How to Survive Your First Month of Self-Employment
You may be side hustling for a while thinking you have everything under control, but taking your hustle full-time is a different ballgame. You’re the captain of the ship.
Self-employment can be a lot of pressure since the primary source of income is coming from your business. Here are a few tips to help you survive:
1. Set a schedule.
When self-employed, you set your own schedule. Two things can happen if you don’t set a plan: You can start procrastinating, or you could overwork yourself. Set a weekly schedule, so you have some consistency in your day.
I wake up, and the first thing I do is check email for the morning and spend a few hours submitting any client assignments that I need to for the day. Then, I take the dog for a long walk and return to work on personal projects.
I didn’t have a schedule when I first became self-employed, and I wasn’t as productive. It doesn’t have to be a strict schedule, but set the alarm in the morning and at least plan out what needs to be done the night before.
2. Get spending in check.
Be watchful of your spending when you first become self-employed. You may have consistent income from your business, but it’s still good to be cautious when you’ve set out for yourself.
Don’t spend the money in your emergency savings account frivolously. Keep a bare-bones budget just in case the profit from your business takes a hit. I spent far too much the first few months after I quit my full-time job. In hindsight, I should have been tighter with my budget so I could weather the storm when I experienced freelancer famines.
3. Keep connected.
You can get limited human interaction when you run your own business, especially online. There’s no reason to leave the house when you primarily work from home. Start building your tribe and finding other people who run businesses. Networking and communicating regularly with people can keep your social skills fresh. Connections can also lead to new business opportunities.
Local events are great for networking. Joining online Facebook groups or forming your own mastermind are other ways to stay connected. Studies show that entrepreneurship can be isolating. The best way to combat it is being proactive.
4. Continue marketing.
Continue pitching and marketing even if you have a full client load and your business is rocking. You never know when there will be a dry spell or a client will decide to stop working with you. Continued marketing is how you can make sure your name is out there and that you get consistent business.
Putting in your resignation letter to work for yourself is exciting. Remember that there is still a lot of work to be done after it happens. Get yourself on a schedule, tighten up your spending, stay connected to other business owners and mentors, and continue marketing. Taking these steps will help you prosper your first month of self-employment and for years to come.