My first month as an entrepreneur .....
After 20 years (ok 25 yes I am that old!) in corporate roles, with a lovely secure salary arriving in my bank account every month, I’ve done it!
I am now self-employed, the captain of my own ship, the CEO, the post girl and the marketing director … I did always say I wanted to get to director level!
I am an entrepreneur!
And I’ve just completed my first month in this new world, how on earth did this happen right?
If I’m honest I’m not sure I actually believe it’s real myself yet, although with every day that passes it feels a little more real, a little more exciting and whole lot more terrifying.
I know I’m so very fortunate to be able to pursue what I truly love to do, thank you Mr B. I love what I am slowly creating, I love the people I am meeting and I love being able to support & coach others to achieve their wildest dreams for a living!
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know things moved slightly quicker than originally planned.
Back in 2018 I decided I would ‘go and find out’ what I needed to do to be a Life Coach some day!
Fast forward 2 years, I’m qualified, my business is up and running and yep I’m all in … my last days at work were incredibly emotional. I was saying goodbye (for now) to amazing colleagues and dear friends, but I was also saying goodbye to life as I’d known it all my life, well since leaving school which in my case was a long time ago
I thought I was ready for it all, I knew what was going to be a challenge, I knew what I needed to do.
Well truth is my first month as a fully fledged business owner has surprised me in both good and maybe not so good ways. Ive realised that life as a self employed entrepreneur could become very lonely. Us entrepreneurs need to have incredible self focus and discipline and self employed life probably (nope scratch that, definitely!) isn’t as glamorous as the social media feeds would have you believe.
So here I thought I’d share what I’ve learnt in my first month as a self employed female entrepreneur!
What I learned in my first month of self employed life
1. Start the day with purpose
After years of long commutes and crazy ass early starts people are astounded when I tell them I am still getting up at 5:30 but yep its true.
It would, of course, be very easy to enjoy this new found lie in opportunity, roll out of bed when I feel like it and take it easy …. But firstly, that’s not me and secondly, I find the key to keeping motivated is starting the day with purpose. Now as I don’t have children either I am truly blessed in that I am able to get up, do a spot of yoga or go for a run, shower, dress, have breakfast and place myself in my office ready to start the day by 8am energised and ready!
Still earlier than the average 9-5er, And given that’s the time I used to get to work after sitting on the M25 for an hour and whatever that day threw at me, I feel pretty motivated … which as I’ll go on to share is pretty crucial when it’s me, myself and I at the moment!
Now if this very irst point has already got you thinking seriously is that the best you’ve got, stick with me, but also go take a read of the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and if I can’t convince you of the power of strong start to your day, perhaps he can!
(Update 2021: I still follow the miracle morning routine some 18 months later and swear it is one of the key game changer actions in my life. I have read in excess of 25 books having only read on holiday for the last 20 years and my best business ideas come in the first hour fo my day!)
2. It can be and is bloody lonely sometimes!
This I knew was coming but man it’s the tough bit. I thrive on interaction with others, I literally draw my energy from those around me and whilst I often moaned about getting nothing done in the vortex we called the office, I have always loved having a laugh with my colleagues, a cuppa and a putting the world to rights session … You spend most of your life at work right (well I did) so you have to be happy?
So yes, I miss my colleagues’, I miss constant human interaction …. But there are some great groups online ‘The Fabulous 5%’ for one is a great free group for ambitious entrepreneurs sharing the highs and lows of their journeys.
I’ve quickly realised the power as well of IRL (in real life) networking, both for the human interaction but the real chance to connect with people and share your stories, share your business and support one another. There are so many fantastic groups being created if I’m honest one month in, I’m still discovering and testing the water in different types, but I know its the right way for me.
3. Don’t forget to stop for a break… and don’t feel guilty for it!
Now, I thought I was pretty bad at this in the office but actually I think I’ve got worse since being self-employed! Sometimes I am so engrossed in what I am doing, or perhaps I even feel guilty stopping because I wouldn’t have done so at ‘work’, anyway … its ok to have a break, its ok to go for a walk if that’s the break you need and you have to eat! Besides I’m saving a fortune on food and no shopping trips in the local town!
In fact isn’t one of the perks of running your own business, employing yourself that you get to choose when you work and when you don’t. Most of us embarked on our entrepreneurial journeys yes because we had a passion for something but also because we want a better life? So have it, take it .. you are the boss of you now!
4. Plan the day don’t wing it
This is a biggy, kinda fits with starting the day with purpose, because I carry the day on with purpose.
I plan my self employed diary like I were still in a busy corporate office role. I’ve been used to dealing with multiple projects all my working life and I’ve always blocked time out for pieces of work and if I don’t complete in the time I’ve given, I move on and block more time.
Why wouldn’t I use a practice that works for me?! I turn the phone off if I need to and I’ve even scheduled in ‘social media’ time because let’s be honest between the possible lie in, Facebook, Whatsapp, Insta and a bit of ‘Cash in the Attic’ its pretty easy to get nothing done in this self employed entrepreneurial world!
5. I have a lot to learn!
I’ve had big roles in big businesses, I’ve dealt with all kinds of HR issues, I’ve managed big number P&L’s, I’ve handled crisis and celebration and I have a lot of great skills, not least I’m a dam good coach and that’s what I’m here to do now right?
But the thing is I’m not running a big business, I don’t have a team, I have barely any income yet so hardly a P&L and I’m pleased to say no crisis so far, little celebrations have become my focus!
The point is, you don’t know what you don’t know and being self employed and running your own business isn’t easy, I mean if it was, everyone would do it right?
I’ve learnt so much already, I’ve got a clear plan and I know where I’m going to need help. My network is growing, enquiries are rolling in and I’m loving every minute … but I know for sure as months 2 -12 fly by I’m going to learn so much more and can’t wait to see what 2020 brings my way.