Change can be a double-edged tool. It can be invigorating, dynamic and exciting. Or any change can present a challenge, a threat or a huge hurdle to overcome.
So, just how do you deal with change – and how can you make a transition easier?
Becoming self-employed will be one of the biggest changes many of us make. Gone is a regular wage, fixed hours, set routine and a network of colleagues. Self-employment is often called a roller coaster of emotions – the wins and the ‘aha’ moments can be huge, but the lows and worries can be massive and constant too.
On top of this, we live in a world where changes happen constantly and often without warning.
Here are eight tips to help you deal with change, particularly if you are new to self-employment.
1. Create a routine. This may have you running for the hills but stay with us! Becoming your own boss may have been part of a process to leave the world of routine behind – ditching the 9-to-5. But without some kind of routine, your working day will simply drift along. A morning routine can be especially beneficial because no matter how the rest of the day goes, you will have started well, and know the tasks you want to complete that day. For some more motivation, check out the start of the day ideas from some successful people here.
2. Create some boundaries between home and work. This is a particularly difficult one if you are working from home, as well as starting a new business. Especially in the early days, building the business is all-consuming but if you don’t make time to switch off, you will – quite simply – burn out. You may well alienate those close to you too. Make an agreement with yourself that you will stop working at a certain time and set a timer on your phone to stop the scrolling through social media during the evening.
3. Ensure that people around you know your boundaries too – and that you can’t suddenly look after their children/have tea/take in parcels during your working time.
4. Create your own home working space no matter how small. Part of this is respecting your business and yourself as a business owner. Pinterest is brilliant for inspiration for your space or you may get some ideas on this blog too.
5. Make sure you build a network of supporters. This is so important. Becoming self employed is such a change to anyone’s life and it’s vital that you surround yourself with people who understand your situation. Often family and friends may be caring and supportive but may simply just not get the challenges you face. You can network in real life or online – in the early days your support system may be made up of people you have met on courses as you will all be at a similar stage.
6. Here’s a real challenge. Try to keep calm – try meditation, boxing, walking around the corner, screaming into a pillow. Exercise and stress-busting solutions become particularly important during periods of change, so it is worth finding time during your day or week to build in something which helps.
7. Be patient. Again, easier said than done but businesses take time to build. The internet is a wonderful source of information when you are changing things up. But it’s also where we can disappear down rabbit holes of envy. Don’t be fooled by the people who claim to have built a six-figure business in 12 months – or less. There is always much, much more to stories like this and businesses take time and effort to establish.
8. Don’t forget to have some fun. Becoming self-employed is time consuming and all encompassing at times. For lots of people the very reason they want their own business is to get some freedom but they end working more hours than ever. So, take time out – the jobs will still be there when you get back but the world won’t have stopped turning. Have fun. Smell that coffee.
At Enterprise Exchange, we specialise in helping people with additional barriers become self-employed or start a business to transform their lives. Please do follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our news and resources.