Last month marked 6 months of working for myself full-time and honestly, I’m shocked! I definitely had my doubts that I’d fail and have to get a job working at Starbucks or something. I’m the worst when it comes to dwelling and being pessimistic but I’m so thankful I’m still able to work for myself and that I’m thriving! I’ve just booked myself all the way till July and cannot belive it. I love what I do and love helping my clients. For anyone just starting out or hoping to eventually work for themselves I thought I’d share somethings I’ve learned in my first 6 months that have really helped me out;
→ Dont try to get everything done in one day.
Make a list of 2 or 3 things for the day and try to accomplish those instead of 6 or 7. You’ll overload yourself setting unrealistic expectations. I try to spread out my work tasks throughout the week making it easier to focus on one client at a time for an entire morning versus trying to tackle everything at once. The quality of work I crank out is so much better when I can set aside blocks of time to work on just one project as well.
→ Get dressed for the day and set a schedule.
I’ve only worked in my yoga pants a number of times but feel most productive when I make the effort to get up at a decent hour(7:45am), shower, get dressed and wear shoes. I usually stick with starting work at 9am and ending the day at 3 or 4pm. The last half of the day is usually the worst for me to get motivated so I cut the day short. Also, since you set the rules don’t be afraid to stop working at 11am and head to the beach. Sometimes I’ll even come back to my computer and work from 7pm-10pm, depending on what Aaron is up to.
→ Take breaks, eat and take care of yourself.
I’ll be honest, in the first few months I was not taking care of myself. I never ate breakfast, I’d work straight through lunch and as a result I’d have terrible migraines and body aches. Some days I’d work straight to dinner not even realizing I hadn’t eaten that day. Not good! Since Aaron works at home with me as well we’ve finally set a workout schedule, make it a priority to go grocery shopping and prep meals for the day together. Also, life is too short not to get your eyebrows done or your hair cut. So do it, you deserve it. ;)
→ Hire someone to do your taxes.
The amount of money and time they save you and the suggestions for stuff you can write off make it so worth it. I think I spent $150 on my taxes this year and I felt so confident in my decision. My CPA also has a referral program so every person you recommend to him he gives that person AND I $50 off his services. So, so happy with that decision.
→ Realize that not every client will be the right fit.
I’ve already written about this but I think it’s such an important realization. When I started out I was taking on every.single.client. that came my way and it made it really hard to enjoy my work. I think I just thought that every client was right for me. I’m finally at a point where I can be more selective about who I work with, I’ve finally created an intake process and learned to ask the right questions so I can weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit.