When I became self-employed, many people who had never been self-employed or worked from home, were giving me advice, some with good intentions, but the advice was often wrong. Others were and some still do, trying to use my new found flexibility to their advantage, and work towards ‘their’ ambitions.
It got to the stage that if I mentioned a business idea, one person would want to be involved, another person would tell me how I should do it, and a third would tell me it wasn’t possible.
Also I had allowed my outgoing costs to be affected as well. I was paying for expensive services that were eating my margins, and worse yet some of those services were not fit for purpose! However the time, and hassle to find other solutions was daunting, so I carried on using them.
It was only when a few situations changed in my life, that I finally said enough was enough. I used to be known for thinking outside of the box, for finding unique solutions to problems, and somehow I had lost that thread, and I was letting others affect my thinking.
I am not running an enterprise level business, so why should I act like I am? I’m self-employed and have the opportunity to be bold, brave and ambitious, to the extend that I could look crazy in others eyes, but guess what, it is my business, not theirs.
I’ve stopped listening to most of my peers, and when the market changed, my business has carried on, whilst many fell over. I’m once again thinking outside of the box and finding a path that works for me.
I stopped paying for a few expensive services, with many not being replaced. All that reclaimed money! In a few cases it left me with unneeded hardware, which I either sold, gave away or properly disposed of. I made sure I didn’t think like an ‘enterprise’ and try and justify the continued use of equipment, because of the initial outlay. I made a mistake, I admitted it to myself, I made a decision, and I moved on.
I’ve also learnt to say ‘no’ more, in a variety of circumstances. A customer wanting something in place for a Monday and telling me on a Friday. A customer wanting me to provide services that I don’t want to. People wanting favours, that will damage my business. Sounds harsh, and believe me I do a lot of favours, but people will push, push and push if you allow them to.
Being self-employed is like being on the frontier. People try to tell you things need to be done certain ways, but it is your business, your time, money and effort. I’m using technology to help me, not to hinder.
I’m often making business decisions that are unconventional, and untested. It works for me, and it has relit the passion in me for my business.
I’m busy knocking down barriers.