What I Wish I Knew Before Jumping Into Self-Employment 6 Weeks Ago
I burnt out after 4 weeks and here is what I would do differently
I finally said goodbye to my 9 to 5 at the beginning of December last year.
This time was different as I immediately embarked on my self-employment journey the next day.
I thought I will apply a five-hour work day and start living the work-life philosophies I aspired to.
Except that is not what happened.
I worked all the way till the 31st of December. I went though a dark festive week when I could have been with family enjoying Christmas dinner and New Year. I blamed it on Omicron when in fact i was too scared to lose my momentum.
The next day I pulled the plug (on the overwork) and I bought a ticket to go back home the following week and currently taking two weeks ‘off’.
I am not really off since I am writing on here and attending to bits of admin. But I am not grasping on to the last straw of productivity I thought I needed.
What went wrong?
As much as I love my new life and have no regrets so far, I have never done the self-employed life. I do not know how to do it well yet and I have to accept that.
I planned it like I would schedule a normal employee workday, the life that I knew. And I was a hardcore employee. The eat at your desk kind.
So, my new life threw me off balance, however much I tried to plan and organise my day.
Indeed, what went wrong was that I forgot to breathe.
What I wish I knew about self-employment:
- It does not need to be a sprint. I wanted to reach for that stability and security I had as part of a job within a month. So that life could feel normal and familiar again.
- The feeling of being on your own, without the backing of a job, ebbs and flows. At certain times it feels totally exhilarating then at times, a mini panic attack sweeps over you. Like you said yes to sky-diving then cursing yourself at the moment of jumping.
- Getting over the employee mindset takes time.