During the Dips: How to Be Proactive When You’re Self-Employed

Doing something you love pays emotional dividends but it doesn’t always pay financial ones. Being self-employed is, for many people, making peace with the fact that you won’t always be earning a mega wage. Therefore, you will need to battle certain aspects of your existence, not just to ensure that you don’t go stir-crazy when there are lulls in your work, but also to ensure that you keep your enthusiasm for your role in the first place. This is where being proactive is essential because it allows us to stay focused and ensure that we can keep new aspects of our work alive. What are some of the most important things to consider so you can stay proactive while being self-employed?


During the Dips: How to Be Proactive When You're Self-Employed


Focus on Getting Your Name Out There

Lots of people make the mistake of thinking that work will come to them, but the reality is far different. We’ve got to be proactive in terms of our promotion, and this is where we’ve got to not just build an online presence but go where our ideal clients are. It completely depends on the business you run, but if you are someone who, for example, operates fitness classes in a local area you can benefit from signs and posters in central locations. This is easy to achieve through quality poster printing services so you can create a stylish collection of images for your services that stand out. 


Lots of people underestimate the importance of making an impact through analogue promotional materials but you have to determine your ideal client. When you identify your buyer persona‘s habits, age range and so forth, you will be able to target them far more effectively. In order to be proactive, we’ve got to make sure that we are putting our name out there and this can also involve networking. 


We have to attend conferences, workshops and industry events so we can meet other professionals that either inspire us or point us towards the right client base. Getting our name out there is critical, but it’s not just about shouting louder than others, it’s about making sure that we uniquely identify the aspects of our personality that make us personable and engaging. We then tie this in with our branding and promotional materials to create a well-defined and controlled image that ultimately gives our product or service a leg up.


During the Dips: How to Be Proactive When You're Self-Employed


Assess Your Progress  

As businesses peak and trough, it becomes critical for us to understand where we actually stand in terms of progression. One of the major mistakes freelancers make is that they have a very stop-start approach to their work. As soon as work comes in, they start chipping away and as soon as that one is done, they then relax. But the biggest issue in doing this is that there is never any temptation to stop and assess where you truly are, professionally or mentally. 


Those that get clients and give everything to them wholeheartedly can be exhausted afterwards and then this means there’s a period of recovery that is needed without necessarily learning how to work better. It’s so important to track your progress, which is a very common piece of advice in any business but it is such an important one. This is something that can be down to the individual. Many people who start freelancing do it based on their existing skill set. Instead, it’s important to embody that essential growth mindset, but combine this with a far better tool for tracking your progress. 


You can track your progress through client referrals or how much money you earn but you are not necessarily learning where you could improve unless you track your knowledge. When we have a better understanding of how we can improve ourselves based on our skills, it is a far more proactive approach to developing an understanding of how to run your business but also how to navigate those dry periods where there’s no work. 


It’s not just about having one skill anymore, but about having a multitude of skills that can help you to navigate those dips. If you are running a service where you help clients with their health and fitness, you can easily diversify by being a fitness writer, as well as being a nutritionist and other approaches to work within the fitness and wellness industry. This also helps you promote yourself better because you’ve got a lot more to give over your competitors. But if we don’t assess how we are progressing, we’ll never know how far we’ve come as well as how far we will be able to go.


During the Dips: How to Be Proactive When You're Self-Employed


Be Ready for Change

If there is one thing that is a constant in business, it’s that it will always change. Embracing change is as much about mindset as it is about practicalities. The business landscape demands flexibility and in periods of downtime where there is very little work, you can use this as an opportunity to start changing your mindset and ensuring that you are ready to adapt. Lots of people don’t learn the lessons in adaptability right away because they fear change


Another way you can be proactive when you are self-employed is to train your discipline and determination. Part of this is about how you run your business but the other part of it is about how you run yourself. Being self-employed during the first couple of years is a struggle financially and emotionally and the right mindset will be critical to ensure that you can weather those storms. 


The battle of being self-employed is a battle to ensure that you are doing something you love and feel good doing it but so many people give up being self-employed because they don’t earn enough money, they lose touch with why they did it in the first place but they also don’t have an understanding of how best to tackle it in the first place. Lots of us look at self-employment as a route to personal freedom when, in fact, if we want to achieve this we’ve got to put certain boundaries in place, as well as remain proactive, because when work comes, we’ve got to give it our all.


During the Dips: How to Be Proactive When You're Self-Employed



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