It’s been a little while now since I started my own mini business (or freelancing, or whatever you’d like to call it) providing marketing, social media and blogging support to others. It’s been an amazing few months full of opportunities, creativity and huge rewards – both in happiness and profitability.
I don’t profess to be an expert, and everyone’s journey is different, but today I really wanted to share five things that I’ve been loving about being my own boss.
This is the reason most of us start something, right? We’re excited about an idea, a passion, a possibility, a dream. It’s something that keeps us up at night because we’re too eager to make things happen to fall asleep, something that’s on your mind day and night.
There’s tough moments sure, and all the bookkeeping and admin can be a pain, but the reality of being your own boss is just as exciting as all the planning and dreaming stuff.
Some days I’m working on my website – writing content, taking or sourcing photos. Other days I’m getting to know fellow bloggers and business owners in Facebook groups or celebrating people’s wins on Twitter. Then there’s the days where I’m responding to enquiries, creating proposals and getting the actual work done – managing social media, working magic on Pinterest accounts and helping bloggers optimise their content for search.
And you know what? It’s all exciting. All of it.
It’s an amazing creative outlet
Depending on the job you do or how your life’s set up there might be plenty of chances for you to be creative every day – or there might be none.
I’m lucky in that I work part time in a job where I can be somewhat creative (as I’m working on social media, websites and marketing too!) but being able to run my own thing on my days off is amazingly fulfilling. When you’re your own boss you choose your goals and how to reach them. You’re in charge of your brand, how it’s styled and what people think of when they see your name. You’ve got the budget to try new things, invest in self-development and tech – and if you don’t then you’ve got plenty of ways to raise that money to fund it. All of this gives you so much freedom to be creative, not just in terms of design but in how you run things.
As well as being able to operate the way you want to, going freelance or running your own business gives you total freedom over the creative side of things too. Your brand, the colours you use, the design styles you favour, your photography, your website design… it’s endless. If your talents lie in any of these areas then every day’s a creative one, but it’s just as fun working with a partner to come up with your look and feel too.
The best part about working in blogging, marketing and social media? You get to be creative with your client work too. I love experimenting with new theories, styles and ideas on my own accounts (and my adventurous clients too!) before bringing them into the mix – and I love that people have absolute trust in you, your approach and your way of doing things. Being able to bring that creativity into your work is so much fun.
The community’s wonderful
Coming from a blogging background and growing up in the digital world of forums and social media, I already knew that there are tons of supportive online communities out there. What I didn’t expect was just how amazing the online business communities are.
This is especially true in my experience for groups catering to ambitious female entrepreneurs, bloggers and creative business owners. The place where you’ll find these communities is Facebook and Facebook Groups are one of my favourite sources of inspiration, support, help, community – and leads!
I’m a member of lots of groups (probably too many, I should really do an audit!) and participate in between 3-5 almost daily – answering questions where I can help, responding to people’s callouts for partners or marketing services, getting to know people and asking questions. It’s the perfect place to network, meet long-term friends or clients and demonstrate you know what you can do.
My favourite communities tend to be the ones catering to online business owners, where there’s a mix of industries, skill levels and length of time in the game. There’s thriving communities based on the kind of work you do too, so you can bet there’s a group of supportive photographers, social media managers, virtual assistants or parent bloggers out there for you.
It’s good for your health (and confidence)
This might be one that depends totally on your current and past health, but honestly I feel like starting my own thing has done wonders for my health and confidence.
Before I became clearer on what I wanted to do with my spare time (I call it spare time but do any parents really have any?!) it seemed like my mind was so busy. I was always searching for the answers, that one idea, wrestling with whether I wanted to ‘make it big’ or carry on with life as it was. Some days I wanted to quit the idea of being my own boss entirely and settle for a simpler life.
I didn’t though, because I knew that wouldn’t make me happy.
Instead I invested time, money and patience in getting to know myself, my goals and my talents. I’ve read books, attended events, listened to podcasts and enrolled in online training communities. For a while it was all noise and, if I’m honest, a distraction – but eventually I came to a place where I think I’ve found my ‘thing’. And that is so, SO rewarding.
Getting out there with my idea and doing it was so scary at first. What would people think? Could I really charge that much for what I do? Would anyone be interested in working with me? I still have doubts sometimes and good old impostor syndrome creeps in, but then I remind myself to take my own advice. I’m always telling myself that everyone’s an expert in something, that someone’s not just an administrator (whatever that means) – they’re an expert in admin, or they might be an expert in selling vintage telephones or an expert in coming up with solutions to really hard financial struggles. Once I remember that I’m more at ease, more comfortable with owning who I am and what I do.
That ownership, coupled with being my own boss, has given me so much more confidence than I had before. I believe in myself and so do others. Every conversation, every proposal I write, every project I complete brings me closer to knowing even more about the world of blogging, marketing and social media. I can’t begin to explain what a huge change there was in my ability to sign contracts and book work once I started believing in myself more.
Confidence brings results! It also brings happiness and for me a big sense of calmness and simplicity. When things are going well and you know where you’re headed things just fall into place. It’s been probably the most unexpected benefit, for me anyway.
I can work from home
I’ve saved this for last because it’s possibly my favourite thing at the moment. While I do enjoy exploring, and it’s hard not to when you live somewhere so beautiful, I’ve got to admit I’m a total homebody. I love being at home, I love making our place a home and surrounding myself with things that make me happy. Being able to call my home my office? That’s amazing.
As well as all the mushy stuff about working somewhere that makes me smile, there’s the practical side of things too. The kitchen’s a few steps away and lunch can be anything I want it to be. Ditto for stopping for a break and catching up with TV, or reading a few pages of a book to get inspired for that post-lunch slump.
The most practical benefit of working from home for me is that I can work around the kids. I say around, because I never try and mix working with looking after the kids. For me and my two that’s impossible – partly because they’re all over me all of the time, and partly because I get a huge dose of mum guilt if I’m tapping away on the laptop and they’re wanting to play cars or dance.
The flexibility of being able to work during nap time and when my partner’s at home keeping them happy is so incredibly useful. I can pop into the hallway to my new office space (I’ll do a tour soon – I love it!) while the rest of the family is watching a movie in the front room or grab the laptop and work from the dining table while the kids are finishing their endless lunch.
Even if you haven’t got kids, being able to work from home has so many practical, financial and happiness benefits.
I’d love to hear from you…
What do you love about being your own boss? Tell me in the comments!