On my last day of “work”, I thought about what this post would look like. I figured it could go one of two ways:
- Life is awesome and I love being my own boss.
- I ran out of money and went back to work.
Fortunately, #1 wins 😉
It’s been 67 days since I left my job-job at the hotel and I haven’t looked back. It was so stressful during my last few months, both from a “I have no idea what’s going to happen” perspective and a “please just get me out of here!” perspective. I had checked out of doing my job properly, but at the same time I was worried I wouldn’t be able to sustain myself.
“How am I going to pay my bills?” “How am I going to pay myself?” “How am I going to structure my time?” “When will I do my annual Pinterest board clean-up?” (This typically happened in the dead of winter when I would speak to a total of three people during my shift.)
I don’t have the answer to all of those questions (especially the Pinterest one), but I’ve learned that life as a full-time entrepreneur really isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.
So today I’d like to share a few of the things I’ve learned, in case any of you have been thinking of making the switch to full-time Lady Boss. I didn’t have any $50k launches you can learn from, and I fortunately don’t have any stories of bankruptcy for you to avoid. But I’ve picked up some helpful tidbits that I believe you can benefit from!
Lesson #1. There is no right or wrong way to structure your time.
At first I had this great idea about how Monday would be all about writing programs and researching for clients, Tuesday would be my content creation day, Wednesday would be for creating new products and services, etc. With the exception of Monday, nothing else has really stuck.
I find it tough to sit and work on the same project or type of task for an entire day. Even by the end of program-writing day I’m finding myself checking my email and social media far more than I should be. There are tons of different studies that tell you opposing ideas about the proper length of time to spend on a project, but it really all boils down to your individual personality!
As long as I’ve got the majority of my tasks crossed off my to-do list by the end of the week and I don’t feel like a total basket case, I’d call the week a success 😉
Lesson #2. The money will find its way into your hands.
One of the things I was the most stressed out about was the financial side of things. I had a good chunk of money set aside and my business was bringing in enough for me to cover my basic living expenses, but I kept having those “what if” thoughts.
But as soon as I had the extra stress from the hotel removed from my life, my energy totally changed. I was more open to opportunities that would bring in extra money. I had more energy to devote to marketing and speaking with potential clients.
And the biggest piece of the puzzle: I realized that I can adapt. When we have more money, the majority of us get accustomed to a lifestyle that’s supported by it. At least I do 😉 But when money is tight or the future of it is uncertain, we totally have the ability to cut back spending in certain areas.
I stopped making regular trips to Whole Foods “just to browse” (because who ever really just browses?), I skipped my seasonal shopping trip, and we go out to eat less. During the more profitable of the two months I’ve had I put extra money away for the following month’s bills.
There is always a way to make things work and to make more money. We just have to be creative and open to different ideas!
Lesson #3. FOMO becomes JOMO.
One of the things I was most looking forward to with all my newfound free time (which, by the way, I’m still looking for) was to finally go through all those guides, newsletters, webinars, and trainings I’d saved that were sure to blow my business into the seven-figure realm by the end of the year *insert touch of sarcasm*
I was so hungry for the latest marketing tip, the newest productivity hack, or the most effective social media strategy. Each time I scrolled past an email with an enticing headline or said no to a networking event I felt like I was missing out.
And as I started to attend more events and actually open a couple of those saved “LIFE CHANGING” emails I realized there was actually a joy in missing out.
I quickly grew tired of getting pitched by almost every new person I met. I started to learn how to use my bullshit detector and realized that the majority of these top-earning coaches were full of it. And I was actually kind of offended by all these online marketing gurus and branding experts telling me exactly what I needed to do to get leads into my funnel.
The women I work with aren’t “leads”. They’re women. And so are the future women I may or may not work with. Sure, all of these aggressive marketing strategies might bring in a few more clients than my current marketing activities do. But I think they’d also turn off a lot more people, and I’m not about to bring in one or two extra clients at the expensive of a relationship with ten other women.
There is no right way and wrong way when it comes to business. There will be methods that have worked for many but won’t work for you and methods that work for you but won’t work for anyone else. It’s a trial-and-error game that involves some calculated risks and a lot of up and downs.
But it also involves the satisfaction in knowing that I am responsible for my success and my failures. It involves the freedom to ditch my work and go for a run, knowing I’m responsible enough to make it up later. And just like fitness, it involves teaching me I’m a lot stronger than I think I am.
A question for my fellow entrepreneurs and bloggers: have you made the switch to full-time self-employment? If so, what are some things you’ve learned? And if not, are there certain things about it that don’t appeal to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!