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The Big Leap!

For some, the change in the economy and subsequent job changes led people to take on self-employment. It’s a definite change from the schedule and structure working for someone else provides.

There is much written about the nuts and bolts of setting up a business, freelancing, consulting etc. and this is a wonderful thing. There really is so much to know about whatever venture you decided to pursue and it’s wonderful to be able to tap into the world of experts out there. However, it’s important to prepare mentally for the shift to self-employment while you grow your business.

After many years of sitting in a cube or standing behind a counter wishing, hoping, and dreaming of a day when I’d be self-employed, I got my wish. It’s a strange experience and, like any life change, it takes a little getting used to. I’m still learning how to live this new life and I’m sure there are many out there also in the same place.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking and moving:

1. Plan your day.

There are many ways to waste time. It’s also just as easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down by a task list of truly necessary things to do. Think about what you want to accomplish and what you can reasonably accomplish each day.

2. Keep in contact with friends, family, and other people not associated with your business.

Networking is vital to any career, but your nearest and dearest really don’t want to be hustled every time you see them. Keeping a separation between your work and non-work life is also beneficial to your sanity. When you don’t have a traditional office or keep a traditional schedule, it’s easy to always feel like you never leave your job.

3. Watch your expenses.

If your cash flow is not as regular as a steady traditional job, you can run the risk of getting into financial trouble. When your income becomes more regular and stable, it’s still good to be in the habit of knowing where your money is going.

4. Maintain hobbies and activities not associated with your business.

A number of people take on self-employment for the freedom; don’t lose sight of that by letting work swallow all of your time and energy. Changes in activity are also good for managing stress and enhancing your general well being.

5. Work.

It’s important to make sure you actually are getting stuff done that contributes to the success of the business. Avoid busy work and other distractions from doing the real work that creates success. Nonsense work comes in many forms; reading and researching long after you answered your question or fiddling with the font and theme on your website instead of creating actual content are two examples out of the many ways we stay busy without actually doing anything.

Good luck and remember to enjoy the journey!

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