I am completely unemployable. I have been self employed for over 14 years. When I left employment, the only thing I missed was the IT helpline, my company car and the salary. I still remember the excitement of getting my first invoice paid! My Mum designed my first logo, my office was my bedroom and I didn’t have any business cards for the first 2 years, just a freelance-focused CV.
Are you considering self employment or do you know someone who is? Perhaps you are finding the current jobs market frustrating and challenging.
Employment no longer provides the security or certainty it once did. The world of work is never going to return to what it was, pre-credit crunch, and many mature workers will need/want to earn for longer before retiring. Many people have misperceptions about self employment, so don’t consider it as an option. In the UK, over million people are now self employed (Source ONS).
Self employment isn’t for everyone, and if structure, hierarchy, belonging, financial security and teamwork are important to you, it may be your idea of hell! For many, redundancy provides a push and financial cushion to try self employment.
What are the pros & cons?
Pros: what you put in you get out; design to suit you; freedom, choice & flexibility; no politics; tailor to your values, needs, wants and strengths.
Cons: less certainty of income; need to market yourself which many hate; multi tasking – being cleaner, project manager, new business person all yourself; funding your own training, holidays, sickness and pension; long hours especially at the beginning.
What types are there?
There are lots of different types with varying degrees of security/need to market yourself, including; freelance; contracting; interim; creating a business & building a brand by yourself or with others; buying a franchise; a home based internet business; part of a portfolio career; information marketing and being an associate for someone else’s business.
We have made sure we have updated our skills, experience and knowledge to be useful to help our clients in the fast changing world of work. In the self employment sector, we help our clients:
- Set up a business for the first time
- Reposition an existing business
- Existing business owner changing direction
- Become a freelance/contractor, define a personal brand and market themselves
We LOVE helping people become self employed because it utilises all of our skills. It is really satisfying helping people to believe in their talents, increase in confidence and overcome blocks they have about marketing themselves, especially in a downturn.
5 Common mistakes
Mistake 1): You don’t check whether it fits your values, needs and wants and make a hasty decision e.g. setting up a business with the wrong people for you. Solution: evaluate your options with a career coach and ensure your decision fits you and will give you what you want/need.
Mistake 2): You try to do everything yourself rather than playing to your strengths. Solution: Be realistic; get good support – people you trust e.g. a virtual PA; do skill swaps to save money.
Mistake 3): You focus too much on earning rather than creating and evolving your strategy and plan. Solution; block out time in your diary and do planning away from your usual work base and get a business mentor as a sounding board to help you get your niche right and stay on track.
Mistake 4): You dislike marketing yourself and don’t continually evolve your strategy, so sabotage your own success. Solution: Get a marketing mentor and explore your blocks about marketing. This is one of our specialisms – we do talks and articles about ‘blowing your own trumpet’ as well as coaching.
Mistake 5): You focus on the short term instead of longer term to create a sustainable success. Solution: Save a fixed amount of your income to fund training, holidays, pensions, sickness and quiet periods; get a coach/mentor and block out time regularly to review, reflect, plan and refocus.
If you are considering self employment or know someone who is, you might like to read about some of the clients we have helped to change career and become self employed. Click on this link:
If you are pondering self employment, why not get in touch? Rachel@liberateyourtalent.com