THE BLOG

Three Problems of Being Self-Employed

09/24/2013 04:03 pm 16:03:34 | Updated Nov 24, 2013

Working Mother magazine interviewed me about the impact of working from your bed. Apparently, more than half of us do it and so we have to ask whether it's good or bad. Currently in a cushy Tempur-Pedic bed with my laptop, I think I surprised her with how "pro" I am.

In many ways, self-employment rocks! Doesn't it?

Technically, I'm not self-employed, but I was for years and I still act like I am. I know the perks. It's awesome to be able to wear what you want more often, work from where you want, set your own deadlines and answer to yourself. Even better, you get to follow a calling and you get to fit other important things into your life more easily, like family and exercise.

But, in many ways, being self-employed is a huge challenge, and that's why such a high percentage of our coaching clients are among the self-employed set. Without that structure of working for someone, and being told what to do, we can get a little wayward. These are the biggest issues that I see coming up with my self-employed clients.

You have to have your mission locked into your gut. Initially, when many folks come to the Handel Group they know they want something different but they haven't locked in their purpose. This is like trying to find your travel destination without knowing the address. Your productivity is severely hampered. In Handel, we talk a lot about "walking your talk," but if you don't know what your talk is, it's pretty hard to walk it. So, we must take a time-out to figure out what it is we really want to say to the world. Whether we are interior designers, herbalists, yoga teachers or computer programmers, we each have something unique to offer.

Once we learn how to walk our talk, the next problem is finding the nerve to start talking, and don't stop! People who make it in self-employment have learned how to blabber about their message. If you think you are shy or inarticulate, don't worry! That's curable. Most likely you just don't have a plan or a promise. Set a date by when you'll have your elevator pitch memorized and set a number of people to start pitching it to each day.

And then there's maintenance and growth. That's the stage I am in right now: expanding my business to new places by being on a TV show, making a digital product and taking it all up a notch. Bravo if you get to this third level of the problem. It means your leadership is working!

Here is where managing your mind (which impacts your mood and energy) is SO key and has to be a round-the-clock affair. In fact, the more you succeed and grow, the more vigilant you'll have to be to keep the "devils out." And by devils I mean the voices of fear (chicken) and brat ("I don't wanna!" and "I shouldn't have to!"). I actively play a game to zap my negative thoughts as they arise and the results are miraculous in terms of focus, mood and tangible success.

I wish everything could be solved just by caring and working hard because many of us are really good at applying those. But, most problems worth solving involve a heavy dose of BELIEVING (meaning developing vision and having faith). And luckily that, too, is something that can be cultivated if it doesn't come naturally.

Love,
Laurie