Self-employed, small business owner, freelancer, independent contractor, no matter your title, the holiday season brings extra stress to the table.
Financially you want security. The goal of anyone employed or striking out on her or his own.
If you are considering opening a business, working for your self, start part time. This is not the time to jump off the cliff and quite your job.
For those of us who are working on business development this can be a time to flourish, depending on the projects and products you are offering. For many industries this is a slow down time. Money is traditionally diverted to the holiday season.
Loss is another stressor that occurs this time of year. Financial, family and for some jobs are lost.
How you cope with the changes during the holiday season is a personal choice. As a lifestyle coach in my other life, key coping skills are developed with practice.
Here are at least 5 ways you can mitigate the stress:
- Distract: find what works for you.
- Suggestions: Snap your fingers, stand up if sitting, sit if standing, look around the room..
- Inhale through your nose, hold your tongue at the roof of your mouth, inhaling into your toes.
- Exhale through your mouth, allowing the tongue to rest on the bottom of your mouth. Blow out the candles. 🙂 Let the body relax. Release.
- Combine the first two. Use breath as a distraction, focus on the breath, what it feels like. With practice this will occur in an instant and no one will know.
- Take a time out:
- Excuse yourself from the situation. Go outside, take off your shoes if possible, let them touch the dirt. If not just turn your face to the sun. Breathe as in #2.
- Ask yourself:
- Is what I am experiencing real?
- What thoughts are contributing to what I am experiencing?
- Can I change the situation right this minute? If so, how?
- Can I accept this situation as it is right now? How?
- Can I change this situation in the future? What steps do I need to take? How long do I have to complete these steps?
This is a short version of ways to distract, relax and mitigate stressful situations. There are others. If you allow yourself to imagine, I am sure you can come up with others.
Learning to create micro-changes in your life is an easy process, not always simple or instant, but easy. Find what will work for you in your life.
Do not allow others to dictate how to create change or cope. You have been doing that your entire life. It is time for a change.
Mitigate, change, don’t just manage.
Learn to create a shift in your work and personal life. Don’t just manage, change.
With practice comes perfection. While writing this my Internet connection began fluctuating, first it is there, then it is not. I had to put into practice “breath” so I could finish. For me that is the fastest way to distract. Do I remember always? No, I have reminders posted to keep me on track.
Find what works for you, experiment, practice, perfect it, pass it on. We teach that which we need to learn. 🙂
Have a great day. Suggestions? How do you cope with stress? Share your positive skill sets in the comments.
Changes to your life can happen in a blink of an eye. Changing jobs is not different than any other aspect of life. Knowing how to make that transition can be very helpful and reduce the stress.
The Steps to Consider
Job transitions can be stressful—whether they’re due to layoff, a new job or working extra hours because others workers were laid off. If you’re facing one, consider the following.
1. Take an honest look at yourself. What are your strengths, weaknesses, skills? How did those influence—positively or negatively—your transition?
2. Step up your self-care. Major changes are physically and emotionally taxing. You need self-care now more than ever.
3. Engage your curiosity. What went wrong, or right? What could you have done better? What worked really well?
4. Focus on what you want, and less on what you don’t want. Keep your eye on the prize.
5. Find support. Since your transition affects your family as well, it may be better to seek the outside support of friends or professionals.
6. Work on your thoughts. Calm your fears and reinforce your sense of hope and happiness.
7. Reassure (or avoid) those who are threatened by, or jealous of, the change.
8. Create your own rite of passage. Ceremony and ritual help with all transitions.
9. Let go of how things were “supposed to be” and accept “how things are.” Find appreciation for what is.
10. Keep things in perspective. Or try on a new perspective. Don’t get stuck. Remember, the only constant is change.
Review, Consider, Adapt
The final step is to review your progress. However, with all plans written by others, review the steps, ask which ones you are willing to put into practice. If there are any of them that seem too difficult, does not work with your lifestyle, adapt them.
Review your progress. Is there any aspects of your plan that is not working? Is there a need for change?
Don’t be afraid to make those changes. Adapt to fit you. Make it personal.
Used with permission, © Claire Communications
To Work from Home or Not
My decision to develop my business and a home office was not an easy one. Fears of failure, financial loss and homelessness each played out in my mind. There were so many “What ifs.”
I took each one in turn and determined solutions I could implement. Asking for help, learning, and skill development were all considered viable options. The most difficult one? Learning how to ask for help, a skill in itself. The second half of that is learning to accept the help.
Taking the First Step
Your first step is research: learn what works for others, consider you and if you can adapt suggestions to your style. There is nothing set in stone that cannot be changed. Flexibility is key to any plan.
There is a plan. Considerations for making a move to becoming self-employed should include all aspects of your daily life. For instance:
- Financial: paying the bills and feeding oneself. Create a survival fund with enough for at least six months.
- Home Office Needs: what will you need to set up a home office?
- Niche: your specialty. What will you do in your new business?
- Schedule: what hours are you going to work?
- Distractions: how will you cope with distractions?
- Services: what services will you need to support you in your home business?
Questions to Consider
Before you quit your job, consider creating a plan of action. One that will allow for the process of moving from employee to business owner.
- What is your skill set? What do you excel at? Feel great doing?
- Is there a niche for your skill set?
- If there is one, how much competition do you face? Is there room for you.
- Do you have to improve your skills or can you get started immediately?
- What do you need to get started?
- Business Cards
- Home office equipment: computer, printer, fax?
- Space at home or will the kitchen table offer enough room?
- What do you need to do to minimize distractions?
- Can you set a schedule to work by at home and stick to it?
- What plan do you need to create to mitigate contingencies?
- How will you cope with your naysayers?
- How will you cope with overwhelm?
- Who can you ask for help? Advice?
A very important tool to have is a notebook, pencils, and pens. You will want to write notes, make lists, jot ideas. I find writing instead of typing is more productive and I retain information better. I created a work journal.
Challenges You May Face
Working from home is very different than working for someone else in his/her office. The rules are different, they are created by someone else. Working in someone else’s office translates to pay no matter what. You can get away with slacking off, that is until you get caught. Slack off at home, spend too much time reading emails, surfing social media, etc. and you do not earn for the time.
Discipline is important, focus, creating a schedule you can work with. Making room for distractions and emergencies is a must.
Moms and dads desire to be home with the children. The children and pets have a schedule of their own. Good luck getting them to understand you are too busy working to play. My dogs have finally settled into a schedule that works with my business hours. It took us a lot of trial and error to get it right and to help them adjust. Bladders operate on their own schedule.
The other challenge I faced it getting my friends to understand that just because I am home does not mean I am at their disposal. I had to provide a schedule and stipulate emergencies were acceptable reasons to reach out. The next was to define an emergency.
I was the other one I had to train. It is so easy to put off working on a project. It is much more difficult to put off clients. When I scheduled time for me to work for myself, it was easy to allow others to intervene in my plans. I have to keep giving myself permission to feel guilty when I say no. The process goes like this, “I cannot right now, have to finish this project, however, I have time….” That works for all involved. Including my clients.
I am the hardest one to train. I love to play, take naps, and eat junk food. However, it does not pay the rent. After the first few weeks, some rules became a habit that I have maintained. Others are flexible rules and continue to evolve.
Patience & Practice
We can be our own worst critics. In the few years I have sought inside for my personal truth, learning to overcome obstacles I set up, changing behaviors and developing mindfulness skills to improve my life, the one constant is self-punishment.
We learn as children punishment or discipline is the correct behavior to changing bad habits. Mistakes are made, punishment or discipline occurs. Yes, punishment or discipline, they do not share the same ingredients, similar in results.
Parents seek to correct their children to conform to a set of rules. It is a life lesson, one that carries into our adult life. One that I never considered was a habit. I make a mistake, self-punishment. Reinforced by employers who have enforced that behavior, playing the role of parent at work. I know I am not the only one who has had employers rage at them for mistakes.
Our parents, teachers, employers are all role models for us to learn from. What have you learned? Each of us learns how to yell, be angry, punish and on the opposite end to love and nurture. Yet, I believe one of the most difficult is to love and nurture self.
You will make mistakes in developing your home based business, working from home as your own boss. The first reaction is to self-punish, rant, yell, or some other punishing behavior. This is your chance to cultivate patience. For some this is not a challenge at all, for others it is.
Patience, back to the drawing board, and practice. Set up a schedule for your self that is similar to going to someone else’s office. Behave as if you are going to an office, be your own employer. Become the best employer/employee you know how to be for you.
If you slack off, remind yourself, do not punish yourself. Set up a time for personal email, social media surfing, and play time. Don’t forget to take breaks, lunch, and what I like is recess. Find that balance that works for you.
Don’t give up. Give yourself permission to be:
- Angry (irritated is a form of anger)
- Temper Tantrums (make them safe and productive)
Give your self permission to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn, adapt, and succeed.
Find the solution that belongs to you. Systems do not fail, people do. You can implement all the techniques, software solutions, etc. They only work when you work them. Experiment and adapt.
For every obstacle there is a tool to remove it. Find the one that works for you. Utilized the freebies, the trials, before you invest. When you do invest and it does not work for you, ask for a refund.
Have a contingency plan. Create a emergency or survival fund for the first year. Many suggest six months, but I like a year of savings, of course it is still a lean spending habit I developed. I read somewhere that you should pay yourself first, at least 10% of your income from your business.
Work it so it matters to you. This is not complete. There is more.
Do you work from home? What works for you?
What is holding you back from moving to a self-employed status?
Good morning, reading my emails, always checking my SPAM folder to ensure legitimate emails do not end up in there. I came across this, took a peak and decided this needs to be published:
SPAM Email Job Offer
“E.S. Co. has an open vacancy for Logistics Manager in your area. The Logistics Manager position is remote, so you will be working from home. Thus you will have an opportunity to work with a flexible work schedule per your convenience. Shall you take the position, you will be trained on the company. The possibility to get promoted is guaranteed to all company’s employees.
Payment rate: the first trail month goes with the salary 2550$ to be paid at the end of the month, after the completion of the probationary period the salary will be rigid $3,250/month – the sum total to be divided into 2 biweekly payments.
Additional incentives: after the probationary period you will also receive extra weekly bonuses per package based on your performance.
Key duties are: to access the Control Panel with tasks every day online; to receive, examine packages in order to ensure quality control, and ship them out with prepaid shipping labels; to cooperate with a senior supervisor and your colleagues online; keep record of incoming and outgoing packages online; to submit daily reports to the Logistics Department.
Perks and benefits kick in after the trail period of 31 days: full insurance on the company, 28 days of paid vacation a year. Personal days off are generally procured according to the company’s policy.
For the purpose of obtaining more details regarding the position, please reply with the following information:
– Your Cell Number:
The applications with phone numbers are given priority.
We appreciate your prompt response, and wish you to have a great day!
Do Not Take That Job
There are so many problems with this email. It is not a legitimate offer. It asks you to practice illegal activities that when it comes time to answer for you will be held legally responsible. And there is no way to shift that to anyone else.
Research companies before you send your personal information. Ask questions of similar types of job offers. Do not be afraid of asking. Be safe, not sorry. Do not be desperate for work. Yes, money is needed and times seem desperate, but taking a job that sounds too good to be true generally is a problem.
Legitimate work at home positions do not ask you to do anything illegal or immoral, well, unless you are involved in the sex trade and then, it is up to you what you will or won’t do. 🙂
Job boards offer you the opportunity to develop your skill, establish a terrific reputation. The draw back is there is a load of competition and the pay sucks for those of us living in the higher cost of living countries. To get started? It can be a benefit, especially if you need cash yesterday.
Resources are abundant. Search, research, determine if it will work for you.
Got a great tip? Job resource? Insight? I can use the information, lets share.