Wow - how did that happen? Here I am, in my late 50’s and for the first time in my working life I am self-employed. Well, that sells it a bit short. Not just self-employed but an entrepreneur! Having had a great idea, I am now developing and leading a business. So “Wow” and “Uh-oh” in the same breath.
Most of the time it is the most wonderful, exciting, challenging, growing thing I have done. Working from home means less travel and less cost. It gives me an opportunity to organise my time to suit me. To find the time to do the things I want to do. And it is easier, much easier to deal with the odd bit of personal stuff. With my business partner, I am learning new skills every day, honing and fashioning our idea together, finding our niche, writing resources, and facing the challenges of marketing and promoting our business. We laugh - a lot. We have fun. And as my company, Third Quarter Tribe, is based on our own experience, challenges, and triumphs we truly believe that what we are doing can help others over 50 looking to make a change in their lives.
The downsides I hear you ask? It's hard. Much harder than I thought. There seems to be a mountain of work to get through just to get to the starting line. There are the days when you really wonder just what you are doing and why you are doing it. The safety of a regular wage can seem deceptively attractive (if you overlook the cr*p you have to deal with in many jobs). You can get tired and the doubts creep in, and my confidence wavers. I wonder what the future holds. I didn’t realise that it took so much time, energy (both physical and mental) to adapt to being your own boss. For instance trying not to feel guilty about allowing myself the luxury of a day off seems silly, but true. It's a scary place so I was really heartened to read a LinkedIn blog from another lady, just like me, going through the same thing - as she called it the Fuccck day. Quite appropriate I thought.
What helps me? First up a working routine. I make sure that I am up to start work at a regular time and dressed in work clothes every day that I am working. I give myself regular breaks and I do exercise regularly throughout the day even if it's just a couple of minutes. I stay hydrated. I eat at regular times. I maintain a working structure to my day.
I also reach out and ask for help. I am lucky to have a business partner who has been there, done this before, worn the T-shirt and supports me wholeheartedly. I have a secure home life with a partner that supports what I am doing.
I am learning not to be shy about telling people our idea. And how fantastic it is and how we really want to help others. The more times I say it aloud the more feeling confident I am. It also helps us focus on what's important, and how we can communicate it as crispy as possible to others. I found this very hard to start with. Why? Because I f was scared of rejection, being laughed at, ignored, or humiliated in some way. Probably due to some hard life lessons as an employee, even recently. I have learned to put my game face on and become that professional persona. And guess what. Nobody has laughed or rejected me. It's been the reverse. I have found nothing but love and support from a whole range of people who we are working with.
So if you are striking out on your own, remember to acknowledge the difficulties as they will always be there. Work through them if you can, ask for help when you need it and if it's really really a bad day go and do something nice for yourself. Oh and laugh, often. We do.
It is a magnificent, exciting, scary place BUT I don’t want to be doing anything else. If you would like help changing your life, job, or career why not contact us now - firstname.lastname@example.org. We are not scary - honest!