Today, Kate Bacon‘s sharing her story of taking the leap into self employment. Kate helps small businesses connect with their perfect clients through her creative approach to web design. Her coach training combined with a decade of experience in online business are the foundations of her work: Helping her clients dig deep into who they are, why they’re in business, and how they can express that authentically online.
I’ve found my biggest challenge to be self-belief (or periods of lack of it) that can trip me up if I am not careful. Some of this stuff I have carried with me since I was very young.
I remember my parents signing me up for a secretarial course when I was 18 – as it was always “something to fall back on”. It took me years to let go of the belief that “I have to earn my living doing some sort of administrative work” and allow myself to believe I could do something else.
I now see that setting up as a Virtual Assistant for the first 7 years of my self-employment journey was a stepping stone to my work coaching and training others to become VAs, and led to my current work creating websites for heart-centered solopreneurs.
Work you love can be all-consuming
I’ve found it’s essential to completely switch off from your business for a while as it can be all consuming if you let it.
Last year I did a yoga retreat at Silver Island Yoga and this year I’m doing an acroyoga immersion on another island in Greece. Every year since 2003 I’ve done at least one Buddhist meditation retreat (in the UK, Paris, Singapore, Brazil and Portugal).
I really look forward to starting my day with my connection practice – which is doing 30 minutes of yoga at home. It allows me to ground myself and work from a place of calm, even if I have lots of tasks to complete. Working part-time means I need to be really focused; I can’t “faff around” and be unproductive during the time I work on my own business.
The highs and the lows
About 18 months ago I had a real dip with client income and the savings that had been my “cushion” were fast running out. I hated the idea but I started looking for a job.
I couldn’t believe after 10 years of being self-employed I would have to return to working for someone else.
I had a mix of feelings – looking forward to being paid a salary again and feeling like this would bring stability to my life (an illusion I am still working on, as I know that this can only really come from a peaceful mind!) and the dread of losing the freedom to work in my own way with clients that I love.
In the end, I interviewed for a job with a business coaching company and they offered me part time hours, mostly working remotely from home.
This was invaluable – it allowed me to take time off from my own client work, really take stock of where I was with my business and clarify the direction in which I wanted to go.
“I can’t afford it” – is that true?
Often being self-employed means you can be on a bit of a tight budget due to uneven cashflow and it can be easy to use the “I can’t afford it” excuse to not invest in your own business development.
I’ve learned over the years to be picky in the training I take, as it can be easy, especially with self-study courses NOT to take action and finish the course.
I had taken Blog For Clients back in 2013 and just a day revisiting the course material early this year got my blogging practice kick started. I have an editorial calendar of topics through to July this year and have been posting every two weeks without fail.
I really resonated with one of Corrina’s blog posts last summer that described a really easy way to clarify your ideal client. After struggling by myself for months trying to figure this out, I was hooked and signed up for P2P as soon as registration opened!
Passion to Profit gave me the structure to completely reinvent my business based on research into what potential clients wanted – a revelation for me. Accountability (including Buddy Calls and the Facebook Group) helped me stay on track and I worked hard to complete the exercises during the course. I was ready to re-develop my own website shortly thereafter, re-launching my business in January.
A surprising aspect of working for myself? The amazing opportunities that present themselves. One of my first clients as a VA was Coaching Development who run face-to-face, ICF Accredited Coach Training Courses in the UK, Ireland, and other parts of the world.
They wanted me to understand from an experiential point of view what it was like to be on the course (so that I could represent them well as their Virtual Course Administrator).
Who knew that I would be lucky enough to have free coach training and use this in my own business afterwards!
As told to our Community angel, Madeleine Forbes
Over To You
Have you worked part-time at any point on your self-employment journey – whilst setting up your business, or while taking some time out to rethink what you’re doing? Do you resonate with Kate’s experience that mindset is everything – and how you start your day sets the tone for what you do when you’re working? Leave a comment below, let us know.
Let your perfect clients connect with you
If you’d like to be sharing blogs that inspire your perfect clients to sign up to work with you straight away, then I’d love to welcome you to the next Blog for Clients course.
Click here to leave your name and email to get front of the queue. I’ll let you know as soon as enrolment opens, plus you’ll get access straight away to a free bonus guide: You’re in Great Blogging Company.
P.S. PASS IT ON
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© Corrina Gordon-Barnes 2015
‘Going back into employment gave my business the space it needed to thrive’ – @KateBacon shares all with @CorrinaGB