Many of us have had the dream: working your own hours and setting your own schedule; the freedom to travel when you want; working from your favorite coffee shop—or your couch at home—instead of an assigned cubicle. Whether you’re a freelancer, a “solopreneur,” or the owner of a small business with only a handful of team members, chances are you were drawn to your chosen career path by the appeal of one or more of these possibilities. But there’s more to the independent, self-employed life than romantic notions of personal freedom. After all, being self-employed also means avoiding becoming “self-unemployed.” Especially if you’re a team of one, there aren’t many chances to pass the buck. That means that instead of being less important, how you manage your time becomes more important than ever.
People Who Need People
According to a 2017 article in Forbes, the fifteen biggest challenges facing solo professionals emerge from a single theme: being in it alone. Absence of objective input, feeling overwhelmed and lonely, maintaining focus, having a solid development plan… all of these issues plague even the most driven individuals as they build their solo or small enterprises. What’s the solution? Maintaining social involvement and regular social contact. Whether it’s a regular meetup with an entrepreneur support group, online chats with peers, or some other forum, it is vital for you as a self-employed professional to get out of your own head and escape the echo chamber on a systematic basis. Nobody knows everything about anything—even if that person is you and the topic is your business. You need to stay social for your own mental and professional health.
Taking Care of Business—and Yourself
Especially when your business is driven by personal passion, as it is for so many self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to set aside the time you need for self-care. And yet, in many ways, taking care of yourself equals taking care of your business’s number-one asset: you. But especially when you work from home or on your own schedule, it’s easy to let what you do for your business overrun the boundary with what you do for yourself. Take vacations, for example. You need them every so often for your own emotional wellbeing, just as much as anyone working for a company with paid leave and other benefits. But you can’t just take off into thin air and leave your clients hanging; that’s a recipe for unemployment. What you must do, instead, is plan in advance when you’ll take your hard-earned time off, put schedules in place with your clients well ahead of time, and set aside funds so that when you do hit the beach or the mountains, you can do so without worrying whether you’ll have a business to return to. In other words, you can take a real, de-stressing vacation, returning to work refreshed and renewed.
Shone Wealth Management is in the business of providing sound, evidence-based financial planning and guidance for visionary professionals and entrepreneurs. We build an individualized plan and help you implement it, so you can focus on growing your business. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us. If you’re a woman entrepreneur or business owner, click here to read our recent blog article, “Financing Your Dream: Best Financing Options for Women-Owned Businesses.”