Self-Employment & The New Routine

I think many of us have a dream-like definition of what it means to be self-employed. We pine for the the flexibility to wake up we want to, take leisurely mid-day breaks at Instagram-worthy cafes, and generally bask in the creative freedom that is working for ourselves. And when I started to seriously think about being self-employed, I'll be the first to admit, I had many of the same misconceptions.

What I didn't realize (and probably should have) is that with freedom and flexibility comes a greater need for structure and time management. Read: just because I can sleep until 10am on a weekday doesn't mean that I ever have, or should. And with that comes some pretty honest conversations with myself: When do I work best? Is it truly between the hours of 9–6? How do I fit in the learning, networking, and self-improvement that comes along with being my own boss? Do I need to work from home or can I work while traveling? Even, how much do I pay myself? They're tough questions, and I'm still finding the answers, fine-tuning along the way.

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of some of the books and podcasts I wanted to explore, and promised to check back with my favorites. As luck would have it, I started listening to Being Boss when I needed it most: on a day that I was feeling particularly guilty for going on my morning run when I had a slew of client emails to respond to. I started with the episode Redefining Professional. And you know what? Mind. Blown. I realized that by listening to the advice of other boss ladies like me, I was still working. So what if I was jogging too!? I was learning. I was becoming a better business lady. All while taking care of myself and burning calories too.

So long story short, I've added more podcasts to the running routine. I've stopped feeling guilty that this run occurs at 9am, when by the old rules, I'd be physically at work. And I'm starting to find what works and making a commitment to stick to it. The self-employment fantasy above might have been a little off, but every job has its perks if you know where to look.

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photo by Amanda Dennelly with iPhone 5s