I recall the very first day of self-employment.
Well, to be fair all I can really recall is the weird feeling in the pit of my stomach which had been doing back flips since I quit my job but was now sinking into my pelvis like quick sand…
What should I do with myself?
All this freedom and determination and I hadn’t really considered how I was going to actually run my business or what the day-to-day would look like.
And the next six months weren’t much different. Let’s just say there was a lot of winging it and “building the plane on the way down”.
Luckily I survived, but not everyone I’ve met who are started on this path gets through the first six months. Those tentative months are tougher than expected and not for the feint of heart.
So how did I get through? Or, more importantly, how can you get through those first six months?
I’ll let you in on some of my business survival secrets…
I unashamedly told everyone what I was doing now
After my initial mind-blank on day one… I quickly grasped the concept that I needed to have clients to make money.
I know, groundbreaking.
I didn’t have a ready-made audience to sell to, but what I did have was lots of family, friends and past colleagues who might need my services, or know someone who did.
So I emailed them. Texted them. I picked up the phone and I told everyone I knew that I was working for myself and these are the services I’m offering.
And I got work!
The people who knew me best and wanted me to succeed came good and helped me secure my very first customers.
I became a tightwad
When I started out, I spent as little money as I absolutely possibly could for as long as possible.
I held back on splashing cash on anything unless I absolutely had to.
I DIY’d my website and marketing.
I made the most of ‘first go free’ at networking meetings.
I used the cheap business card printers that everyone thinks are naff but do the job.
I even made my own logo.