It’s challenging being self-employed, there’s no doubt about it. As a self-employed consultant rather than an employee you are likely to be out of your comfort zone in many respects. You find yourself needing to do many things you have perhaps never done before, and having a level of responsibility for your own income that you’ve never had before.
All of this means that you are going to go through times where you feel things aren’t going well. This is more likely in the first few months but can happen at any time. The key is knowing how to deal with those situations when they arise.
No one ever dealt effectively with a challenging situation without a positive attitude. You need determination and a positive attitude to succeed in those circumstances. While it’s unlikely you would have taken the step into self-employment at all without those attributes, when you’re embroiled in business ownership and the challenges involved, it’s easy to let that determination and positivity become buried.
It’s a cliché but it’s true – if you believe you won’t succeed, then you won’t. But if things aren’t going as you want them to, and you’re finding it difficult to maintain positivity, a step-by-step approach can be helpful and can make change seem more achievable.
Step one – What’s wrong?
General dissatisfaction isn’t going to get you far. You need to be specific. Think about exactly what aspects of your work aren’t as you would want them to be. What’s wrong with those particular aspects? It might be income, it might be types of clients, it might be how much time things take you, it might be an area of knowledge or expertise you feel you need to develop. Identify exactly what it is that is bothering you.
Step two – What do you want?
Once you’ve identified which bits you’re unhappy with, work out what change you need. What is the situation now and what do you want it to be? What will satisfaction with work actually “look” like? It might be a level of income, it might be increased confidence, it might be getting more out of business contacts.
Step three – What are the barriers?
Then think about what barriers there are in place. Why aren’t you in the place you want to be at the moment? What’s stopping you? What’s in the way?
Step four – What can you do?
Then consider what steps you can take to remove those barriers. Those steps might involve asking others for help, but they are likely to be largely steps you can take yourself, especially as a business owner rather than an employee.