How to get a good start to your self-employment

06 Apr

handshakeI 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:

  1. He knows what he wants to do and – crucially – he’s passionate about it.
  2. 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.
  3. He’s found some mentors, both in his business and outside it in the general small business world.
  4. He’s arranged some work experience with someone in his chosen field.
  5. 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.
  6. He’s willing to learn – both his particular skill and about general business principles.
  7. He’s open-minded about where his business might take him and willing to grasp new opportunities.
  8. He’s prepared to outsource and ask for help, e.g. getting a family friend involved in setting up his website.
  9. He’s prepared to be accountable, planning to keep me and maybe some others updated on how he’s doing.
  10. 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!



Posted by on April 6, 2016 in Business


Tags: ,

2 responses to “How to get a good start to your self-employment

  1. Mike

    September 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for these “ten.” I teach at a school of business, more specifically a SEP program and these are 10 valuable suggestions and insights that any new start-up should be familiar with. As time goes on with a new business more will come but starting somewhere that is realistic is so essential and I love these! Hope you don’t mind me sharing with my current class, they are just starting out on this fantastic adventure!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz Dexter

      September 23, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Mike, and yes, please do share away, as long as you mention they came from me somewhere. I’m glad this post is still helping people.



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