When the topic of self-employment comes up, I hear two common responses:
- “That’s too hard so I won’t even try.” or
- “I should be able to get something going within a few months, or else it’s a failure.”
Neither is grounded in reality. There’s such an odd mythology around self-employment, perhaps because people don’t talk about what goes on behind closed doors.
Here’s what I think is true about self-employment, in a nutshell.
Click for movie info and to watch online.
I just saw the movie, RBG. It’s a must-see! You’ll get to see an example of a powerful, confident, and courageous introverted woman, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
I’m so inspired! It helped to restore my hope. I need that during these times. Don’t you?
RBG, as she is affectionately called by her many fans, is a good example of someone living true to herself and her values, and willing to face the heat of those who don’t want to listen to her opinions. We need this kind of role model!!
It’s not easy to be yourself in a culture that is so judgmental, and sometimes cruel. It can be easier to keep our mouths shut. But then, a deeper part of us wants more. Right? Continue reading
I’m realizing how common it is for people to think there’s something wrong with them if they don’t know what they want, in their work, their business, or their life.
I often hear things like this:
- “I don’t have a clear goal or vision for my future, so I might be a hopeless case.”
- “Other people just know what they want, but I’m not one of those people.”
- “I’m trying to be self-employed but really I need to figure out what I actually like.”
I feel sad when someone thinks she is “a hopeless case.” In reality, lack of clarity on what you want is super common. It’s probably the norm!
But then, what to do?
One of the main worries I hear from introverts sounds like this:
“How am I supposed to put myself out there when I’m too introverted for that?”
“How can I move towards what I want when it feels overwhelming just thinking about it?”
Have you said anything like that to yourself?
I’m an introvert too and I know I’ve said those things. Luckily, I have learned through experience that phrases like “I’m too introverted for that” or “I won’t be able to handle it” are false. Not just for me, but false for all of us. I’m not saying you need to become someone other than yourself either. In fact, don’t do that! It won’t help or feel good. I’ll explain.
The truth is that you don’t have to get overwhelmed or drained when you go for something you want. No matter if you’re introverted, extroverted, or in between. Really.
Our human brains play a trick on us, trying to keep us safe, by telling us that if we leave the comfort zone of the known, we’ll freak out or get overwhelmed, like in the image below. So we feel stuck and we stop moving forward. It’s very common to get stuck right there.
This is what your brain tries to tell you, to stop you in your tracks: “Don’t leave the comfort zone or else.”
I’ll explain in the video below with a simple diagram that will give you a big Aha moment. (Making the video was outside my comfort zone so you can watch me facing my discomfort zone in real life.)
I work for myself, which some of us call being a “solopreneur.” In a way that word sounds so lonely, as if everything is on your own shoulders. No employer and no employees to rely on. Some people think that means there’s no help, and there’s no room to be sick or a take time off.
Well, I’m here to contradict those stereotypes:
- There IS Support.
You better let in help or your business won’t make it. Seriously, every self-employed person who is making it has people behind the scenes who are helping in significant ways. It might be a spouse, an accountant, a helpful friend, colleagues to bounce things off of, and/or a business coach.
- There IS Sick Time.
Solopreneurs DO have sick time available, if they are willing to send themselves home. When you have a sustainable business model, it allows for sick time, with no financial loss.
How I Allowed Time Off and Support
As I sit here on the tail end of this very determined sniffly cold, I’ll tell you my real life story of taking time off as a solopreneur. Continue reading