I’ve been self-employed for six years now, and there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way. While I’ve had my share of failures in my chosen career, I’ve also made a variety of decisions that have helped me to succeed as well. While every self-employment path may vary in its course, here are some of moves that I found most helpful in making mine a path of success.
Setting up a reserve fund
I knew that making a go of it on my own would likely take time and be tough. And even though I was realistic in this aspect of self-employment, I don’t think I quite realized just how long it would take.
Thankfully, I had set enough money aside in a reserve fund to allow me to easily make it for a year — two years if I pushed it and really cut costs – without much of an income. And since things didn’t immediately go as planned, and I ended up changing my business plan about halfway through the first year, I needed that second year to determine if this alteration in course would have the desired effect.
Expanding my horizons
As a freelance writer, my initial hopes and dreams lay on becoming a published novelist; then however, reality came along. Realizing that this was a much more difficult path than I initially planned upon, and that writing books didn’t really pay anything in the meantime, I had to expand my horizons beyond just writing books. Therefore, I ventured out into the realm of newspapers, magazines, and eventually, online writing. In this way, I was able to continue to work on my books while at the same time earning enough to pay the bills. Had I not made this move to expand my initial job outline, I might never have made it in the self-employment world.
In the process of expanding my horizons, I kind of had to re-envision what I wanted in my work, how I would differentiate myself from the crowd, and how I could re-brand myself. While I was initially more focused on fiction writing, I realized that having a management, business and financial background could allow me to focus on these areas enough to find a money-making niche while still pursuing my real writing dreams. While it took time to build a portfolio and a name for myself in the personal finance realm, I was eventually able to turn this into my self-employment niche.
Networking with others in the field
Another one of the best moves I made when entering my self-employed career was that of networking with others within the same field. The internet and social media has made it much easier to communicate with those not only in our immediate area or even country, but with those around the world.
Over the years I’ve networked with people on the other side of the globe as well as those here at home, and they’ve been integral not only in increasing my network of clients and increasing my available work, but also in finding out about new products, resources, and available work options, which has helped me to advance my career. These people are also nice to bounce ideas off of and have helped to turn me on to new work sites.
In these ways, I’ve been able to struggle through those initial startup years of a self-employment endeavor — which can often be some of the toughest — and become more comfortable in a world in which I’m the boss of me.
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The author is not a licensed financial, career or tax professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.