I’m self-employed with Simple et Chic for exactly 10 months now. During this period of time, I have gone through many ups and downs and I learned more than I ever have before. I learned many things, that I didn’t know about me yet. I recognized weaknesses and discovered new strengths, I cried many tears but I also experienced wonderful moments of happiness and pride. There were times, where I was very frustrated, but all in all, the positive things outweigh the bad ones. Self-employment is a bumpy path that has a lot of unexpected obstacles. But either way, you grow on them and develop. Many of you asked me, what it’s like to be self-employed and what happened in the recent month. Therefore, I want to share with you 11 lessons that I learned from being self-employed.
1. Self-employment is an emotional rollercoaster
I’m a very emotional and sensitive person. Actually, I like those characteristic properties of mine but sometimes, I wish I would be a little bit more calm and patient. Self-employment means risk and insecurities. I don’t know how many times I said, that I would stop blogging or was simply angry, disappointed or stressed out. But on the other hand, there are moments that make me fly and trigger so many positive feelings in me that show me, that all the hard work and the many ups and downs are worth it. Self-employment is an emotional roller coaster with many double-loops. But you have to dare! Always keep in mind: everything you want is on the other side of fear.
2. You have to love what you do
You need a passion for what you are doing. Simple et Chic is my baby and I put so many hours, hard work and love in this blog. I love social media, I love being creative and to be connected with you. This passion is what drives me and motivates me. If you’re not 100% behind it, you are probably going to fail. You have to really love what you are doing
3. You need a work/life balance more than ever
… and this is quite difficult. I work at home, Roman meanwhile, too. We live here, we eat here, we sleep here and we work here. It’s not that easy all the time and we have to face new challenges every day. A clear separation of business and private life is extremely important and essential for your business, your relationship and your social life in general. You need a healthy balance to your job. For me it’s my family, fitness, traveling, my friends, cooking etc.
4. Networking is valuable for your work
To meet creative people who share the same passion, can be very valuable for your work. I’m super happy, that I can share my experiences, ideas and thoughts with some like-minded creative friends on a regular basis. It’s nice to support each other and it’s so much fun when you’re together. A good example for me is the recent Paris Fashion Week, that I planned together with Magdalena. Being on myself everything would have been half as good and it’s just wonderful when colleagues become friends. I’m really grateful for that and I don`t want to miss it. An exchange with like-minded people has so many benefits for your work. It’s great to get an honest feedback from people who work in the same industry and it’s essential to look at things from different perspectives.
5. Organization is the key to everything
Once you’re disorganized, the chaos begins. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about. Especially in the first weeks of being self-employed, it was a total mess and sometimes it only needs a busy week to bring my organization structure to fall apart. In my article „10 tips to be more productive while working from home“, I’m sharing some of my tips with you, that help me to organize my day.
6. You have to motivate yourself every day
I remember that in my first days of full-time blogging, I got up super early every day, since I was so excited to finally make that big step in my life. I still love my job and don’t regret the decision, but it’s not always that easy. But hey, that’s ok and that is totally normal. There are times, where I have to kick myself in my behind to motivate me, or phases where I have a creative block in my head. To motivate yourself every single day isn’t that easy all the time. You have to practice it and develop your own techniques.
7. You need people around you, that support you, no matter what
Self-employment is stressful, exhausting, energy-consuming, exciting, interesting and wonderful all at the same time. Especially during my first month, I was totally stressed out and it took some time until I found my own rhythm. But one thing is for sure: without the support of my family and my friends, I would have gone crazy. My mom, for example, always brings me to the bottom of the facts, she is a great listener and has always a good advice for me. My sister is a true motivation-machine and cheers me on whenever I need it. My father stays calm, no matter what and he always has at least three backup plans for the emergency case. Without Roman, the blog wouldn’t run, he is always so patient with everything and I love that he encourages me to dream big. Simple et Chic is his baby, too and I couldn’t be happier about it. He’s my hero!
8. You have to learn to multitask
When you’re self-employed (and don’t have 10 co-workers) you have to take care of everything no matter if you’re good in it or not. My tasks go from research for blog posts, writing blog post, editing them, sending out offers, taking care of the calendar, of invoices, tax and social media over document management, responding to emails, going to events and much more. Keeping track is hard and multitasking is essentially important. You have to be careful not to make all at once so that in the end, there is no task that is handled carelessly. Instead seeing the big mountain of tasks, you should divide your tasks into smaller areas. That may be difficult in the first month, but it’s all a matter of practice. In the end, it’s a great feeling, that you can collect so many experiences in so many different areas.
9. Sometimes you have to fail 100 times before something good happens
The trick is to not give up and to always stay positive. Of course, this doesn’t work in every situation, but it’s a pure training thing. Patience is something that I’m still practicing hard. It’s normal to make mistakes and it is even good. Without mistakes and their consequences, there wouldn’t be any learning process and no development. In the recent month, I made a lot of mistakes but I am glad, that I made them. Because I learned so much from them. Don’t be afraid of mistakes, they help us to evolve.
10. It is important to invest
To spend money almost always hurts. But sometimes you have to invest, it’s simply necessary. For a self-employed that has no fixed monthly contracts, every month can be different. To save an emergency Euro or Dollar is definitely important, no question. However, it is also essential not to save on the wrong ends. You need to invest in your dream sometimes to get the best possible result. An example for a blogger would be a professional, customized website design. If you didn’t study computer science, it’s pretty difficult to handle all the HTML, CSS and all the codes that come with designing a new site. Do research, let several people send you proposals and put down a realistic budget, that you want and you are able to spend. Another invest which is pretty important for bloggers is a good camera equipment. We use the Canon 5D Mark III with 3 different high-quality lenses. Of course, this was expensive. But It was the most worthy investment ever. My blog wouldn’t exist without photos and therefore, the investment in an excellent camera was totally necessary for us. High-quality pictures are very important to us and our clients.
11. Time management is not a talent, it’s a habit
Especially in the first weeks of being self-employed, I often miscalculated the time. In a job that involves a lot of deadlines, the right time management clearly has its benefits. In the end, it’s the quality of our work that suffers most when we have time pressure. In my article „10 tips for a better time management“, I share with you some interesting tips to plan your time properly and to never miss a deadline again. Without these methods, I would go crazy!