10 Tips on How to Become Your Own Boss
Hi babes! Cheers to another week that we get to be ourselves & enjoy work that we love. Our daily lives are all a bit different though, because some us have been a full-time business owner for years. Some of us in the middle of transitioning from working for someone else to work for ourselves & are making strides every day to bridge that gap. Let’s talk about the transition we all make when we go from one status to ultimate babe status where we have control of our schedule & goals. We asked 10 amazing women about their transition story & are so excited to share them with you. There’s never any need to feel “behind”, because there’s a babe out there with a story similar to yours to encourage you to press forward. Check out stories from Brooke Eversoll of Bee Studios, Inc., Kelly Maronpot of FairyTail Pet Care, & Rana Tierney of Roohi Photography. Keep moving forward in whatever way makes sense for you, because starting a business is like Yoga. Remain tuned in with what’s working & what’s not and adjust your path as needed. Stay boss. xx
"I've always told myself quality over quantity. I don't know what your personal goals/intentions are with your business, but I can say one thing I notice amongst fellow HAMU artist and even other small business owners is that they start off by taking anything they can get. While I understand that concept, (and did it myself) it makes it harder to market to a target audience. Plus, when they want to start doing what they visualized, it becomes difficult to weed out the work they took with no desire. I think it's ok to be picky from the start so you don't loose your drive and you're always attracting your target audience. Just don't let the quantity sacrifice the quality of your business and personal life."
St. Petersburg, FL
"I worked full-time at a small software business as a Project Manager before I made the leap to full-time. I set a financial savings goal that was strictly from my business, so that way I had some buffer in the slower months! I also had an "anchor" client, where I did the work for her for free (website design!) in exchange for feedback and a testimonial. I was up-front with her about everything and she really appreciated the transparency!
From there, I started taking on clients while still working full-time. I put an out of office up during the day to just let people know I'd respond to them within 24 hours. I'd work before work on my business, work at my FT job, go home to take care of family, then work on my business when my kiddo was in bed. It was super tough, but I LOVED what I was doing with my business, so it made it much easier. Weekends were used for my business, too, especially during naptime + after my kiddo went to bed!
After 5 months, I went full-time with my website design business! I saved enough money (or close enough to it) and I was at my wits end with the business I worked for. The stars aligned and it just felt right. And, it'll be TWO years that I've been full-time on April 1! I always recommend setting aside some savings while you have that consistent paycheck. Makes those slower months a bit easier and less panicky!”
“I was employed from 2004-2015. My dream of owning my own company was always deep down inside, however it didn’t surface itself right away. Once that dream began to surface and the desire was strong, I had to explore it. All I knew at that moment in time was “I don’t know if I will succeed, but I will just die if I don’t try!”. I had no fear of failure- it was pure blind ambition at its finest! There were several reasons I decided I wanted to work for myself. I felt I had hit a ceiling working for someone else, and I am still (fairly) young and have much I want to explore in the design world. When working for someone else I felt the obligation to design and sell any project that was put in front of me, but I was at the point in my career where I wanted to build a brand and a look. I like the flexibility with working for myself that I can “pivot” if something isn’t working, and try something else. It’s a constant ebb and flow. When you work for someone else, change and progress is a lot slower. However, I will say I loved working with great teams over the years. Some of my closest friends I have made over my years working for others. I am so thankful to all the job opportunities I have had – they have made me who I am! Working for myself, and now with a small team, is so different than working for a larger company. I love my business- it’s truly a part of me!”
St. Petersburg, FL
“Once we had brought on multiple monthly social media management clients, I knew that it was time for me to quit my full time corporate position. What surprised me the most was how challenging it was to hold myself accountable, set my own schedule and stay focused on one task at a time. In corporate, you’re doing the same thing every day, for my own company – we manage multiple companies at once so it was a big mental shift for me.
My #1 tip is: Be willing to set a schedule and use a planner to get organized. It can feel very overwhelming but when you map out tasks to an entire week, you realize that you can accomplish things one small piece at a time.”
"I was working 3 days per week in an office job while building up my copywriting business. I had it in my head that I was about 3 months away from quitting, when I was called into my boss's office to learn that the company was folding and we would all lose our jobs. I got a payout that would last me about 6 weeks so I decided to just give my all to copywriting and see if I could survive. It worked! I think it's really hard to build up a full-time income's worth of business while still working another job. So I'd encourage you to save enough money to survive on for a couple of months (I was aiming for at least 3, but it didn't happen that way), then quit your job at the point where you think you could realistically get to the point of supporting yourself within a few months.”
"My transition to becoming self employed as an artist was a pretty slow one. It can be so scary taking that leap of faith into the unknown. In reality I would say it is a series of small steps that eventually lead you to becoming your own boss rather than one big jump.
I graduated from the London college of communication with a BA in illustration in 2007 before working as a graphic designer on movies for a couple of years. In 2009 I moved into promotional work-- hostessing and sampling brands at street level and at corporate events. It was a great money earner, but I think I lost sight of what it was I truly wanted to do which was art! A lot of time in life we look back and feel that time has been wasted but it rarely has. Most experiences can count in some way towards evolving as a person and gaining confidence and inspiration towards our future goals.
My top four tips in eventually working for yourself:
1. Be aware of perfectionism and try not to take your work too seriously. The more you put it on a pedestal the further away it feels to grasp. It is not life and death and the sun will still rise and set regardless. This helps me to relax if I'm ever getting too self critical or overthinking a piece of work. In the past perfectionism has stifled my creativity and stopped me from putting my work out which was in reality ready, I'd talk myself out of it and never show it to anyone else.
This is such a shame as the world really does need our ideas and creativity. From personal experience my advice is to just press send, print or share even when it feels like the scariest thing in the world! It definitely gets easier once you have started that initial first step in putting your work out there. The best thing is the response you can get from people, some of my best sellers at trade fairs have been my personal least favourite designs! It's really helpful getting the chance to see what people actually like in the real world. In a way the work almost becomes separate from you which helps with perspective.
2. Be kind to yourself. Have positive self talk and tell yourself you are doing your best with what you have. Build yourself up. Remember even the smallest steps can amount to big results over time.
3. Keep centered in yourself, it is your journey and you are going at your own pace. Be careful of looking too much to established people that have already achieved a lot, it can be overwhelming and make you feel like you have the biggest mountain to climb by comparison. We are all living our own story with different starting points. Our situations and difficulties are totally different from one person to the next so it's not fair on yourself to compare.
4. Take time to be in nature, even if that means a walk in your local park listening to bird song and watching all of the happy dogs go by. Enjoy your process and be confident that you will reach your goals as good things really do take time. One of my favourite quotes is 'Nature doesn't hurry yet all is accomplished'.
5. Finally confidence. You can do it and you have every right to have your very own space in the world. You can be happy and earn money from doing what you love, it might not happen overnight but it is something worth working towards. Nobody completely has their s**t together-- we are all just making it up as we go along and you can totally do the same!"
“Being your own boss is incredible, but it can also be draining as there is almost always more work to be done. During the transition from working for someone else to working for myself, it was very helpful to schedule "office hours". This ensured I set the necessary time aside for my business while also allowing myself the necessary "personal time" that is often put on the back burner when you own your own business.”
“After graduation, I worked a 9-5 job at my university for 18 months. I only left that job once was my business was steady. It was hard working long hours and juggling both my web development business and my job. But, it was the right decision for me. I needed that stable income coming in.”
"For me (and I was single at the time) I knew I wanted to first be financially secure. So at the time my expenses were 3k a month. So I saved $20k with my photography (which took a couple of years when I first started!), made sure I had a solid clientele, then quit my job. I knew if photography didn’t work out, I would have 6 months to live on while looking for something else. I was scared, but knew I found my passion... and never looked back. I started 10 Years Ago in this biz and went full time 7 years ago. Have a life plan, financial plan and definitely a business plan.. be prepared. Don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. You can do and be anything you want!”
"You'll take the leap when you can no longer NOT do your passion biz full time. That was my experience-- and it didn't look "responsible" on paper, I didn't have a full roster of clients but I could not put my heart, time & energy into 2 businesses and have both get 100%.”