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Advice to my past (newly self-employed) self

I’ve been reflecting a bit recently (lockdown has that effect), on how much my work life has changed in the last few years. From corporate life, to maternity leave, to business owner and freelancing. It’s been quite a ride (especially during a global pandemic) and it definitely hasn’t been a linear journey, but I’ve learnt so much that I’d love to tell my newly self-employed self.

So here are 4 pieces of advice:


"You can and WILL make money" This was one of the biggest blockers for me (hello corporate conditioning) and was a huge doubt for me, until it actually happened! I was so used to that passive pay cheque that I knew exactly what was coming each month, that when I had to actively make money, it all felt quite *alien*. Building connections with people, putting myself out there and being open to opportunities were key in the early days. "You will do work that you never imagined was a possibility" Having multiple income streams opened me up to other avenues that I never thought was a possibility, so being open to this was key to exploring what I did and didn't want to work on. It was only when I started to look at my work as a ‘portfolio’ with multiple income streams, that I was able to start mapping out the ways in which I could generate income (there’s so much more to cover here so I will do a blog post soon!) "It will take time, but you will get there" It's easy to focus on where someone is now, without seeing the journey and slog it took to get them there (Social media has ALOT to answer for here). That sometimes gives the perception that things happen straight away, when that's not the case. Getting clarity on what success looked like to me and the life vision I was working on, was key to ensure I stayed in my own lane and didn’t get caught up in other people’s versions of success.

In the early days I blindly took consistent steps forward hoping they were the right ones, so I'd love to tell myself that things have worked out!


"Your mindset is something you will continually need to work on" I stupidly thought when I was in a good position workwise, that I wouldn't suffer from confidence lapses or imposter syndrome. That is not the case! I think mindset is something that constantly needs to be worked on when you are a business owner as the goal post constantly move as you tick off your achievements!


Being aware of this (and talking to other female business owners further down the line in their journey), helped me see that I wasn’t alone in the struggle and that mindset is something that takes constant work (and is much ‘work’ as your paid work is!)


I’d love to know what you’ve thought of these pieces of advice and if those have helped you if you are about to embark or in the early stages of self-employment. Email me emily@emilybuttoncreative.com

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