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3 Lessons Learned Since Becoming Self-Employed

Posted Jul 26 2012 11:57am

I recently had the opportunity to share a bit about my work at a South Shore Women’s Business Network lunch meeting (live south of Boston and looking for networking opportunities? Check out SSWBN !)

I had three minutes and decided to share 3 (of the many) lessons I’ve learned since becoming self-employed more than 6 years ago.

Lesson 1: It’s OK to grow and evolve

Where I started 6 years ago – as a personal trainer and yoga teacher – is not where I am today – professional speaker, writer and publisher. While I no longer offer personal training and yoga teacher services, my interest in creating healthy communities hasn’t change. How I deliver that service has.

I combined my skills and past experience as a marketing/market research professional and wellness educator with my interest in health and wellness to create the work and services I offer today – speaking about stress reduction, wellness and creating a health/wellness business ; consulting with health/wellness related businesses who need assistance telling their story, developing and marketing their products and programs; and publishing e-books and the Healthy South Shore online magazine.

Wayne Dyer says it best in his book Your Erroneous Zones:

If you’re growing you’re alive. If you’re not growing you might as well be dead.

I’m happy to say I’m very much alive. How about you?

Lesson 2: Everyone has a voice, a message and the right to share it

In 6th grade I won the quietest girl award. In the past 6 years I have stepped away from the quiet and comfortable world I once knew. Quiet doesn’t get you anywhere if you’re trying to start a business. I stepped into leadership roles, co-founded a local Toastmasters club , began speaking in public and then started helping others speak with confidence. I wrote a book about networking and am working on a 2nd e-guide called Feel Your Best.

While I haven’t become fearless, I have learned how to fear less. Part of my message is teaching others tools they need to do the same.

In a recent writing workshop a participant offered the following during a group discussion (and not directed at me):

Silence is like a metaphor for anger.

I realize when I’m angry, it’s because I’m quiet. When I speak up, I feel lighter. (and less angry!)

What’s your message and are you sharing it with those who want to hear it?

Lesson 3: Support is Critical

Self-employment can be lonely and overwhelming! Creating support networks is critical. Whether you join a local networking group, start one of your own, create an advisory board, hire a coach, outsource certain responsibilities or gather like minded folks together in a roundtable discussion, support is necessary.

You cannot be successful alone.

What support do you need to achieve success in your work?

If I can support you in any way through my speaking, consulting or simply as a friend, please get in touch .

Your turn: What lessons have you learned that have helped you increase your work success?

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