“We just need you to think outside the box to help the business grow”. Suddenly there was no air in the room and my heart began to pound.
Prior to this Skype conversation, I’d sourced clients with no recompense for using my personal resources or voluntarily working weekends. My efforts would never be good enough.
To be honest, my bosses were the best you could ask for. But I still felt suffocated by how to spend my life. What if I didn’t want to complete a data entry task? What if I preferred to lie-in one day?
I planned on quitting a few months later than this to focus on building my blogging empire and even had my resignation written out. I had planned to have sufficient savings to dabble in for the hard months to come, and at least a handful of clients to secure my blogging career. So, this spontaneous leave wasn’t normal for a sagacious worker like myself, yet it was one of the best decisions of my life.
Be Honest With Your Job Choice
Closing my laptop on a Friday night, I’d secretly relish zoning out of work, but would spurn these feelings because I should’ve been grateful to work from home, in a career I’d always wanted and (within reason) hours of my choosing.
Whilst others drove hours to work on a Monday, I was watching The Office on my phone in my home, blogging. Everyone always expressed their jealously for my flexible work life. Deep down, it didn’t fill me with joy to build someone else’s dreams and wake up knowing what the day would bring. Even though it was a career I’d studied long and hard for, it just wasn’t enough. I wanted more from my days… my life. Unpredictability. Freedom.
Why You Should Be Self-Employed Too
There’s no denying that no matter how hardworking you are, a boss will want more. If you stay late one Friday, they’ll question why you don’t the following week. Once you input new marketing ideas, they’re waiting for the next one. After you source volunteers, you increase your own workload. But you might get the occasional thanks. Or a measly pay rise.
They say money makes the world go around, but my income was never the drive to leave (despite my insulting salary for a graduate). In fact, my poor wage was substituted with the freedom of flexible hours and remote working.
To you, my life didn’t sound bad. But let’s face it, you’ll spend around 60 years working, so do you want your existence to be defined as not bad? Or do you want to be completely enthralled with your presence here on earth?
Since taking the plunge and becoming self-employed, my bank accounts looking a little starved. But I’m happier than I’ve ever been – despite constantly feeling wanderlust and craving everything Vivienne Westwood. But my shift in earnings is because of my choices and there will always be the potential to increase them.
All because I’m in control of my workload, income… life. I set my rate and so long as it’s justified with a high-quality service, people will pay for it. There will be clients who’ll be a pain in the ass. One’s who’ll try to negotiate. Some will bombard you with emails. But when you’re self-employed, you set your own boundaries and can stop people crossing them.
There’s a metaphorical unleashing of chains when you open the door to self-employment. You’ll earn big bucks and then you’ll lose it. There will be high-paying clients and bad ones. Find your niche and explore it. Market yourself as a brand and not a person. Fake confidence if you must and develop your portfolio day by day. Most importantly, don’t stick at a job just for the money; even though you may start afresh with lower income, there’s potential to grow it more than you ever could honouring someone else. Earnings in a full-time job will always be capped despite your aptitude.
It’s a constant journey to a destination of your pick because as you grow, your interests and desires change. Suddenly you’ve discovered a new avenue to pursue and it’s permitted because there’s no-one who can tell you no. I don’t have one career, but three because it’s my choosing and there are different areas I enjoy exploring.
Tips For Becoming Self-Employed
- Trust your gut.
- Listen to what the universe is trying to tell you. If things aren’t going right at work, it’s because you aren’t supposed to be there.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself and act. Nothing will change if you don’t. Are you happy with your life staying exactly as it is now because unless there’s a shift, it will always remain the same.
- There will be naysayers and people who won’t care about your venture. And that’s okay. I learnt the hard way that people won’t ask questions, but you don’t need them to. Work hard in silence.
- Surround yourself with positivity; including people, a healthy diet, your favourite music, an inspiring office, trips to a coffee shop etc. These preferences make you who you are and small gestures remind you that today is a good day.
- Study your craft and work hard in all aspects of it to outperform your competitors.
There’s a brighter future waiting for you. If you want it enough, you can grasp it.
Whilst I write this blog on a Saturday night at 11pm, I feel content in knowing that my experiences – both good and bad – got me here and I’m grateful for every one of them. Take ownership over your life before someone else does.