitting your job or being fired is not the worst thing, but it is terrifying.

It can be terrifying to leave your job, especially if you’re working a full-time career with the security of a steady income and health benefits. My decision to leave my career came quickly. For a several years (really my entire life), I had myself so convinced that fashion design was the right career for me. But it took me working in the industry, becoming deeply depressed, and questioning my every worth to realize this was NOT the job or lifestyle I wanted for myself. And let’s be real, most of us spend 40+ hours a week working and that’s A LOT of time, so why not do something that we love?

Okay, back to quitting or losing your job! Both happen to us all at some point, and honestly that’s okay. Almost two years ago, I walked into my office sat at my desk for about an hour and it suddenly hit me that the position I was in was no longer serving me and I could either continue to sit there and be miserable or walk out. So I walked out and have not regretted that decision for one minute, not even during the times where I am over stressed and at the point of breaking. If you’re unhappy at your job you need to think long and hard if it’s worth staying or if you’re better off to let go. And if you’re in the position where you’ve lost your job, just know that everything happens for a reason and there are plenty of other job opportunities that will come your way. Believe in yourself and don’t let anything hold you back from your career dreams, whether that’s self-employment or working for a company.

 

Organizing and planning your time are key for productivity.

You are your own boss now, which means you set the rules. It’s easy to think that self-employment will allot you more time since you pick your own schedule, but this is not necessarily the case. Ultimately, you’re responsible for you and your business which takes discipline to keep things afloat and running smoothly. Set yourself boundaries and block off your schedule to distinguish what hours are for work and what hours are out of office. Also, planning things such as content calendars, meetings, etc. ahead of time is very helpful with staying on schedule and not feeling bogged down with your workload. For example, I am writing this blog post two weeks before I plan to post it (hehe 😉)!  I’ll share some resources below to help you get and stay organized!

 
SelfEmploymentAlexandraWood
 

Take advantage of your resources.

As mentioned above, organization and planning are two major keys to success as an entrepreneur. I am not kidding when I say Google Calendar will become your best friend, without my categorized calendar I would have no idea where I am supposed to be and when. Especially as a yoga teacher who teaches classes all over the city at all different times of the day!

Here are a list of my favorite resources for entrepreneurs:

·       Google Drive (some people prefer to use Dropbox)

·       Google Calendar

·       Zoom Video Conference

·       Planopy (for all the content creators out there!)

·       Apple Screen Time

·       Quickbooks

·       Microsoft OneNote and Excel

·       Google Analytics

·       Mailchimp

**I will do a blog post sharing my favorite resources for content creators in the near future, stay tuned!**

 

You’re going to work harder than ever.

The hustle is so real, but the reward is so worth it. I thought my career in fashion meant long hard-working hours, but this whole self-employed thing requires lots and lots of time spent “on the clock.” But the thing is, when you love what you’re doing the long hours fly by and the job is so rewarding. Keep the hustle healthy though, because burn out is no joke. And know that it’s okay to take a break or time off, we all need and deserve to turn off our brains every now and then (probably more often than not!).

 

You’ll become more conscious about finances and learn how to better manage money.

Now I am no expert, but I do know finances are understandably one of the biggest concerns people have when being self-employed. For me, my income fluctuates based on the amount of work I put in that week. Some weeks, I could teach anywhere between 1-20 yoga classes and a few privates plus some sponsored content and be racking in the dollars while other weeks it’s slower. But it’s all about finding what works for you and your lifestyle and learning how to properly manage your finances. One thing I’ve learned as a freelancer is that money comes from all different directions and it’s important to keep track of what’s going in and what’s going out, that’s where QuickBooks comes in handy. Especially if you’re invoicing people for your services and it’s super important for tax purposes! If you’re running your own business considering applying for an Employee Identification Number (EIN #), opening a separate business account, and hiring an accountant to help manage your business finances. Note, there is a lot to know and learn about managing your finances especially as a business person. Leave room for mistakes and learn from them when they happen!

It’s important to take time off.

Everyone needs and deserves a vacation and just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t take one. This is one of my biggest struggles. I find that it is difficult for me to turn off sometimes since I am my own brand. I know this sounds confusing, but pretty much meaning my name and face are directly associated with my business. Everything I share is a reflection upon myself and when I am not present sharing content or teaching classes things are getting done (unless I plan ahead of time!). 

If you’re considering making the leap to become a self-employed badass boss I hope that you find this post to be helpful! Remember, you should never doubt yourself and always chase after those dreams even if it means making that scary move to quit your job to pursue something bigger and better.

 

XX,

Alexandra