It’s coming up on a year since I took the plunge and went out on my own. I’ve built a (very small) team, worked with some phenomenal people on amazing projects, moved cities and gone a long way to finding balance in my life.
Here’s five of the best lessons I’ve learnt over the last twelve months:
1. It never rains but it pours.
Everyone told me that I’d end up always either crazy busy or worried where the next cheque might be coming from – and that has been absolutely true. I’m still trying really hard to work on balancing expectations and making sure I commit to what I can deliver effectively and not push too far.
Plus I’m still learning to trust the universe and enjoy the quiet times. The next project will show up just when it’s needed.
2. Get support where you need it.
Outside of the support from my team, this year I’ve leaned on some professionals to help me in the areas of building a business I just couldn’t (or shouldn’t tackle for myself), like branding and creating my overall business model. Working with advisors like Business Chicks resident career coach Bella Zanesco has proven game changing – helping me to get clarity on what I need to succeed. Worth every penny.
3. Settle on exactly what you’ll be delivering before you deliver it.
I have fallen victim to the classic case of over-servicing, quoting on projects that end up taking twice as long, with twice as many meetings and phone calls and revisions than expected. I’ve learnt to make sure I price my time carefully and with an understanding it’s mostly me doing the work – these days I don’t have a whole team to rely on.
4. Find a place to work.
Working from home started off rocky. My place had never been so clean nor my partner so well fed – there are so many distractions at home and I had so many built-up overdue home life tasks to complete it was hard to remain focused. The minute I moved to a co-working space, everything clicked and I was able to turbo charge my productivity, whilst quarantining time to spend at home with all the things I love – like reading, exercising and painting.
5. Stay in touch.
The biggest and hardest part has been keeping and building my network. Moving to a new unfamiliar city and working for myself, I realised just how sick I could get of my own company. I missed my friends and family and I missed the daily interactions with colleagues. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to attend events, start volunteering locally and become involved in the community. It was super important to me I start making friends and contacts to have some adult conversation and keep me on the right track.
Megan Purcell is a Premium Member who helps businesses, community groups and authorities to work with government – securing grants, creating successful tenders and influencing policy changes that benefit not only commerce but community. If you’d like to learn more, she’d love to help. Find more on her website.
Connect with Megan here.