#SelfEmployedSelfie – The challenges of self-employment – 6 Top Tips

Today (2 July 2018) seems an excellent day for a new blog…given the FSB’s latest social media campaign about Self Employment with their #selfemployedselfie (go on, take a look!)…this is me below, in the car (again!) and also Cooper, Ask the Chameleon’s official Time Out Guru..

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) East Midlands region asked me to take part,which I certainly did (click here) and it occurred to me that whilst working for yourself can sometimes be overwhelming and all encompassing at times, it is also the best thing I ever did.  I also love hearing about other people’s routes to self-employment, how they manage multiple demands on their time and noting lots of great suggestions , so here are my top six:-

  1. Get yourself a Business Coach – shop around and look for a professional who has a coach of their own, to demonstrate their belief in the process. A good coach is invaluable.  They are a critical friend who is willing to challenge, suggest and guide whilst recognising that your independence is vital. I looked around for a long time to find my coach and he is amazing.  He sees the world slightly differently, has worked in other industries and sectors and we have even shared referrals.  I have also had great support from other professionals in the past, particularly when Ask the Chameleon was first born and will be forever grateful for their help.
  2. Keep boundaries – This is especially crucial if you work from home like I do. There can be a strong tendency to work well into the night, or just nip into the spare room and then lose 3 hours! Keep focused, keep normal office hours or if you need to work flexibly, keep a log so you can check you are not doing too much. There is only one you, look after yourself.
  3. Find a group of like minded business people – self-employment can be a little isolating (depending on what you are doing) so get out and meet people. We need human interaction and I know that being with other professional people keeps me up to date and aware of the wider world – use Eventbrite to search for a huge variety of networking groups in your local area
  4. Pre-book your holidays – a tip from my coach; each year book your holidays into your calendar and stick to it. Your non-work time is essential to your mental and physical wellbeing, as well as important to your family and friends.
  5. If your work is mainly office based, you can find that you have easily spent 2 hours at your desk without moving. I have recently got a FitBit which buzzes if I am inactive and encourages me to move. So, go outside, have a change of scene, look up and around you – isn’t it beautiful in the sunshine at the moment?  Be like Cooper and soak it all up before you head back to that desk.

So what are your tips for #selfemploymentsurvival? We’d love to hear them….Rachel & Cooper

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