5 TIPS FOR THE SOON-TO-BE SELF-EMPLOYED
There’s no right or wrong way to run a business.
Hell, there’s no right or wrong way to live your life.
These days anyone can easily create blogs, write eBooks and eCourses, and dish out advice. It’s awesome, but it’s also important to keep an open mind about absolutely everything you read.
Just because some big-ass hot-shot business person told you to do something, it doesn’t mean you have to do it.
Experiment with your own techniques.
See what happens.
Form your own opinions.
From my own experience, I’m so much more excited about designing when I have absolutely no idea what the rest of the graphic design world or creative industry is up to.
I find that when you rely solely on your own industry for inspiration and ideas, you can become a bit closed off, and just end up following trends and doing what everyone else is doing. But when you remove yourself from the expectations of your own industry, that’s where the good shit goes down. Instead of worrying about approval from others’, you’re doing what’s best for your clients or customers, and dreaming up crazy, awesome things that aren’t based on what’s considered ‘cool’.
Take a look at dudes like Macklemore, Travis Rice, Dietrich Mateschitz, and tonnes of other game-changers... They didn’t get to where they are by doing what their industry is used to. They switched it up.
Look outside of your industry.
Do what you want to do.
Create what you wanna create.
True inspiration strikes when you’re working. Do the work, and the inspo will come.
We always tell ourselves that we're waiting for the 'perfect time' to do something... To quit the job. To book the tickets. To sign up for the marathon.
I think we use the whole 'perfect time' thing as just another excuse. Instead of grabbing our own future by the balls, that myth allows us to hang on for just a little longer... Until 'just a little longer' is years and years down the track.
But the reality is, the perfect time is the second you DO the thing.
Stop waiting for permission. Stop waiting for a slap in the face.
Decide that you want this more than you're afraid of it*, and make it happen.
Work/life balance is talked about as though it’s some huge quest, and the gold at the end of the rainbow is the secret to the perfect balance of ‘work’ and ‘life’.
I spent the better part of my first 6 months of self-employment searching high and low for this ‘balance’ everyone talked of... Until I realised it doesn’t exist.
What’s the difference when you’re doing what you love?
Life is life.
It should be lived however the hell you like.
Do what you want to do.
And, most of all...
Maybe it's a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason... Always always go with your gut...
On everything. When you're taking on new clients, deciding which direction to take, everything. Any time I've gone against that gut feeling, things went south.
I'm still grateful to have learnt from those not-so-great experiences, but the more you trust your gut (and make the decision to go with it), the more you're gonna be on your path to your dream life.
*A reference to one of my fave quotes of all time by Bill Cosby — "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."
**This post was inspired by my friend PB, who asked me to write up a few tips that I'd give newbies who are heading towards the path of self-employment. A couple of these things are excerpts my eBook, Live Like a Boss.
If you're self-employed, what's been some of the biggest lessons you've learnt so far? What would you want to share with some newbies?