The biggest issue with being self-employed

From yesterday onwards, I’m serving my one month’s notice from my work. My last day with the company should be on 8th of May and from that point on, I’m self-employed (aka unemployed). After being an employee for so many years, drawing a monthly salary, it gets a little scary without that sense of security.

The biggest problem I see with being self-employed is that I don’t need to answer to anybody and nobody’s going to hold me responsible for how I spend my time. One factor that pushed me for not calling in sick or coming in late, is that I don’t wish to burden my colleagues. It was never the fear of being punished or reprimanded. However, I must admit that I will never report to work if I’m seriously ill, I was lucky enough that during the past 7 years, I just so happened to be under the weather during my days off.

Now that I’ve to hold myself accountable for how I efficiently spend my time to achieve my goals, I’ll be doing the following to keep myself “on track”. I’m not using any new productivity life hack here, just the tried-and-tested, recommended by everybody.

  • Identify My Goals
    Starting with the main, long-term goals, then break them down into smaller, achievable, measurable short-term (daily) goals which I’ll try to complete every day. Sort of a daily checklist of “To-Do” items which I go through, and once it’s completed at the end of that day, I can safely tell myself it was a day well-spent.
  • Plan a Monthly Work Schedule
    Admittedly, I’m not the most self-disciplined person. To me, a routine functions like a motivation. I will create my own monthly work schedule, where I can also get to plan my days off. Having something physical to follow through, makes it easier for me to be more consistent with my effort output.
  • Start the day with Exercise
    This is something I’m looking forward to. For the past 7 years, I’ve been complaining that my 12-hours shifts often leave me too tired to hit the gym. Now that I’ll be having full control of my own time, I get to find out for myself whether it was a valid reason or merely an excuse I’ve been using to lie to myself all these years.

    Hitting the gym first thing in the morning, offers me three benefits. First benefit, it’s something to force myself to wake up earlier for. Second benefit, the adrenaline rush from the workout should kickstart the day. Third benefit, gym is normally relatively empty in the morning!
  • Continue with learning how to Code
    I feel that this is the hardest to accomplish, but I’m glad to have started learning coding though. Even used the opportunity to practice what I’m learning in the course I’m currently going through, by coding a program with a basic, but serviceable, Graphical User Interface for my upcoming egg roll business. Its primary function is to calculate everything I need to know for the business, from the amount of batter I need to make to the cost of individual ingredient, based on the information I input. While it’s nothing more than a fancy calculator and I believe what it does can be done in Excel, I’m proud of my little GUI program.

    I’ll allocate at least an hour each day to continue studying how to code.

    Since my egg roll business is done mainly online, I’m considering buying myself a brand new laptop, to replace my current 4 years-old laptop, so I can utilise it both to code and to conduct my business more efficiently. Hmmm… We will see how it goes.

Anyway, I can’t think of a way to properly end this post. So thanks for reading!

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I design fine jewellery for a living.