In September this year, it will be two years since I left the security of my full-time, stable job in communications to work for myself.
Both my blog and my business (Dak & Co) started as side hustles well before I decided to take the leap into the world of self employment.
I remember when I was working full time, I would cram in photoshoots and meetings before work, during lunch breaks and in the evenings, and would hustle as hard as I could so that one day I could work for myself and manage my own business.
I’ll never forget the day that I decided to leave my full time job.
I’d had a massive influx of work (more than I could handle at the time), and had to make the decision to either let the work go and focus on my full time job, or to take the leap and do what I loved full time.
As my business starts to move into it’s next phase (or Dak & Co 2.0 as I like to call it), I thought I’d share with you some of the main things that I have learn’t along the way.
LESSON 1 – How important it is to be disciplined
Being your own boss requires a lot of discipline.
Why? Because there is no one looking over your shoulder giving you guidance or asking you why you haven’t submitted that proposal yet!
I remember the first day working for myself I was so lost.
I had no idea how to structure my day and what to focus on. I would get super distracted and would procrastinate a lot.
It took me a good six months to nut out my schedule and plan out my days, so that I remained disciplined and on track with my work load.
LESSON 2 – It’s normal to question yourself every single day
I question myself and what I’m doing ALL. THE. TIME!
Part of it is because I suffer from anxiety, and generally question everything in life; but also because the responsibility is now solely on me to make my own income.
There are days where I absolutely love what I do and wonder why it took me so long to take the leap, and days where I wonder what jobs are going on Seek…
Honestly, ask anyone that runs their own business – self doubt is very common.
However, once I started working in a way that was true and authentic to what I love and what I want to achieve in life, the doubts started to go away.
LESSON 3 – How to figure out logistics
Starting your own business and working for yourself can be super daunting, as there is SO much involved.
From managing your own finances, including tracking your income and setting monthly targets, to hiring staff and paying your BAS, it can become really overwhelming at times.
However, when you’re self employed you have to accept that these things come with it, and over time they become a lot less scary.
LESSON 4 – When to say no
I used to be a massive yes person.
I would say yes to clients that weren’t who I really wanted to work with, and yes to meetings that I knew were going to be a waste of my time.
Over time however, I learnt the importance of saying no.
This means that I am now more selective with who I work with, and don’t waste my time on projects or meetings that aren’t going to benefit me or my business.
This was super difficult to do at first – especially when you want to get as many clients as you can and make as many connections as you can.
But, over time you start to realise how valuable your time and energy is.
LESSON 5 – How beneficial it can be to find your people
Working for yourself can be isolating, which means it’s important to find people in the same boat as you.
Talking to others who work in the same or similar industry, can mean that when you’re feeling a little unmotivated or need to bounce ideas off someone, they can be your faux colleagues.
I hope that some of the lessons I’ve learnt will serve as support or encouragement for those that also work for themselves, or are thinking of taking the leap!
I know that there is still so much more for me to learn, and I can’t wait to share it with you all along the way.
Photography by simonarphotography.com