In April 2020, I celebrated one year of starting my own business. My clients ask me about my experience of being self-employed and how it was for me to jump out of the comfort zone of the corporate life.
I would like to share with you my 6 key learnings.
1. You are the CEO of Your Life Whether you are an employee or running your own business - I realized more than ever during the past year that we have all full responsibility for all aspects of our life and business: Marketing, Sales, Finances, Health, Relationships, Career... There is no place to hide, no one else to blame.
I am fully accountable for all my results and actions: set up my goals, manage my everyday schedule, set up helpful routines and monitor my progress and results. The buck starts and stops with myself as a business owner. Often I do not have the support infrastructure I used to enjoy as an employee, so I have had to learn to be resourceful and take more responsibility as a consequence. Designing the life and work on your own is a big opportunity and challenge at the same. There were times when I was working 7 days a week and two summer months with lots of free time. What helped me is to come up with a checklist of my success ingredients to keep up the momentum. Here are some of my daily practices:
Plan your day the night before
Start with important to do’s that have the biggest impact
Ignore phone during the first hour of the day, meditate and set an intention
Move and walk min 10.000 steps per day
Read one book chapter per day
2. Traveling is the school of Life There is no Life school such as the one that travelling provides. In one year, I traveled and worked in more than 30 different cities all over the world. I gave up my flat and rented apartments and rooms, slept on friend’s couches, my old childhood bed, all kinds of hotels, Airbnb’s, even a castle. I met writers, Candomblé priests, EU policy makers, podcasters, business owners, business school students, volunteers, digital nomads, hypnotherapists, and many more people that I would not have met in a regular office. I experienced completely new ways of working. Working remotely allowed me to immerse myself in different cultures, cities and regions. I met my coaching clients on the plane or during a retreat, places I would have definitely not expected.
3. Be ready to move out of the comfort zone I had to face my fears, blind spots, beliefs that are holding me back, face them head on, learn new skills and mind-set. It is very confronting but it has allowed me to successfully climb the steepest learning curve I could face. Things do not always go as planned. I broke my mobile phone and lost two suitcases whist traveling, made many mistakes – a global pandemic has recently stopped life and most business, as we know. I am learning how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Seeing uncertainty as a big opportunity to grow stronger. I compare it with sitting in an airplane and going through turbulence. We cannot control the weather. But we take a deep breath, ride the wave and stop resisting. Turbulence is not a permanent condition, and this, too, shall pass.
4. Know your Why When you follow your own path, doubt can set in regularly. Most of people have a very different lifestyle from mine. That’s why it is important to know your Why. Everyday, I connect with my intention. The impact I want to make for my clients. My values. Whom I want to be. And who are the people and organizations I want to support.
“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
I love what I do because it has allowed me to create value for others. And I get to work with people from different countries and sectors. I see the transformation of my clients and I feel blessed to be part of their journey.
5. Build Your Tribe I often missed my daily interactions with my former colleagues: Working on your own can be lonely and isolating if you do not organize yourself to manage it. It’s incredibly important to surround yourself with people that have the same ambitions, values, and goals as you do. For me it was helpful to work in co-working spaces, work with personal coaches and mentors, intentionally build a tribe, collaborate, and learn from people that are my role models.
6. Enjoy the Journey! What is a fulfilling life? For me it is doing what I am good at, serving others, growing as much as I can, and feeling alive every day. We can all choose to live a fulfilling life. It takes courage, conviction, and self belief. The lesser traveled road is certainly not the easiest one to take in life, but in my case it has been the most rewarding one, which has led to an exponential level of personal growth for me. I would like to support as many people as possible to build a purposeful (work)life and take a leap of faith.
“Take a leap of faith. You will either land somewhere new or learn how to fly”