I’m noticing a common thread about people’s perspective on self-employment, including within the responses to a survey I ran. People make a direct association between self-employment and stress… particularly stress about time, money, and life balance.
They talk as if stress and self-employment must go together, more than with regular employment. As if they just have to live with high stress, no matter how much it is draining them.
They assume it’s just part of the deal to sacrifice a part of themselves for the money, for their art, or for helping others. I hear lots of “have to” messages.
How can that stress level really work long term? It can’t. I’ve seen it fail too many times.
Do you think the words self-employed and ease are allowed together in the same sentence? Please say yes. Please shoot for that. And let’s look at what’s true.
I notice people love the freedom of self-employment, and that helps reduce the stress, but still there is that heavy weight on their shoulders that should not be there.
I think some of the stress comes from thinking that some particular parts have to be hard, by their very nature — such as networking, pricing, online marketing, or juggling deadlines.
You Can Go from Stress to Ease
When I went from hating networking (thinking I was too introverted) to enjoying networking (and still being an introvert!), I discovered some basic principles about finding the stress-free path for any part of my work.
I learned to work with my style instead of trying to do it the way an extrovert would do it.
The same principle goes for other parts of my work. I have to keep my personality and my own unique needs in the equation.
The cookie cutter approach (doing it someone else’s way) is the source of the STRESS.
Finding my unique path is the source of EASE and the source of SUSTAINABILITY (for my body and my bank account).
Of course stress is part of life, so “stress-free” is impossible, I admit. But most of us settle for far too much stress than is needed by doing things like this:
- We say yes to things when we mean no.
- We agree to crazy deadlines.
- We try to do it someone else’s way, telling ourselves we have to.
- We push ourselves to do things we hate.
- We avoid raising our rates out of fear of losing clients.
Anything in there sound familiar?
Shoot for more ease and more sustainability for your whole body, and you can have it. This is part of what I call the SOULpreneurs‘ journey — where your heart, body, and wallet all get attention. I teach about this approach in my course, Bridge to Self-employment.
“But, I’ll Lose Clients!”
I know, your brain is telling you, “But I will lose clients if I set boundaries, raise rates, etc.”
Have you tested that thinking? I have, and it turns out it’s usually not true!
For more evidence, research shows that when you’re highly stressed, you’re far less productive. When you find your sweet spot with only mild stress, you can find your flow zone where you are highly productive. More done in less time. You’re happier and clients are happier!
I’m on a mission to bring more ease to the world of work, and beyond, so you’ll help me feel happier if you consider allowing more ease into your life. Thank you.
Finding Your New Easeful Roadmap
I have a more balanced map for you, where business works and your body and heart are happy too. We walk through it together in my small group learning communities.
If you want to join a community of people finding their way to their own sweet spot, check out my career and business groups for introverts and HSPs.
If you’re new to self-employment and still wondering how it can ever work for you in a sane way, I provide guidance in my course, Bridge to Self-employment.