3 things I never expected when becoming my own boss.

3 things I never expected when becoming my own boss.

When I first decided on my journey to work for myself, I had some ideas of what it would be like... challenging, exciting, and liberating.

What I didn't expect had never crossed my mind.

Feeling like an outsider.

Caring at epic proportions.

Next level responsibility.

When I say never crossed my mind, I had some idea that these would come into play, but never at the level I had imagined. And what sort of emotions they would stir.


Feeling like an outsider

I've always felt comfortable working independently, in fact I love it. I can hold my own in social situations and feel comfortable showing up to events on my own. I start random conversations with people all the time... in fact, it's led to a lot of new clients. 

I go to the movies on my own.

I've gone to concerts on my own.

I traveled through Europe on my own.

I moved to Melbourne on my own.

I'm really good with doing my own thing.

So feeling like an outsider on communications projects came as a surprise. I was coming in as a freelancer or as a consultant and that's what I remained. I wasn't part of the team. I was an external provider. It was a different way of relating in my work.

Where I'd been used to really collaborating with my team in the past and taking a very strong lead, coming into a project as a freelancer you collaborate and provide your expert advice but ultimately the lead comes from within. It's a different way of operating and so I've had to adjust for some clients. And really step into my expertise.


How you can learn from my experience.

/ The way you've been in your past roles will shift in your new role as your own boss. You've started on a new path and so it is normal to experience differences in your work relationships.

/ Be very clear in what you provide and how you provide it in your proposals and contracts so there's no misunderstanding. Break everything down completely. As a freelancer you need to be clear in your process, your role and what you will or won't do.

/ Pay attention to what stirs emotionally and mentally and start to get curious about why. Why are these feelings and thoughts of being an outsider coming up and are you even an outsider? Is it more that your role has changed and so the energy around how you show up also has to change?


Caring at epic proportions.

I've always cared about my work. Now it is caring at epic proportions times 100. And I know this is the same for other new bosses that I've spoken to. They were also surprised at how much more they cared.

As your own boss, your reputation is on the line on every job. And because it is your passion you naturally care beyond normal. You want to wow everyone. You want to prove yourself. You want people to love what you do because if they're happy, you're happy.

You want people to prosper and kick goals and make it, because you know it's possible.

Everything means a lot more.

I now understand why when people become their own boss they end up burnt out or with adrenal fatigue.

Caring this much is tiring.

You need to put boundaries in place to keep you sane. You need to get clear on who you'll work with and who you won't. 


Let's look at coaching as an example.

When you first start coaching, you take on anyone because you have all of these new skills and you want to help people. That's why you become a coach. Yet sometimes some people aren't ready. They're not invested or ready to commit to the change or even want to change, so they don't.

And you get a niggle telling you that they're not really invested but you keep trying because you know this stuff works if they just did it. But they don't and you feel bad because you know that you could help them but they're not ready.

And that's the way it is. You quickly learn who will and who won't commit. And how to go about attracting clients who will. One day they may be ready and now you'll be able to tell the difference. So if you're a new coach and you've experienced this, no need to feel discouraged. It's a great lesson to learn and an important stepping stone.


How you can learn from my experience.

/ Change the words in your agreements and coaching packages to attract clients that are ready. You can even do this with free clients when first starting out so they have some skin in the game. Words can help you do that.

If a freelancer in a creative profession, as well as the above, you can also get clear on who you want to work with so your caring level matches and is justified.

/ Realise that over time as you become more focused and clear on what you do and don't do, you'll notice your caring at epic proportions will calm down. You'll also realise that it's never about proving yourself.


Next level responsibility.

A bit like the caring, the level of responsibility hits you like a sucker punch. Again I knew there would be a lot more involved but not at the level I was experiencing. Being 100 per cent responsible for making a living is huge. What you do or don't do will determine whether you can pay your bills or not. 

On top of that you are responsible for earning enough to cover your sick days and holidays, your superannuation and enough for a rainy day, money to grow your business through coaching and marketing, and money to cover your taxes and your GST.

Setting everything up so you can run a professional enterprise even as a solo business owner takes a lot of getting your head around in the beginning.

You're responsible for bringing in a living to cover all of your expenses in life. 

You need to keep your life running.

You need to stay healthy.

You need to walk the dog.

You need to keep in touch with friends.

You need to be a mother or a partner.

You need to keep learning so you keep growing.

There is a lot to juggle and many hats to wear at the same time.

The great thing is even if you have a small budget there are ways you can still grow your business and have a life. In fact, if you're not having a life when growing a business you will end up burnt out.


How you can learn from my experience.

/ Invest in products and programs that will make your life easier by automating your business.

/ Create a business around the life you want to lead, rather than only focusing on the business. If you're not living a happy life, you'll soon resent the business and ditch it.

/ Create a creative or coaching business that reflects you, your skills and your needs, even if it scares you to start. You need to work through the discomfort to make change. And you can do this. This will ensure you truly build a business you love and appreciate.


Ultimately, in working for yourself you will bump up against challenges that you never even imagined and past experiences that you'd thought you dealt with ages ago.

It's true that becoming your own boss is the best personal development you could ever do. It doesn't need to be something that breaks you though or leaves you gasping and giving up. You can do it smartly, at your pace and still stay sane and feel supported.

It is the working through the unknown where the brilliance comes.


Ready for your She Change?

When taking big leaps having guidance from someone who has gone before can make the transition a lot smoother. If you're ready to leap, She Change is here to support you during those first scary steps. It'll also give you the crucial foundations to help you back yourself no matter what you go through in life. Find out more and apply for you She Change here.   

Five steps to falling in love with your words (and start living creatively today)

How to become a morning person.

How to become a morning person.