Many of us dream of doing the transition from a corporate 9-5 job into the independent world. Some, do and succeed, some do and freak out and some never take the leap. I took the leap a few years back and many beautiful experiences, afternoons in coffee shops and tons of youtube tutorials later, these are my conclusions and best tips as of this point of my personal journey.
1.Take advantage of the momentum: When you make your own schedules it’s very tempting and very likely to slow down from the pace that you are forced to have in a regular 9-5. Discipline is key to create a successful business and to avoid finding yourself watching cute cat videos for 2 hours on a Monday morning. Take advantage of your existing routine and continue with the same discipline once you leave your job.
2. Don’t be shy: When we first start as independent healers, coaches or any similar job, we are often a bit shy. Fears like: “Who am I to have a website?”, “What will people think if I now suddenly create a social media platform as a coach?”, “What if I do a bit fuzz and then fail?”. My advice, make your crowd walk the journey with you. Tell people about your journey, what you are trying to accomplish and help them help you. (the positive supportive people in your life that is.)
3. Build the platform immediately: Many of us decide to wait to have our craft “perfected” (which will probably never happen) before creating a platform. Create a platform first, give people the opportunity to follow your journey and grow fond of your path, your struggles and successes.
4. Believe in yourself: Do an honest inventory of your skills. When I mean honest I mean, tell yourself what you are truly good at and what you still suck at. Face it. Ask people who know about your craft to give you honest insights and help you understand your strengths. Believe them and understand why customers should work with you over others.
5. Charge accordingly: It’s so easy to fall into the trap of charging very little for what we offer. We are just starting, after all, right? Nop. No one will give you or your services the value they deserve if you don’t. Charge for your time. Charge for your capacity to hold space for another person as a healer or coach. Only then will you be honoring yourself and your efforts. Others will respect you once you respect yourself. If you charge too little it’s a clear sign that you don’t value your own work.
6. Invest if necessary: If you don’t have a ton of income to create your platform, separate the things you are capable of doing yourself from the ones you cannot pull off. Spend your time doing all you can and delegate what you can’t. It’s painful to think in retrospect and realise how much time I’ve spent trying to pull off logos and flyers which wound up looking like a pre-schoolers work and which I wasn’t even supposed to be doing in the first place. Know your limitations, maximise upon them.
7. Look at the future: Generally our goals at the beginning of this transitions are simple, “don’t starve to death” and “manage to make a living from our craft.” Let’s think bigger. When I began, that was my goal and I created this whole structure based on a physical Yoga Studio. Then, once I realised I could manage, I realised: “Shit, this isn’t what I want.” I wanted freedom, so now I’m creating a whole new structure which is location independent so I can travel, have more freedom and income as I continue to help others. Save yourself some time and aim for the stars, right from the get go. Aim for what would really make your life amazing because you, as I did, you will manifest what you desire.
8. Your business is your dream world: We tend to copy the style, the trends, the ideas and the structure of business which do similar things than what we want to do. Remember the whole point of creating your own business is serving others IN YOUR WAY. Don’t get trapped by the illusion that it needs to be a certain way or another. YOU make every single decision here and there’s no need to implement ANYTHING you don’t fully resonate with.
9. Get someone to do the things you hate doing or don’t understand: This I’m just realising as I write this. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out things I could hire someone to figure out for me. Save a chunk of your income for this beautiful angels which can save you ton of anxiety, procrastination and resistance in your overall activities that you, in all honestly, will most likely never figure out because you are not supposed to, your craft is your job.
10. Do the legal shit: When you are going to create your business, save a bit and create the whole legal structure right from the get go. This will sort of, force you to stick to it and make it happen because, well, it’s money you invested and now suddenly your cute pre-schooler flyers are representing a real business. Plus, if you put this off it will be harder to focus on when you have patients, retreats or courses going. Lay the ground properly.
11. Go through all the “business plan” thing your way. Marie Forleo has an amazing program called B-School running once a year. Another one I highly recommend is Mayi Carles “Life is Messy Bootcamp” to figure out all the very important aspects of your new business. Who will you be serving? What problems will you be solving? Going through this process is essential and it can be fun through the mentioned programs or others similar in nature. Business doesn’t have to be boring.
12. Create “plan B’s” for everything: “If I can’t focus at home, I’ll work here…”. “If 8 people don’t sign up for retreat, what happens?”. “If this month is slow on healing therapies, I do this …”. Always expect the best but be ready for anything. When we are working “solo” all possibilities need to be addressed. If you are well prepared, peace of mind will happen and you will be able to enjoy what you do. Specially coming out of a 9-5 safe enviroment, do everything you can to feel at ease and safe.
13. Give yourself room to change your mind, shift and change. Create a business that allows you to evolve with it. If you ONLY offer one service, you can eventually get bored and if all your branding is created about that one only thing, you might have to start over. If you are like me, you might have to start over a gizillion times. What I did was create a healing service which offers Healing therapies, yoga classes, retreats, tarot readings, online courses and all sorts of spiritual content. I can shift and flux between those and move around without having to re-do my whole path or how people see me. I’m basically the spiritual girl and that label can stick for the rest of my life without having to make my life limited in any way.
14. Be authentic. There’s nothing more annoying that someone who makes an effort to appear perfect. Be honest with your customers and they will be honest with you.
15. Fill your own cup first. You can’t help anyone unless you are happy. The energy with which you create things define the response of the public. If you are going crazy trying to finish everything you set yourself to do with a neurotic exhausted energy, that is what will come across to the public unconsciously. Give yourself the proper rest, food, nature time and meditation.
16. Meditate every day. Meditation opens the gateway for divine wisdom to come through to you in the form of ideas. If you allow your human mind to run your business, you will create a lot of human mistakes and direct energy to places where it isn’t needed. Your spirit guides or inner voice will tell you which projects will work and which won’t, if you ask. Don’t waste your time in trial and error, put all of your energy into what you know will work.
17. Be ready for ups and downs in your bank account. Ups and downs. Ups and downs. Sometimes you will feel like the next Tony Robbins and then you might feel like you don’t know what possessed you to take the decision of leaving your 9-5. That’s ok. Be smart about it. Create a fund, have some savings which you CANNOT access, that way if shit hits the fan, technically you are not that bad because there’s money somewhere and this my friend, will allow you to breathe. Don’t listen to that little voice, keep going.
18. Work hard but not TOO hard. If you are like me, you might find yourself so inspired that suddenly, you realise you are no longer on a 9-5, instead you are in a “from when I wake up to when I go to bed” job. Not nice. It’s so easy and tempting because you want it to work so bad and as soon as you see response from the public, you wanna satisfy their every need. Instead, I would suggest to create a schedule and stick to it. Otherwise you might find yourself burnout and pissed.
19. Don’t act like you’ve made it before you make it. Totally guilty of this one. As soon as I get more money than I know what to do with I travel. I blow it out and leave for weeks on end. Oops. Even though I love doing this I admit is what is keeping me small and unaccomplished from my big big dreams. I would suggest, you and me, go with a different approach, what if we have more patience and balance the whole “rewards” situation.
20. Be aligned with what you offer others: I see so many coaches teaching people about things they haven’t even healed themselves within their lives. Take the time to do the inner work before trying to assist others in theirs. Healing is messy man, be honest. Don’t be a broke financial coach, a sick health coach, broken hearted love coach or a envious healer. Be honest. Do something you can be yourself and completely transparent in, nobody is perfect and no one needs you to be. Just be honest. If you have fallen in one of these scenarios, fix it and then be honest about it. Honesty is key.
21. Have fun: When you feel like you know what you are doing and when you don’t, have fun. Have fun every step of the way and if it’s not feeling fun any more, fix it. The whole reason why you will enter this world of uncertainty that it is freelance, is to be able to enjoy your life fully. Get to know yourself, be creative and have fun.
Hope this helps and good luck!