This year, if you’ve decided you want to work for yourself, congratulations to you! There’s no better opportunity to find your true passion and make a living off of doing so. But be warned- there are somethings you should know if you want to work for yourself and be successful at it. Don’t just quit your day job at first and assume self employment will be a piece of cake. It won’t be, I can promise you! Be sure to take some of these tips into account, and you’ll be less stressed, more prepared, and happier in your new found sense of freedom.
1. Make a Plan
First, if you want to work for yourself, be sure you make a plan. Don’t just wing it, whatever you do. Make a business plan for yourself and write out exactly what it is you plan to do, how you’ll create income on a regular basis, and your outgoing expenses, including groceries, gas, and entertainment. Planning out your expenses along with your business goals will allow you to see where you stand on making the dream happen, and if you can afford to do it without a part time job.
2. Consider a Part Time Job
On the topic of part time jobs, don’t necessarily leave the idea out of the picture in the beginning. A part time job in the earlier stages of your self employment journey could be what pays your bills on a regular basis until your dream gig takes off.
3. Networking is Key
Working for yourself might entail and require a large amount of independence, but you aren’t alone in making yourself successful. Other people will be critical to your success, and also be a huge part of it in the beginning and even after. Networking will help you meet people in your field, along with helping you gain more experience. If you’re looking to do freelance work, be sure to find companies in person and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter that you want to connect with. If you’re local to the company, go and try to introduce yourself in person. If it’s a virtual connection, be sure you connect with them via email on a consistent, but not excessive basis. Develop a good resume, cover letter, and consider writing a bio for yourself. Many companies will ask for these things, and possibly a good headshot.
4. Daily Schedules
Another thing to keep in mind when working for yourself is the importance of daily schedules. Be sure you make one for yourself, so that you can get up at the same time daily, and set a routine for yourself. Working at home for yourself is rewarding, but it takes a great deal of discipline. You’ll be surprised how many distractions come up, right in your own home. A diligent schedule will help you to be sure you stay on task efficiently and aren’t stressed from a lack of productivity or results.
5. Manage Your Money
I can’t stress enough how important it is to manage your money if you want to work for yourself. It’s easy to get a large sum at once from your first big gig, but don’t splurge out of excitement. I suggest paying off your next couple of monthly bills if it’s a large sum, or if it’s a smaller one, pay extra on some for the month, but be sure to save enough for food and transportation. Managing your money will be key to your success if you want to work from home. Treat the job like you would any other, and keep receipts, records, and budgets.
6. Always Have a Goal
Never let yourself get comfortable when you want to work for yourself. Be sure that you always have a goal in what you want to do, accomplish, or how you want to progress in the next year. This will keep you motivated, and help you set goals that you reach and achieve to ensure longer term success.
7. Spread the Word
Whatever you’re doing to work for yourself, be sure you tell everyone you know. It could lead to a possible business referral or opportunity, and it will help you gain networking skills. Other people will be key to your success, even if you work by yourself on a daily basis.
8. Time is Crucial
Everyday, time can get away from you quite quickly when you work for yourself. Be sure to stay on task by managing your time well. Developing a schedule as suggested above will help, but it’s not the whole piece of the puzzle. You also need to make use of your schedule by eliminating all distractions, having an area of your home that’s your dedicated office, and keeping a tidy office to ensure you have all the supplies you need at a fingertip’s reach so that you don’t waste time. I also suggest logging off your email inbox for a couple hours a day. You’d be surprised how many hours of your time checking your inbox can drain during the day.
9. Have a Backup Plan
Lastly, I think it’s great that you want to work for yourself. It’s quite possibly the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. Yet, if you’re working for yourself, always, always have a backup plan for income. Doing so won’t only take the stress off of you, but also ensure that your income will be taken care of in case something ever happens.
Working for yourself is a wonderful thing to do in life, but before you go full force, keep these tips in mind so you can ensure it’s a successful experience, and not one you end up regretting later. If you work for yourself, what advice would you give to others wanting to do the same?