Posts Categorised: Working for Yourself

WFYW: Guest Post – How to Work for Yourself Without Going Broke or Crazy!

I’m so happy to bring you this post written by Sarah from Yes and Yes about her experiences of self employment, it’s a fantastic addition to Working for Yourself Week. Sarah is one of the most go-getting people I know, and she’s such an inspiration for anyone wanting to up the ante and make their life into a full on adventure!

For the last seven months, I’ve been country-hopping and writing. Like, for my job. And I haven’t gone broke or crazy! Here’s what I learned along the way:

Your work/life balance might look different than you expected

I imagined that working for myself would involve lots of yoga classes, meeting friends for lunch and working from coffee shops. Instead, I’ve been working 12 hours a day for a two months to get a new project out the door while I ignore all my friends and the beautiful city where I live. But! Soon, I’ll take three weeks off to hang out with friends in Sydney, Melbourne and San Francisco. Things might not always balance out on a daily basis, but try to make sure they balance out on a monthly or yearly basis.

Just because you didn’t create something, doesn’t mean your day wasn’t productive

I earn money by writing words – sometimes for clients and sometimes for blog readers. But being self-employed means that I also do everything else: pay roll, marketing, networking, professional development, design, research and development. Sometimes I get down on myself if I haven’t written 3,000 words on any given day, but I make an effort to remember that there are many, many, many things that go into being successfully self-employed. Creating the product or services you sell is just one small part of the whole package.

Make time every day to network and learn

Every day, I set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes and spend that time commenting on new blogs, responding to tweets and replying to readers’ emails. Then I set my timer for another 20 minutes and work my way through Problogger, Daily Blog Tips and Copy Blogger. It’s less than an hour every day but it has made a huuuuuuge difference in the quality of my writing and the
caliber of my online relationships.

Actually take advantage of your flexible work schedule

This might not be an issue for people who aren’t Virgos, but I frequently forget that I don’t actually have to work for eight hours a day, from 9 – 5. I occasionally have to force myself into spontaneity outside of the ‘work from a different coffee shop’ variety. Take a road trip! Go for a mid-week hike! Meet your friends for a boozy Friday lunch! If you’ve created this flexible work life, milk for all its worth.

Develop a system or a routine that works for you

When I started working for myself, I wrote a list that I keep next to my bed entitled ‘Every Damn Day.’ Not surprisingly, these are things that I try to accomplish every day, regardless of my work schedule.
My list includes:

  • making my bed
  • getting dressed by 10:00 am
  • 30 minutes of sunshine
  • doing at least one fun thing
  • drinking two glasses of water
  • 20 minutes of networking
  • 20 minutes of learning

I’m also a huge fan of the Pomodoro technique, which will do wonders for your attention span and productivity.

the pomodoro technique

Have multiple streams of income

Or in normal English: make sure you have lots of different ways to make money. I pay my bills by selling two ebooks, an ecourse, advertising space on my blog, copy writing, a paper goods line, licensing agreements for my ebooks and contracts with companies who want my travel expertise. Of course, if you have heaps of freelance clients you probably don’t need lots of different ways to earn – but I’ve found that it’s both financially and creatively freeing to earn money in lots of different ways.

So many great chunks of advice in there, I’ve certainly taken a lot of it on board & will be making my own ‘Every Damn Day’ list! :D Thanks so much, Sarah! Don’t forget to visit her blog, http://www.yesandyes.org/ :)


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Working for Yourself Week: Introduction

Hey guys!

As I mentioned briefly in my Big Announcement on Friday, this week I’m holding a Working for Yourself blog party! Aptly this starts today, Independence Day in the USA :)

It takes a lot of hard decision making to finally take the plunge and quit the day job, and there have been several people who have inspired me & given me the courage to do this. I have a few guest posts from these people this week, I can’t wait to share them with you!

I also have a few resources sharing posts, a few of my personal thoughts on why I needed to take the plunge, and best of all some giveaways! I’ll be getting this party started shortly with a guest post from one of my favourite bloggers, I hope you’ll join us! Make sure you don’t miss out by subscribing to the RSS feed :)

You will be able to find all the posts for this week by visiting this link, Working For Yourself Week. And if you’d like to link to this feature on your own blog, here are a couple of handy images you can use (and a good chunk of code that you can use to embed it directly!).


<a title="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" href="http://www.hiphopsideproject.com/working-for-yourself/"><img title="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" src="http://www.kimlawlercreative.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/working-for-yourself-button-banner.jpg" alt="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" width="420" height="160" /></a>


<a title="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" href="http://www.hiphopsideproject.com/working-for-yourself/"><img title="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" src="http://www.kimlawlercreative.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/working-for-yourself-sm-banner.jpg" alt="" title="working-for-yourself-sm-banner" alt="Hip Hop Sideproject presents Working for yourself week" width="315" height="122" /></a>

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Big Announcement

I’ve been alluding to some big changes for the past couple of weeks, a few people already know what’s going on but I thought that an officialish announcement was needed.

So today marks my first day of full-time self employment. Yep, I quit the day job. Scary, huh?

For the past year or so I’ve been trying to juggle Finest Imaginary with my full time working commitments, it’s been tough, frustrating and, to be quite honest, exhausting. There have been countless occasions that I’ve had to hold back on progressing my own business due to my job and this was the most frustrating thing ever.

I’ve been toying with the idea of taking Finest Imaginary full time for a while, but there’s never been a perfect time to do it. I’ve always thrown around so many ‘What Ifs’ and ‘Buts’ that it’s made my head hurt!

During our recent trip to Florida I had chance to take stock of where I was at, where I was going, and how I wanted to get there. It was refreshing to sit back and get excited about Finest Imaginary again, and consider where I wanted to take my small business. So I decided enough was enough. There was and is never going to be a perfect time to do this, some times might be slightly better than others, but there’s never a perfect time.

I’ve been working on Finest Imaginary for the past 4 years and I’ve watched as we’ve been featured in numerous publications, grown our client and fan base, and evolved from a tiny range of 3 necklaces to what we are today. I’m ridiculously excited and psyched up for what the next chapter of my business will hold.

So here’s the fun stuff, starting on Monday I’ll be holding a week long “Working for Yourself” blog party. I’ve got a tonne of amazing guest posts lined up, a giveaway, some more indepth posts about my planning & strategies, and some resource sharing.

See you then! :D

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