Navigating Self-Employment In Your 20s
We're kicking off 2018 strong with our first post in....February!! OK, we're a little behind but are beyond ready to dive back into sharing your wonderful stories and more fun content. The post below was written by 1/2 of THB, Sarah Heyl, and she's sharing her honest thoughts on navigating self-employment and entrepreneurship. Obviously which led you, HERE. Read on....
I can't decide whether it's good to write while you're in the middle of an experience, to share those 'in the moment' feelings, or if you should take a step back and write a year or two down the road looking back. Maybe both?
Either way, I'm excited to dive back into blogging to share more of my work, personal experiences and of course my lifestyle when it comes to being a full-time freelancer/self-employed/entrepreneur. I'm still working on figuring out what to call myself as I recently read this quote from Seth Godin and it rang 100% true to what I needed to hear. I realized that I can officially call myself an entrepreneur when the latter happens. As of now, freelancer it is.
“Freelancers get paid for their work. If you’re a freelancer copywriter, you get paid when you work. Entrepreneurs use other people’s money to build a business bigger than themselves so that they can get paid when they sleep.”
— Seth Godin
As I'm writing this, I also have been toying with going back to a full-time job strictly for salary purposes due to you know...big life changes happening this year, but I can't bring myself to start the hunt.
Being a freelancer or entrepreneur is often pegged as being 'unemployed,' 'a typical millennial,' or just plain lazy because we can't dedicate ourselves to one company or job for a longer period of time. Well, society, I hate to break it to you but our generation will hold at least 3 different careers in our work life-span. I personally took this venture in my 20s to see if it was POSSIBLE. And if there's a slight glimpse of success I know that I could step back but return to it anytime when I want to start a family, work from home, or open a brick & mortar (one day). Times are changing and I think the passion we have to create a job or opportunity we want to spend our time doing is amazing.
But it's not easy.
It's living every day not knowing if or when you'll get paid. And when you do, realizing it was 1/3 of what you should've gotten paid based on the time it took.
It's being turned away because 'you're too young to understand' or the experience just isn't there.
It's coming to the realization that when you first start out, you have to say yes to everything. Even the projects you specifically left your job saying 'I'm not going to do those again.'
It's working 60+ hours a week after you said you want a more flexible work schedule and no more 40+ hour work weeks.
It's taking a huge pay cut until you understand your worth, can charge for it, and have people actually accept your proposal. (Pro Tip: This process probably won't end for a while.)
All this to say, it's been a year and a half of trial and error for me. Due to my connections and bubbly personality, I've had great success landing a new client or two each month, but it does not come easy. You have to put yourself out there, stand out from the crowd with a kick-ass website that shows your skill sets and be willing to work long hours before you even see a hint of payoff. I've also dove head first into relationships and projects that I proooobably should've asked a few more questions before getting in too deep, but on the flip side, I've collaborated with wonderful creatives who've become lifelong friends.
It's been a fun, challenging, rewarding ride. Therefore, last year, with a great friend, we started what we hope to be our first glimpse of ' real entrepreneurship.' Meet The Honest Boss. A community to band together over the stories like I just shared; a place to ask the tough questions, ask for help and a place to meet potential partners, collaborators and all-around kick-ass bosses who aren't afraid to share their truth.
SO, if that's you, or if you want to *really* see what goes on behind the scenes of those perfectly curated social feeds..head on over to the site and share your story. This year is going to be F U N and I'm ready to figure out how to build tools to help the little guys (i.e. not corporations) become successful, while also being true to our process.