There are challenges you will need to overcome on this journey
I quit my job three months ago.
After quitting my job, I thought that I'd be living my dream life. After being an Emergency nurse in the pandemic for almost two years, I knew I couldn't be there any longer. But this self-employed life is not much better, at least mentally.
Don't get me wrong. There are pros to this kind of lifestyle. I get to wake up on my own time, work on things I want to do, and work from anywhere.
But at the same time, being self-employed feels like, at any moment, your world is going to crash.
Here are some things you want to prepare for when you take on this journey.
1. The amount of self-doubt will 10x as time goes by
When I was a new ER nurse, I had tons of self-doubt. But I gave myself some time to adjust to the environment.
I had some support around me, so I knew things would be okay.
After a while, you become comfortable, and you'd even think, "Wow, I had nothing to worry about."
Being a freelance writer or a creative entrepreneur is different. Your entire future is a black box.
Suddenly, you don't see a path like you would if you were on a typical career path.
Every decision you make it's completely up to you. Should I launch this product? When should I launch my YouTube channel?
All the answers depend on you.
As you go tackle more challenging obstacles in your creator-entrepreneurial journey, the self-doubt also increases by 10 fold.
So you have to learn how to take care of yourself.
How to overcome this:
The self-doubt will never go away. The only thing you can do is tame it by having a mental health toolkit. Whether your toolkit includes exercising or having crystals, you must do the ones that will for you in the long run. When you're not physically and mentally well, your work is bound to suffer. When you have too much self-doubt, your creativity suffers.
2. It's going to feel isolating
I went from dealing with 50 to 100 patients per day as an ER nurse to not talking to anyone in this new path.
I'll have meetings here and there with potential or current clients, but it's not the same. It's not the same as meeting my coworkers and looking forward to finishing a 12-hour shift that hasn't even started or complaining about mundane hospital activities.
Your self-employed life will depend on you to find your social circle.
You better have strong relationships with friends to call and ask to hang out. I don't believe in the self-help gurus that tell you that you need to leave your friends behind when you're improving your life.
You might decide to live a different life, but you don't need to isolate them.
Your support system will be one of the strongest core pillars of your journey. You need friends on this journey.
Finding someone on the Internet can help you, but meeting in person is much more powerful if there's anything we learned in these hard times.
How to overcome this:
Start overcoming the fear of judgment and talk about your journey to your friends. Create a small accountability group where you can support each others' endeavours. It might take a while to find friends that will truly support you, but they will be there.
3. You're (almost) always going to worry about money
I grew up poor.
So, I did my best not to be poor when I became an adult. I went and got a degree in Nursing and a pandemic-proof job.
When I became a nurse, I stopped worrying about money. My partner and I could buy a condo, travel appropriately and do other things we otherwise couldn't.
But becoming self-employed has brought me back to feelings of my childhood.
Even though I have enough money in my bank account to survive for the next six months, the feeling of 'I'm going to run out of money soon' gives me a lot of anxiety.
When you constantly worry about money, no matter how much you have in your bank account, it will affect how you decide on your business.
You might take on jobs that you don't necessarily like. You might add to your plate like starting a YouTube channel because it'll be good for you in the future. You might decide to skip that travel adventure you were looking forward to because you might not have enough to survive.
It's important to get to know your relationship money because if you're operating from a scarcity mindset (i.e. not having enough), you put yourself on a path where life feels hard.
When your self-employed life feels hard, it'll be tough to remember why you did this in the first place.
How to overcome this:
You need to learn how your worst-case scenarios when it comes to money. Ask yourself, "What would be the very worst-case scenario if I had run out of money?" You might be surprised by your answer. And also, start developing an abundance mindset, that is, know that there is enough money around. There will be enough opportunities out there, and they're waiting for you.
I sometimes wonder whether I made the right decision to leave my stable job.
But I remember how miserable I was in that job too. Maybe this experience is a way for me to appreciate what I had before despite feeling miserable. Social media will give you a glimpse of the life that you want, but it'll never tell the whole story. Just like a fancy car you can't afford, entrepreneurship might not be as well.
I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I didn't miss the days when I wrote as a hobby in-between my nursing shifts.