Hello! In a recent post, I shared my pro tips for Working From Home 101 and I thought I would share my thoughts on self employment as well. For close to a decade, I have been working under the best boss in the world – myself! At times, it is stressful and difficult, but it is also so rewarding and I truly couldn’t imagine working under someone else ever again. I love what I do as an Independent Provider for people with special needs and as a Content Creator and I have had years to perfect my method. All of the following works for me and maybe it will be helpful for you too:
Organization is ESSENTIAL:
When you are self employed, it is up to you to handle everything and if you struggle with organization, it can be a struggle. Thankfully, I live to organize and thrive with a fairly strict schedule, making this aspect of self employment one of my favorite things. Sticking to a schedule and staying on top of things eliminates any surprises from interfering with your work flow. To keep myself in check, I follow these steps:
Paperwork: Getting behind on your paperwork is one of the absolute worst things that you can do. This is why I refuse to end a day without completing all of my forms both tangible and online. I also set aside time at the end of every month to complete my mileage log for my taxes. I am very meticulous about my paperwork and keep everything organized in a filing cabinet in my office. It just makes things easier to have everything I might ever need at the ready and even if it is annoying sometimes, my businesses wouldn’t thrive otherwise.
Scheduling: One of the benefits of self employment is making your own schedule. This freedom can be utterly intoxicating if you are used to waiting around for a schedule from a previous job. However, don’t enjoy it too much! Falling into the trap of “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I have plenty of time to get it done” sets you up for failure. Creating a schedule that works for you and that you know you can commit to is only going to help you!
Taxes: Filing your taxes is going to be different than usual when you’re self employed and I cannot recommend getting familiar with this process enough. All year, my “tax” file in my cabinet gets a lot of use and by the time tax season rolls around, I have nothing left to do but schedule an appointment. When you learn what things can be “written off”, you can not only save money but step up your record keeping game. It’s a win/win and, of course, if you have any questions along the way, call the person who does your taxes!
When you are self employed, you are making the plunge from “employee” to “business owner”. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by this and the best thing that you can do is to keep a level head. Staying cool, calm, and collected allows you to make rational decisions for your business and it’s never good to make these calls when you’re stressed. As the owner of two businesses, I know firsthand that juggling so many different things can be intense. Whenever I notice that I’m feeling the pressure of this, I allow myself to take a break, clear my head, and start fresh.
Even if you are your own boss, you should never stop trying to learn new things to improve your business. Find a mentor, take classes, do your own research, and ask questions. You don’t want your business to plateau, but grow! My mentor has helped me SO much in skill development, educating myself, and mastering new things. Finding someone to take you under their wing or at least brainstorm with can boost your business in ways that you might not have even considered. Be curious, ambitious, and willing to learn – it will take you far!
Being self employed is something that not everyone has the luxury of doing and it’s something that I feel very lucky for. I remember this often and even on crazy busy days, I am still happy that I am doing it all by myself. Shifting your mindset from “this is too much” to “this is pretty awesome” will make your days so much more enjoyable, even under stress. On rollercoaster days, just put your hands up and enjoy the ride because you never know where your business will take you!
My businesses have thrived from being highly organized and highly motivated and I feel so proud of that. These tips help me out every day and gives me the drive to keep going forward in my own self employment!
What are some of your self employment pro tips? What is your dream job? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah