Reflections on the first month…
Even though I’ve been running my business part time for a while now while holding down a corporate role, I’m entering into the second month of full time self-employment and I’ve been doing some reflection. I thought I’d share some of my learnings.
- The most valuable resource you have is your network. I have an amazing network of ex-colleagues, friends, and consultants I’ve known and worked with for years, and this first month I’ve been blown away by your support, enthusiasm, confidence in me, and your help connecting me with others. All of the coaching, leadership development and content design work I’ve done this month, or have in my pipeline, is from these relationships. Nurture your social resources, connect with your colleagues and build trusting relationships where you are – these will be your future friends, supporters and potential clients.
- Get in a routine that puts you in the right mindset. I take the kids to before school care, go for a walk, practice mindfulness, and then start my work day. That’s indulgent right? Yes! But while I have the time, I’m going to use it. It also helps me start the day with clarity and the right mindset to make things happen. I’ve been more positive about my strengths, skills and ability to make this work in the past month than I have ever been.
- Make time to connect. Working alone is actually quite ok for an introvert like me, but there’s still a basic psychological need we all have for human connection. Getting out to talk to people and reconnecting with those I haven’t seen in months or years has been so refreshing. I’m enjoying talking to people about subjects and issues I’m passionate about and learning what’s going on in their world. So, if you get a random message from me for coffee or lunch, this is me connecting for a conversation. Let’s see what we can learn from each other.
- Be clear on your purpose. In conversations about going out on my own, most people ask about the risk of not having an income and my ideas for making more money than I was earning in my corporate roles. I made this change first and foremost so I can spend my time doing work that I am passionate about. I have spent years finding my niche – I have found something that I love doing, that I’m good at, a service that people appreciate and need, and I can get paid to do it. The money may not come in as regularly as it did before, but I’m ok with that. The payoff is that I get to spend my hours doing work I love, with a good variety of assignments, connecting with a diverse circle of leaders that are inviting me into their world to help them with the challenges they face. It’s liberating and energising.
So, there it is. The first month. I’m full of anticipation for my second month, bring on more conversations, connections, and learning!