In the age of start-ups and entrepreneurship being your own boss is the new goal for many people. However, it is not as easy as it sounds and a lot of you are hesitant to do the leap and go from a stable employment to the insecurity of running your own business.
The good news is that your 9-5 job has prepared you to be your own boss in a lot of ways:
- You are used to having standard working hours. The freedom to work whenever and wherever you like is a huge pro of freelance work but also a great trap – you have to be careful not to spend too much of your time doing housework or running errands or you will not have enough time for your actual business. Which brings us to the next one:
- You can keep your work and personal life separate. It is very easy when starting your own job to confuse business and free time and you have to take care to keep boundaries, beginning from your space (it really really pays off to have a separate working area if you are working from home) to your time (when relatives call during your working hours have them call you back after you’ve finished). Working from home doesn’t mean you are available anytime, tell everyone (and mainly, yourself) that you are indeed working from home and not just staying in.
- You are experienced in team work and therefore you are not afraid to outsource or ask for help and this is indeed another way your 9-5 has prepared you for the demands of running a business.
- You know what NOT to do as a boss (in case you’re employing other people). You have learnt which behaviors are not appreciated by employees and what makes a boss respectable anb now is your chance to put these ideas in practice.
- You have professional know-how and etiquette – you have written thousands of e-mails to company contacts and you have perhaps attended conferences and seminars. Therefore you can deal with many issues as a tried and experienced solopreneur.
- You have experience dealing with urgent projects and deadlines. From your boss’ emergency copywriting job, to last minute modifications and super urgent company presentations, hopefully you know not to let your stress paralyze you and how to use time in your advantage.
- You know how to put up (or not put up) with toxic people – they might have been your co-workers, now they will be your clients, but your office job has definitely made you better in dealing with complaints, insufficient resources and more.
Of course, your own business will be more important to you than working in other people’s companies and therefore more stressful. But remember to take a step back, as you would do if it were someone else’s business and try to think objectively and not only personally. This, too, will help you identify weak spots and develop and implement strategies for success in your new enterprise!
What do you think? Do you feel your 9-5 has offered you more skills, some that I haven’t included here? I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts!