Alright – I’m going to tell you how to be your own boss. I am NOT going to tell you how to become a millionaire overnight, though. So if you thought that’s where this was headed, then you need to go ahead and go sit by the local gas station and wait for them to tell you you’re the lucky lotto winner (even though you never played), because that’s about as likely to happen as it is from you reading this post.
First off, really sit and think about what you’re good at. Is it sewing? Baking? Decorating cakes? Laundry? Childcare? Organizing? Admin work? Photography? Yard work? Dog walking? Selling people goods? The possibilities are almost endless.
What is something that you really excel at? Even if you think that it’s not really something others would pay you for? You would be surprised. TRUST ME. I know, from experience, that people will pay you. There are many people out there that do not have the time, or the skill, to do what you do and they are more than willing to pay you instead. It’s more worth it, to them, to pay someone else to do it.
Now, here’s the first thing you need to know. It will not be easy. Working for yourself is HARD. To begin with, you may need to put some money up front. Depending on what you want to do.
If it’s sewing crafts, you’ll have to provide the material. If you’re sewing for others (mending), they’ll provide the main material, but you’ll have to provide the thread, needle and sewing machine and whatever item is needed in the mending. If you’re sewing clothes/household items for others, you will probably still need to provide all the materials.
If you’re doing yard work, you’ll need to invest in sturdy, dependable equipment.
If you’re doing direct sales, you’ll need to buy a “kit” or into the program.
If you’re doing laundry, this cost may be minimal – as you should already have a washer and dryer. It’s wise to also have an ironing board and iron.
If you are baking, you’ll definitely be providing all the materials up front.
If you’re providing childcare, it’s up to you what you will and will not provide (meals, snacks, drinks). This is one of the most cost-effective ways to work for yourself. If you want to advertise that you’re “state-certified”, be sure to look into those requirements for your state and actually complete them. That’s kind of important. 😉
If you want to do photography, it’s wise to buy a good camera and not try to take a person’s pictures (and charge them for it) on your phone. No matter how high-tech your phone is, I don’t know anyone who would pay you to take their pictures from your PHONE. Ask friends and family if you can take their pics, free of charge, and ask them to refer you and if you can use them as references for future customers.
If you want to get into organizing as a pro, this is where you can have friends and family “hire” you, but for free. The only request from you is that they refer you to others and allow you to use them as references.
For at-home admin/clerical/customer service work (and much more), you can look on www.ratracerebellion.com (no, I’m not getting paid for suggesting them).
Once you’ve decided what avenue you want to pursue, PURSUE it with all you can. Don’t try it for a few weeks and decide that you’re not making enough (or even anything at this point) and quit. It takes time, folks! I know from experience! PLEASE, stick with it. The point was to pick something you enjoy, right? So enjoy what you’re doing. If this is supposed to be a full-time income, I highly recommend that you DO NOT rely on this “be your own boss” job for that to begin with. Keep your day job or find a day job until your “fun” job can support you.
Be sure you do the research as well. I mean, RESEARCH. Ask around, scour the Internet. Read what’s worked for others and what hasn’t (and why didn’t it work for them? Is that something that wouldn’t affect you? Same goes for why it DID work for them – is that a plausible situation for you?). Look at pricing – what should you be charging for your services. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT charge what someone in downtown New York is charging when you live in the middle of nowhere. That’s just silly. You need to call around/ask around in your area to price compare. If your work is better/of higher quality than the competition, don’t be afraid to advertise that and ask for a little more, once you have established some references! Be bold!!
If there comes a time when you’re not enjoying what you’re doing anymore, when you’re working for yourself, take a step back and ask yourself why. Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Are you requiring more of yourself than you should? Dig deep and find out why you aren’t enjoying it. Be honest with yourself. If you need to take a few days to just breathe and have a break, do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t burn yourself out.
Now, before you think that all of this is easy for me to say – let me say that, while I am my own boss, it’s not easy work. It’s not short work. My days are long. BUT I also have a goal you all may not have (pay debt off as soon as possible), so you may be able to take it a little slower, much less aggressive and easier. 🙂 I do also take a breather here and there. Unfortunately, it’s usually my husband who insists on it – he knows me well and knows when I’m overwhelmed and burnt out.
So take a minute, think about something you love to do. Could you make money doing it? I bet you can!!! I want to hear from you – what do you want to try to do? 🙂 Maybe we can brainstorm together about how you can accomplish that dream!!!