First of all – celebrate! You’ve had to work bloody hard to be able to transition to this phase of your professional life, and quitting everything else to be self-employed is a fantastic risk with a ton of rewards.
Once the champagne is finished, however, it’s time to knuckle down. You’ve started your side hustle successfully, and I know it’s a tough slog to work a “normal” job while you grow your side hustle, but quitting my job and going full-time freelance was just the “Disney Wedding” moment for me. You think all the trials and tribulations have led you to this fantastic day, but really, the story is just beginning.
And that’s a good thing. Because now you are your own boss. And you can be the best damn boss you’ve ever had.
1. Healthy body = healthy mind.
In the beginning, the flexible working day meant I was also flexible about my food and exercise. Maybe that suits you, but if you’re like most people (me included) and you find yourself going to she shops because there are no “work snacks” then let’s get scheduling! It doesn’t mean you need to join a gym – there are tons of workouts you can do from home and great healthy one-serve lunch-at-home meals. This also means being careful with your coffee intake and sitting down in front of screens for long periods of time.
Think of yourself like a boss would: a valuable human resource.
2. Respect your time and others will too.
Unless you enjoy answering emails at 10pm and you offer a service that needs to, let people know what your hours are and stick to them! This is especially critical if you have a partner or a family. Your partner needs to respect your professional time and your clients need to respect your private time.
They can only do this by taking your lead. Be a boss about it!
3. Know your resources!
What are you rich in and what are you poor in? If you’ve just made the change to full-time self-employment, you’ll initially have more time and less money. That means not spending money on anything you could do with your own time – cooking, cleaning, errands, and e-mails. As your business grows, always reassess your workload and financials.
You’ll know when its time to hire someone else, but until then, you are a whole workforce and the boss of it too.
4. Do you really work best from home?
At first it might seem relaxing and lovely to be able to stay home, but look over your productivity levels after a couple of weeks and see if the laptop-in-bed is actually the best thing for your business. It may mean you save costs on office spaces and expensive lunches. It may also mean you miss out on networking opportunities and important industry chats.
If you do find that home is the best place for you, make sure you carve out a workspace that makes you feel good.
5. Dress like your boss.
Studies show that people feel smarter and do better when they wear white lab coats. It’s no secret that what we wear affects how we feel, but our sartorial choices also affect how we perform. What’s that other thing people always say? Dress for the job you want. It’s true. You are your own boss now so make the most of it! Who have you always admired? What kind of person are you working towards being? Fast-track yourself there – just dress like it and you’ll act like it.