Skills to Learn If You Want to Work for Yourself

Woman relaxing in office

There are few things in life that are as fulfilling as being able to be your own boss and only need to answer to yourself. Self-employment is a goal of many workers in today’s job market, especially millennial professionals. However, working for yourself is a lot of hard work. It definitely isn’t going to be easier than working for somebody else, and it comes with a lot of added stresses that you don’t necessarily need to worry about when you are simply somebody else’s employee. Any goal worth working towards is going to be difficult, though, and so here are some skills that you should work on developing, if you want to work for yourself, someday…

Learn how to work with people

The biggest thing is to learn how to be a people person. The thing about being your own boss is that you are probably going to have a variety of responsibilities that most employees don’t have, and many of those responsibilities revolve around working and getting along with other people. Some people just naturally aren’t good with people, though, and that’s okay! People skills are skills that can be developed over time, and are important for dealing with clients, customers, and contractors alike, whether you are establishing a relationship with a customer, or are trying to foster a partnership with another company.

Flower shop ownerLearn how to set up a billing process

One of the keys to being able to work for yourself is the ability to pay yourself. This starts with being able to efficiently bill people for the products and services that you provide for them. For this reason, you need to teach yourself (or learn from a wise old sage) how to set up a billing system that is going to make sure that your flow of revenue gets you paid on a regular basis. Once you start building up overdue invoices, you’re going to wonder why you bothered trying to work for yourself in the first place. That mindset isn’t helping anybody, so get your billing figured out before anything.

How to self-motivate

Working for yourself isn’t a goal that is befitting of everybody. Some people work better if they have a structure that is set up by someone else to get them on track to complete their work in a timely manner. For this reason, if you truly want to be your own boss, then you need to have strong self-motivation skills that enable you to start every work day with a pep in your step that pushes you to get things done. If you lack self-motivation, then you’re going to end up falling behind on a variety of tasks, and may tarnish your reputation with your clients.

Office worker looking at documentsHave a knack for self-promotion

If you are seriously considering going into business for yourself, then you hopefully already have an idea of who your first several clients are going to be. However, even if you already have a few clients lined up, you’re going to still need to set yourself to build a steady stream of customers to establish a revenue stream. This means that you need to develop a strong sense of self-promotion, or else have the capital to hire out somebody who does. Usually, especially when starting out, the best form of marketing you have is yourself and your ability to do good work. Consider why it is that people should want to work with you, and then make sure that you hammer that message home in any environment where you might be able to meet a client. With the rise of modern marketing, this message has more power to make you visible than you might think. Just make sure that you also have an online presence and that you garner good reviews from your clients so that you can quickly set up a good reputation.

How to value yourself

Another important thing to remember is that the work you are providing people is valuable (I mean, hopefully, right?) That’s the whole reason that you went into business for yourself in the first place! For this reason, don’t fall into the trap of underselling yourself and undervaluing your work. If you need to do this, then you aren’t ready to be your own boss, because you will constantly be pushing yourself to work for a measly salary that isn’t worth the extra stress.

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