Late last year a friend proposed a question to me as I was ending my relationship with a former employer. She asked, “Why don’t you try working for yourself?” She asked.
Always a company man, I was taken back by the suggestion. Working for myself seemed like a distant dream, not something I could realistically achieve in my mid-twenties. After all, what tools and resources did I have to be successful?
Following the meeting I reflected on the question further and came to the conclusion that thanks to a perfect mixture of life circumstances and professional experience, persuing a solo endeavor was actually quite possible for me.
The initial conversation I had at the start of the year led to a shift in the New Year which made me realign my focus and priorities. Now in my seventh month, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few clients including Citizen University, Marx Foods, and most recently Seattle Goodwill and Tripcierge.
The transition from a component of a PR agency to a solo life hasn’t been seamless; I’ve had my fair share of learning moments and reconfigured take offs.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned so far on this unexpected journey.
Clients are people
Common sense but easy to forget when conducting business. Connecting with people on a 1:1 level and sharing personal information helps you connect with clients and enhances your relationship with them. As I was once told, no one wants to do business with jerks or robots.
Update your network
New business can sprout from just about anywhere. Your friend or former client could help you discover your next lead. Thanks to social media it’s easy to quickly update your network. LinkedIn is often the best tool for this task.
Keep in touch
Contracts by nature are designed with an end date in mind but it’s important to keep communication open with former clients. A friendly email or call usually will suffice.
Weekends are Imaginary
Weekends are a product of the industrial 9-5 work culture. While they won’t completely disappear, prepare for the lines to blur; work isn’t confined strictly to Monday – Friday.
Meet new people
Entrepreneurship requires creating new connections frequently. Networking is a vital comment to success.
Batteries run down much quicker when you’re on your own; Ways to prevent it include spending time with family and friends, consuming inspirational media, and indulging in guilty pleasures or hobbies.
Photos Courtesy of smig44_uk