My posts sometimes contain affiliate links which means that I make a small commission, at no cost to you, that helps keep The Art of Better running.
8 Surprising Things I’ve Learned Since Working for Myself Full-Time
Next week marks the one year anniversary of quitting my 6-figure, high-stress career and deciding to start working for myself full-time. I can’t believe it has been a year already.
The past twelve months have been a rollercoaster of emotion at times but it’s taught me so much about myself as a person. I’ve accomplished things I would never have thought possible and done things that have scared me to death. It’s all been worth it.
Passing along my advice
For those wanting to take the leap work for themselves: do it. Just go into it with open eyes. Research, plan, save. Be smart about it.
Learn from others who have done it in your field.
Just in case you don’t know, I’m a full-time blogger, both here and at The Art of Better Blogging, and a blog & biz coach. I teach bloggers how to level up in their blog life and go from blog to business. I do a little bit of freelance work on the side for some long-term clients but blogging is my bread & butter, as they say.
Working for myself full-time has taught me many things
1. I’ve always been kind of a work junkie. I love to work. It’s funny, I didn’t really understand that about myself until recently, although it seems to have been clear to those around me. I love to throw myself into my work; the high from accomplishment is seldom matched by anything else out there for me.
It’s a struggle not to be at the computer, getting things knocked off my list, learning, networking, etc., all the time. It is a constant effort to keep my boundaries in place and not work evenings or weekends. “Five more minutes” before I stop to make dinner for my family inevitably turns into a meal that’s 90 minutes late if I’m not super careful. Scheduling my days is imperative to keeping a healthy balance for me. My Happy Planner has been life-changing.
2. Managing your own taxes sucks. As does managing your own health insurance. UGH. Those two things are almost enough to make me seriously consider a 9-5 some days. I said *almost.*
3. My dogs are excellent company. Yes, I talk to them all day long… especially on days where I don’t have client calls, live a stream or a webinar scheduled. I’ve gotta talk to someone, right? It can be tough to resist the pull of a puppy pile on the couch sometimes, though. All 4 of them are typically sleeping next to me and at my feet under my desk while I work. Play breaks throughout the day are mandatory.
4. My extended family & friends don’t get what I do, and I think they are secretly convinced that I’m just unemployed. “Wait- you can make money blogging? How? Really?!” lol
5. It’s scary-easy to let yourself go when you work from home. When I started working for myself from home full-time, I would wear PJs all day until right before Mike came home from work. I think I didn’t cut or color my hair for like 3 months which is just scandalous to anyone that knows me offline. Polished was typically my middle name.
I briefly got to a point where I felt gross and vowed never to do it again. Now, I get dressed before 9 or 10 am most days. I curl my eyelashes and make myself presentable and I even do full makeup sometimes when I’m not even going to be in front of anyone. I bought a new red lipstick and decided to let my glam out, which was tough to do as one of the few women in my position in my prior career. Speaking of which…
6. Yearning for the familiar is rather common. As much as I hated my former career near the end (I was pretty burnt out), sometimes I do get nostalgic for the things that used to make my day. Working with customers, making their day, mentoring someone throughout their career, seeing the people who mentored me throughout my rise. These are the things that make me misty to think about. Believe me, I can do without everything else, like having to answer the phone 24-hrs a day & catering to an egotistical supervisor.
7. If I’m not working, I’m not earning. Until very recently when I put systems in place to keep things running without me, taking a day off because I didn’t feel well or had something pressing to attend to meant that I wasn’t making money. Bills don’t stop because you feel crappy. Getting the proper systems and automation in place is so important to building a sustainable business. Remember all those sick days and vacation days you got at your 9-5? Ya, those are gone.
8. More family time makes me a happier human being. I love being home when kiddo gets home and asking her how her day went. I love being able to meet my guy at the door and smush him. Having lazy weekends as a family makes my life better.
I used to be out of the house from 8am – 7:30pm most days of the week. I missed a lot but I didn’t really understand just how much until I started working for myself full-time.
Do you work for yourself or work from home full-time? What has doing so taught you?