You haven’t been happy in your job for a while. You have been thinking about changing your job or changing your career but you don’t know what that will look like. I’ve been there and yes it is scary but it is so worth it in the end. I would never turn back and get a full time job again, but I wish I had a guide that gave me a dose of reality in the beginning. Here are 7 things I wish someone told me before I quit my job to follow my dreams and be my own boss.
It’s not all hearts and rainbows when you work for yourself. Yes you can choose the time you get out of bed and when you take holidays, but there is no guide book to follow. Sometimes it’s great and you know you have made the right decision, but sometimes it’s hard and you cry and you think that the world is going to end. Don’t worry, we are all in the same boat and it does get easier, I promise. My last post on making your passion your career may give you a few pointers if you’re getting stuck.
If you’re in a full time job, the reality is at first, you will not make the same amount of money in those first few months after you leave. Definitely not. Changing from a regular pay packet to the freelance life is bloody scary and it’s usually this uncertainty that keeps people in full time jobs. I left a 6 figure job in the corporate world to start my own marketing agency and it definitely did not pay the same salary for the first year. But my new found freedom and lifestyle was well worth the drop in salary. You just make it work. You buy less clothes and travel less and make changes to your previously comfortable lifestyle. Now, 4 years on after leaving my full time job, I’m making more then I ever have, I get to travel when ever I want and I have the financial freedom to do the things I love. It’s all worth it in the end if you persevere.
Longer hours you say? I thought I quit my 60 hour a week job so I could work less, right? No. The reality is that you never stop work. Work is now your life and your life is now your work. You work on weekends and after 5pm and well into your free time. I’m not saying that I don’t have a good work life balance, I’m saying that there are always things to be done.
If I told you I knew what I was doing and how to do it, I would be lying. Self doubt is a huge inhibitor. It stops you from reaching your potential and taking your business to the next level. Having amazingly supportive people around you – friends, family and mentors help keep me on track and stop the self doubt when it creeps in.
Self discipline and motivation is key to running a successful business. I make a huge effort to get out of bed every day, do a workout and get changed into fresh clothes ready for the day ahead. Having self discipline in your business is sometimes hard but if you set yourself good routines, it’s easier to stick to. I’m not going to lie, there are days where I stay in my pjs and work from my laptop in bed all day. One of the pluses of working for yourself.
WHAAAAAAT?? No more holidays??? Well not exactly. You WILL be able to take holidays, and as many as you want. But the reality is, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. So holidays end up being working holidays. You wont be sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, but the pool or the yoga retreat will become your office. I’m ok with that if you are. I do struggle to switch off when I am on holidays so I set boundaries and certain times of the day to get work done. Something to keep in mind.
Do you ever get the Sunday night pang of anxiety? You need to set the alarm for Monday morning, get your work clothes ready, go to the gym early and pack your lunch. Sunday nights for me are a little different. I’m excited about the week to come and actually have butterflies about all the cool things I have on. Don’t get me wrong, excel spreadsheets are still completely boring for me, but the excitement of following your dreams doesn’t get old!
I hope that’s a little insight to what it is really like to work for yourself. It’s scary, exciting, challenging and not one day is the same. There are lows and highs and a lot of tears (I’m a crier if you can’t tell already). Are you ready to make the plunge? From June, I have opened up 2 slots for life coaching to help people like you make the change. Send me an email if you are interested in getting some advice on changing up your life so you can start to live the life you have dreamed of.
STYLE NOTES: This gorgeous cashmere wrap and trousers are the comfiest and luxurious lounge wear I own. The set is perfect for lazy days at home on the lounge or work from home days. I also get so much use out of the pieces when I am on retreat or travelling on planes. I get so many compliments when I wear them and I never want to take them off. You can shop the cape and the trousers both on Winser London.