There are things that we prepare for when we move from other-employed to self-employed. We think about what we’ll need to earn and, I hope, the increased tax burden involved in getting to that number. We think about buying our own health insurance and the structure of our business and what program we’ll use to keep the books. We think about post office boxes and client acquisition and logo design.
Rarely, though, do we think about the emotional aspects of business.
Rarely do we anticipate how lonely self-employment can be, how isolating innovation often is.
It’s a topic that comes up with some frequency in my coaching conversations. Once the excitement (and, yes, discomfort) of the initial decision making and steps settle and we get into the routine of daily self-employed life, a quiet can take hold, one into which the gremlins like to yell to hear their own voices echo and see how we quake with the reverberation.
Oof – did it just get dramatic in here? And yet that’s how it can feel: Dramatic, even dire.
And there we are, with no officemate to turn to for the distraction of frivolous chat, no boss to affirm our mission and define our steps. We own it all – the challenges, the drive, the actions, and, to what limited extent we can, the outcomes.
Going indie can feel every bit as vulnerable as falling in love. We feel exposed. We come into intimate contact with our baggage around being worthy and valuable as people. We remove, usually without realizing we’re doing it, the stage props that make a good show of safety, security, consistency and predictability.
These are not reasons to turn back, friends. Rather, it’s a heads-up.
When you hear the gremlins and feel the loneliness and vulnerability – note, I said when, not if – be with it and remind yourself that it’s normal and natural. Say to yourself, “Oh! There’s that loneliness thing! There’s that vulnerability I heard would come!”
Then, tap into your old stubborn 17-year-old self and go get something done, just to prove to the gremlins that they can’t stop you.
There are brilliant coaches out there who will help you build a better business plan. I’m not that. I’m the coach who will help you build a better life and a business that will be an integral part of it. If that’s what you want, give me a holler.