I did it. What many only think about, a handful do and few stick with. I left my teaching job to focus my attention completely on my social media pursuits. I am now self-employed and working from home. Driven by the final sequence in Thelma & Louise – I drove the metaphorical car off the cliff. For the last five months I have been in free fall and these are the lessons I’ve learnt so far:
You never stop learning. Ever.
Being your own boss has its perks but it also comes with its own pressures. When you work for yourself, every part of your success and failure, comes back to you. From how many emails you decide to answer to how much caffeine you decide to consume – it all comes down to you. Staying in the know, especially in the ever-changing world of social media – is a constant. Evolution within the world of social media, is morphing exponentially. Making time within your weekly routine to sit undistracted and work through that platform that’s just been introduced or catch-up on the latest releases from Apple, is a must.
Find your tribe.
I thought I could do it on my own but I can’t. In order to stay grounded and be current, you can’t do it alone. This is coming from a Type A introvert. When I say, find your tribe – I’m not talking about clients – but people who are madly paddling the manic waters of entrepreneurship just like you. These are the people you can confide in, ask advice of and learn from. I have had many moments where the wise words or humor of a fellow tribes mate has been the grounding moment that has saved me from tears or trauma.
People will lie to you.
It is so simple to get caught up in what you think is happening rather than focusing on what you know actually is. Don’t believe the hype. It’s a waste of time. Everyone has an opinion and they will share it with you be it if you asked them to or not. Being prone to feeling like everyone around you is doing more, seeing more and receiving more invites – extends back to those high school insecurities that we all fall prey too. Stick to your own path. Try not to allow your thoughts and feelings to be caught up in assumption or illusion. Love the quiet days because the crazy ones are just around the corner. Keep your inner voice focused on your strengths and personal successes. You’re doing it your way. Embrace it.
There is no such thing as balance.
The word balance should be abolished. When you work for yourself, you will have those days that are amazing. Where from the moment you wake to the time you fall asleep, what you want to accomplish will all come together effortlessly. But don’t despair when you don’t. Having days that feel plagued by chaos and mistake – are just as important. Take it in stride. Don’t beat yourself up. You got through the worst day and you’ll do it again.
You ain’t seen nothing yet.
It’s such a cliché but it’s true. The best is yet to come. Every mistake, every day you get through is getting you closer to your next adventure. It may be a sponsored trip to Fiji or a beautiful comment left by someone who follows your blog. Regardless, just keep swimming and don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the ride.