It is 10 years since I started to work from home. This makes me self employed for a decade.
I gave up my PR job to start a business when my daughter was 18 months old. She is a beautiful 12 year old now and we also have a 7 year old son, with whom I was able to enjoy the flexibility of working around when he was a baby. With my daughter I had to return to work after my maternity leave ended at 18 weeks and go through the necessary but hard work of expressing my milk in the work toilets and trying to still look well put together when I left the loos- no evidence of the breast pads that were soaking everything up underneath.
With my son, he fed when he needed to feed and my boobs were there when required to ‘go with the flow’ – no pun intended! It was a very different experience – a lot calmer and less pressured for a start, although I did have the pressure of having to bring in my own money. It wasn’t just deposited once a month the way it had been before.
But for all the learning curves and hardships. The sometimes loneliness of being alone all day with no colleagues to ‘bounce off’ or just grab a coffee with, I have never regretted leaving the stability of an employer to learn over the last 10 years how to create my own stability.
These days I’m unshakeable. That’s not to say I’m not human- I still have moments of doubt or insecurity. I still get intimidated when I’m taking the next step up in my career path, but I’ve learned to face it head on and get on with it. No-one is going to build my wings for me- sometimes you just have to take the leap and build them on your way down. But I can honestly say that “I make my own money”.
I go out there and pull it in. I find the opportunities that will yield results. I make the contacts, pitch the ideas, sit and brainstorm. I make time to take care of the business housekeeping. I send and chase where necessary – the invoices. I set aside time for strategic planning. I decide what my next goal will be and start to pursue it. This year, one of my goals is to learn about coding. It’s exciting but also a massive challenge and when I was just kicking about the idea – before I committed to it, I was totally intimidated by it. But I am pursuing it anyway.
Women are stronger and more resourceful than we think. It was only when I became a mother that I entertained the idea of working for myself. Do something today that scares you. Then leave me a comment and let me know what you did. I’m right behind you, cheering you on!