Over the past two months, I’ve been transitioning from working at a corporate job to working for myself as a blogger and YouTuber. I’ve learnt quite a few things along the way and I thought these lessons might be useful for some of you who’re considering working for yourself or have just made that switch to being self employed (like I did). So here’s a list of ten things I’ve learned from being my own boss.
1. It’s all about the hustle
‘Hustle’ is probably the most overused word amongst entrepreneurs (and maybe rappers), but when you’re working for yourself, you’ve really got to hustle. The results you see in your business will be directly proportionate to the amount of work you put in and hard work, unlike other factors, is controllable. I do believe that luck favors those who work hard, and you are in total control of the amount of work you put in. There’s no one who can get you to where you want to be but you.
2. You’re the boss, but also the employee
When you’re working for yourself, you play the role of the boss and the employee. As your own boss, you have no one looking over your shoulder so it’s easy to lose track and binge watch Netflix, so it’s very important to be disciplined. Once you realize you’re the only person responsible for the progress that you make everyday, it gets easier to figure out what work needs to be done, and allocate that work to yourself so it gets completed efficiently (basically you’re a one person team playing multiple roles).
3. You have to learn to prioritize
Almost always, your to-do list is going to have a million things that you need to get done and before you can check everything off your list, more things will just keep getting added to it. In such situations, prioritizing your work becomes very important. Also, when you don’t have a fixed income and don’t know where your next paycheck is going to come from, every second is valuable. Instead of getting overwhelmed with all the work that you have to do, take some time everyday to organize your tasks and make sure to complete the more important tasks first, when your mind is at its best.
4. Keep learning
So many people assume they’re done learning once they’re out of college but I think the actual learning starts only once you’re out in the real world. I think it’s good to feel like you don’t know much because that makes you want to improve yourself as opposed to just being complacent about yourself. I make it a point to spend at least an hour everyday learning something new and thanks to the Internet, there’s so much good information available out there for free, so do yourself a favor and make good use of it.
5. You’re always going to feel like you’re not doing enough
I always have this feeling at the back of my mind that I’m not doing enough and not living up to my full potential. At first, these thoughts would really bring me down and demotivate me but over time, I’ve learnt that it’s actually good to feel this way because it means you care and you want to be the best version of yourself. The day you stop feeling this way is the day you’ll stop growing so learn to embrace this feeling and take it positively.
6. Haters gonna hate
This is something I’m still learning and trying to get over but when you’re putting yourself out there, there’s bound to be trolls and haters online. I’ve been fortunate to get mostly positive comments on my videos but there’s the occasional hate comment, which can sometimes make you question yourself. Of course, constructive criticism is always good and you should use that feedback to improve yourself, but when it comes to plain mean, hate comments, I think it’s best to just ignore them.
7. There’s no shame in promoting yourself
Selling yourself is one of the most awkward things you’ll probably ever do. When I started blogging, I would feel so awkward sharing my posts with people I knew and even sharing it from my personal Facebook profile. But if you want to make a positive impact and grow your brand, it’s just something you’ll have to learn to do. It definitely gets easier with practice and can sometimes even be fun.
8. Have a productive morning routine
What you do in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day so be more mindful of how you’re spending your mornings. I usually meditate and workout in the morning because that really ups my energy level and helps me have a more productive day. I also plan my day in the morning so I know what work I need to get done that day. I posted a video recently about my morning routine and you can check it out here.
9. It’s important to turn off
When you’re working for yourself, it’s easy to be so caught up with your work that other major things like your health and wellbeing end up taking a back seat. As important as it is to hustle, to be able to do your best work, you need to spend some time during the day NOT thinking about your work. Go for a jog, listen to music, read a book, meditate – there are so many useful ways in which you can spend your time to increase your productivity. And it’s always a good idea to take a break every once in a while to rejuvenate yourself.
10. It’s not easy
But like they say, nothing worth having comes easy. I actually spend longer hours working now than I did when I had a full time job but there are so many wonderful things about being your own boss that all the hard work you have to put in is actually a lot of fun. And that’s the whole point of working for yourself, right?
These are just some of the many things I’ve learned in the last two months by being my own boss. If you liked this post and would like me to write a part 2 with more lessons, comment below and let me know.
Now go out there and work on your dreams to make them a reality.