3 mistakes I made while pursuing self-employment
Today marks 6 months since I had my last full-time working day on May 31st, 2022.
It has been quite a ride so far with certain milestones:
- Celebrated turning 30 at a 10-day silent meditation retreat
- Published a bunch of videos while going through Minimum Viable Video
- Pursued a 3-month course that was always at the back of my mind
- Started on the path of independent consulting as a freelance marketer and writer
The first 3 months without a job were exciting and exhilarating. Most of my time went into the course during those months. But, it was like a honeymoon period where I loved my life and had the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
Initially, the plan was a 3-4 month break during which that course was the main goal.
But, then I decided to try the self-employment route for a few more months. This was also to test my survival skills in a big city without a ‘proper’ full-time job. Of course, I had the luxury of savings for a couple of more months. But I also had a reasonable belief that I would make it work.
It was not until September that I actually had to worry about making a living as an independent worker on a pathless path.
While I have managed to survive these 3 months as well but now, the reality has set in completely. The magical freedom of honeymoon has been replaced by constant anxiety and overwhelm.
In retrospect, I made a few mistakes that could have been avoided to prevent that anxiety.
1. Not doing enough cold outreach & networking
This is something I had severely underestimated.
While I knew its importance, I underestimated my ability to do cold outreach and network with people. It does not come naturally to me as an introvert but that is no excuse.
Relationships take time to develop and you cannot expect people to turn to customers in 1 or 2 meetings. In the beginning, you might already have clients but you always need to keep your pipeline ready.
Ideally, this activity also includes getting clarity on your ideal client avatar and the kind of people you want to work with.
2. Not writing and publishing regularly
In the past few months, one thing has become almost clear to me: I really like the idea of being a creator, be it in any form.
The idea of creating something from scratch has always energized me- be it creating a project management workflow on Asana from scratch or shooting a video or creating a website.
Writing is one medium that comes naturally to me. It falls under one of the key strength areas that I failed to leverage. I have always wanted to write and publish more frequently on Twitter and my website.
But I never took dedicated action on this.
This is almost an inexcusable mistake. :/
3. Not building the discipline for health and wellness
This is one major reason why I feel I have not lived up to my potential in the past few months.
I had given myself some flexibility during the honeymoon period. But I should have taken more strict action on developing some habits in this area.
I have struggled with maintaining focus and energy levels without a proper sleep schedule, a lack of physical movement, and a poor diet.
But, this is one area where I have already started paying attention.
So, at the moment of writing this, I am not feeling as guilty as I felt in the last 2 sections. 😀
I am trusting myself to take action on these areas in the last month of 2022 and take the momentum to 2023.
Have you been also struggling/struggled in similar areas?
How did you/plan to deal with it?
Any thoughts or tips?
Until next time