I recently did some consultation work with someone who is exploring moving into being self-employed. He was a shining example of what you should do (in my opinion), even before his chat with me – and it’s inspired me to put down some bullet points that I think give some ideas of good practice for anyone considering starting out in self-employment.
Here’s what Bob has done to get a good start to his self-employed life:
- He knows what he wants to do and – crucially – he’s passionate about it.
- He’s prepared by saving up some money to live on while he develops his business. This will save him from having to rush into things and make mistakes.
- He’s found some mentors, both in his business and outside it in the general small business world.
- He’s arranged some work experience with someone in his chosen field.
- He’s already understood that it’s not great to do things “for free” – far better to do them for your portfolio, for a reference, for a recommendation.
- He’s willing to learn – both his particular skill and about general business principles.
- He’s open-minded about where his business might take him and willing to grasp new opportunities.
- He’s prepared to outsource and ask for help, e.g. getting a family friend involved in setting up his website.
- He’s prepared to be accountable, planning to keep me and maybe some others updated on how he’s doing.
- He’s accepted that it’s likely to be an emotional journey, more than any career within a larger organisation usually is.
I think all of these things stand him in good stead for a successful and happy change to self-employment. And there are ten of them – how handy!
If you want to read about how I moved into self-employment and the freelancing life, take a look at my business category on this website, or even my books. No pressure, though – you might just want to take these principles to heart!