Everyone who starts working for themselves will tell you how great it is. And for the most part, it is. But working for yourself can also have its downsides, especially when it comes to keeping your sanity.
Striking the right balance is important, as well as getting a good grip on your business from the beginning. Take a look at the following tips and enjoy success with your personal venture.
Start things off the right way
You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and frustration if you get yourself organised from the beginning. That means getting your finances in order, getting a website and email address in place and making sure your personal and business affairs separate. Get registered with the yourcompanyformations.co.uk – Incorporation Agent and benefit from the support offered to new businesses. Soak up any advice that comes your way, you can learn a lot from other people’s mistakes.
Don’t work from the sofa
When you work from home, it’s easy to develop some bad habits. Working from the sofa, in your PJs, is one of them. If you want to be the professional, you need to act the part. Start by getting yourself set up with a home office. If space is an issue, you can easily make a corner office space in your bedroom or kitchen. A distraction-free space will help you get things done, and help you settle into the working from home life.
Give yourself some working hours
Leaving behind the 9-5 is a top reason for starting your own home business. But that can mean that you struggle with either working too many hours or not enough. Working for yourself means that you get to set your working hours, but make sure you set enough so that you get everything done, without having to work into the evenings. The temptation to keep working late at night is there when you work at home, but it’s important to know when to stop to help you keep your sanity.
Get out of the office from time to time
One thing you might miss about working in an office is the people. Working from home can be lonely, which is why a change of scenery will help you keep cabin fever at bay. Go for a walk at lunch, attend meetings and events and even try working in a coworking space from time to time. Getting out of the house will do you good and help you stay connected to the real world.
While working for yourself gives you some flexibility when it comes to when and where to work, you’ll want to make sure you take proper breaks in the same way as you would from the office. Give yourself a holiday allowance and be sure to book the time off. Give clients plenty of notice and remember to stop for bank holidays and other key dates. Having holidays and staycations are great for recharging your body and mind, and they’ll help you to stay passionate and enthusiastic about working for yourself. If you can afford to take more time off, do it and take advantage of one of the perks of working for yourself.
Establish a work/balance
Having a work/life balance is very important for your mental health, so don’t let things slip just because you’re not in a typical work environment. Try to get out in the evenings, meet friends for lunch and exercise regularly to help you retain your life outside of work. When you run your own business, the line between where your business ends and you begin can become blurred, so be sure to achieve that healthy balance when working from home.
Taking care of yourself is very important when you work for yourself. When you’re ill – who’s going to cover your work? Your health is important and you need to keep on track for the sake of yourself and your business. Eat healthily and get moving to keep your body and mind strong. If you start to feel run down, take some proper rest – you’ll feel much better for it.
Learn to manage tricky clients
When you encounter difficulties in a normal workplace, there are often processes and people above you who can handle the more difficult side of things. But when you’re on your own, you’re on your own – which can be difficult to get used to.
As a freelancer or business owner, you get to choose who you work with – so if something isn’t sitting right, you can do something about it. You’re going to need to learn how to handle difficult clients along the way, and doing so will make you more confident in yourself. A bad client can be enough to ruin your day, so rather than letting them dampen your mood, distract yourself with something you enjoy and focus your attention somewhere else for a while to regroup. Things will always be brighter the next morning.
Talk to fellow freelancers
When you work in an office, you’ll find that you have colleagues to share gripes with – a camaraderie over shared experiences. It’s easy to miss that when you work for yourself. But working on your own doesn’t have to mean that you’re completely alone – get out there and meet some other freelancers who will no doubt share your misery.
There are plenty of ways you can meet other freelancers. Head to networking events, join local online groups and look for creative networks you can join in your area. It’s actually easier than you might think to get out there and meet some new faces, and you’ll be glad to encounter people you have things in common with.
Starting out on your own can feel tough, with a lot to learn and a new set of challenges to survive. It will soon come together, and you’ll be able to enjoy all of the perks of working for yourself. When things start to get too much, make sure you take a step back, take a deep breath and regroup. If working for yourself was easy, everyone would be doing it, so keep your chin up – you’ve got this.