In a corporate environment, you’ll be working under a manager, you’ll be part of a team and you’ll be interacting with different departments. Your experienced colleagues can answer your questions, and training programs will help you develop skills so you’re equipped to deliver on your projects. You’ll even get rewards like salary increases or promotions as you progress in your career.
Working for yourself means that you have the final say on everything you do. The other side of this, though, is that you have no one (except maybe your dog, Max or Cat, Ginger...) to brainstorm with, no feedback, no second opinion. Working solo means you will be making a lot of creative and professional decisions alone. Plus, there’s no training, no one to tell you how to improve and no one to reward you when you do well.
The solution: Phone a friend! And get a support system in place.
Working for yourself, you are the CEO, the manager and the employee. You can fulfill a lot of these roles yourself, but get other people to help you out from time to time.
Here are some of the things you can do to make things a bit easier for yourself:
It’s absolutely vital to your success—and your sanity!—that you find some kind of mentor or coach. (Max or Ginger don’t count sadly.) Find someone that you can connect with regularly and use as a sounding board. They can help you when you get stuck, tell you if what you’re thinking makes sense and provide a different perspective.
You may be a solopreneur, but consider getting a small team. Hire a virtual assistant, social media manager or accountant to provide a support structure and take some of the operational work off your plate.
Celebrate your wins, and give yourself regular rewards. Open some bubbles when you get a big client, book a massage when you’ve had a tough week and make sure you plan some little celebrations to recognize the incredible progress that you’re making.
It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s the only way that you’ll be able to keep things up in the long run without reaching burnout or feeling completed isolated.