“Self Employment - A Reason For Setting the Alarm Clock or Do I Really Work at Nothing All Day?”
Pros: Fortunately, I had already worked in a similar business that went bust in the Internet meltdown in Seattle, so I was aware of what kind of work was involved and what the issues were. I also had 10 years of experience working for Microsoft under my belt plus a couple of years teaching at the college level.
Pros: I wanted the freedom to develop my own ideas and experience into a value-added service, where I could realize “exultation” from my accomplishments. So, when I was laid off from a staff position in 1987, I look the leap of faith. Also, in some staff positions, I had worked along side contractors and free lance writers who seemed more “connected” with doing quality work rather than with being a “company soldier”.
Cons: It takes a long time to get known, and I left behind my network and contacts of 20+ years.
Greatest challenges: There are many. Adapting to a new culture (small town vs. big city). Convincing potential clients that my service is worth their investment. Learning new things all the time. Knowing when to say “no”.
Cons: Continually having to market the business and stay ahead of, or at least up with, the competition; pressures of TOTAL responsibility, including insurance, benefits, scheduling vacation around client needs; attracting clients.
Approaches to meet the challenges: I let my personal exhaustion guide me. When I can’t stand up during the day, I figure I have taken on too much.
Greatest challenges: Establishing credibility for being independent. “Blending in”; that is, always considering, remembering, and practicing the proper protocol (especially when on-site) and behavior to remain in touch and in focus.
Approaches to meet the challenges: Try to keep everything within reach; not be afraid NOT to take on a project; no matter how small the accomplishment, experience the growth from it.
How did we get here?
Carolyn, As You Like It Consulting
Mike, On The Same Page Technical Communications