Self employment is not easy and nothing to take lightly. But it’s also incredibly rewarding and I’m very happy being self employed at this point of my life. She says, as she sits here, ripping her hair out at the Self Assessment Tax Return. But going into a life of self employment, I think a lot of people don’t really grasp the difficulties of a life of constant self motivation.

The one part of self employment I struggle with the most is self motivation. Which is weird because I’m a VERY productive person. But self motivation doesn’t come easily to me, especially as I’m an empath, so when other people in my life are going through a hard time, I find it extremely difficult to focus on my own work.

It doesn’t matter how much you love your self employed job, you’re always going to have moments of low self motivation. There will always be times when you’d rather be in bed at 2pm watching Euphoria on a Wednesday afternoon, rather than sitting at your desk. And yes, there’s been MANY occasions where I’ve thrown in the towel at lunch time and got back into bed. 

This all comes down to the fact that you are your own boss. You have nobody else there to tell you to get on with your work, to praise you when you’re doing well or to give you that encouragement that you will sometimes need. It’s all down to you, baby! 

Which is a lot easier said than done. 

I’ve been my own boss for years and it’s a constantly evolving process. I’m not the same boss to myself that I was 3 years ago. I don’t hold the same values to myself and my work as I did back then. And this will likely continue to change up until I’m no longer doing this as a job. But being self employed and being your own boss REALLY means that you have to be the best boss you’ve ever had in your life.

So today we’re going to look at 9 ways to be the BEST boss to yourself; in your work and ultimately in your life!

Establish the kind of boss you DON’T want to be

We’ve all had bosses which didn’t align with us and our way of working. Take from those bad experiences to learn the type of boss you don’t want to be. Even to yourself. Imagine that you had a team of people working for you; what type of boss would you be to them?

Understand your own needs

You’re in a privilege position that the only person’s needs you need to think about are your own. You can adopt your boss style to suit that. Do you work better in the morning or evening? Do you need to prioritize movement, like exercise or Yoga before you can really start your day? Do you need an energy boost in the afternoons? Learn all these things about yourself and act accordingly.

Related read: Need An Afternoon Energy Boost? Here’s How To Re-Energize Yourself!

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Yes, a “normal” boss might be hard on you for doing something wrong in your job. But you don’t have to be a “normal” boss to yourself. If you’re self employed (or even if you’re not and you’re just applying this advice to your own life), remember that sh*t is hard and you’re doing your best.

Related read: How To Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

Learn to recognize signs of burn-out

An AMAZING way to be the best boss to yourself is to learn your own signs of burn-out. But recognizing these signs early, you can act quicker and ultimately not end up burnt out and unable to perform to your best because you’re so exhausted. By taking care of yourself, you’re also allowing yourself to perform your best with your work.

Set boundaries

Boundaries are soooo important in all aspects of life. And when you work for yourself, boundaries can often get blurred because the line between life and work can become blurred. Learn to set boundaries for yourself like:

  • Not working past a certain time each day
  • Only allowing yourself to accept the amount of work you can manage
  • Limiting your social media usage
  • Set boundaries with other people who are in your work space

Establish a work space

And speaking of work space, establishing your own work space is a great way to be the best boss to yourself because it further amplifies that boundaries aspect. If you’re not in your “work space” then you’re not working. If you have an office then great. If not, you might be able to carve out some space in another room in your house.

Related read: 5 Desenio Collections Perfect For Your Home Office

Don’t compare your methods of work to others

Self employed people work very differently to each other. There’s absolutely no point comparing your methods of work to someone else’s because everyone is inspired and motivated by different things, productive in different ways and also doing vastly different jobs. Focus on you and only you.

Congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievements

You know me, always one for celebrating my own achievements! And I’m definitely always encouraging other people to do the same. When you’re self employed, this is extremely important to do. Just because you don’t have anyone there cheering you on, doesn’t mean you can’t be your own biggest cheerleader.

Related read: 10 Ways To Celebrate a Small Achievement

Set realistic goals for yourself

The beauty of being your own boss is that you’re free to set your own goals; you’ve not got to work towards and target or somebody else’s idea of a successful goal. It’s all in your hands. So use this point wisely.

Related read: 9 Truth Bombs About Goal Setting You Need To Hear

These tips above don’t JUST have to apply to those working for themselves and are self employed. Although that’s the experience I’m drawing on for sharing them, they could definitely apply to your every day life and allow you to just be a better boss to yourself in GENERAL. To help you find that balance you need, listen to your inner voice and put your needs first!

If you’re self employed (either full-time or part-time), how do you ensure you’re the best boss to yourself? If you’re not, which of these tips are you going to take with you into your every day life? Let me know!

25 Comments

  1. Yasss Jenny! I needed this today. Despite being in pain I’m still in bed writing away because I feel pressured by no one but myself. Why do we do this to ourselves? But your post has inspired me to just kick back and relax and look after myself. x

  2. I struggle a little bit with self-motivation these days, especially as I am studying math and looking more and more to working toward the future I want. And sometimes it just feels like it is a long, long road that I cannot get my feet onto or make any progress towards. Those are the days it is the hardest for me to get things done! So, while this post is about being one’s own boss in terms of self-employment, it is packed full of tips I can use as I navigate the changes approaching in my life.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. Thanks for this wonderful post! It definitely helped me to remember to be kinder to myself and to stick to the boundaries I already know work for me. I’m in a strange position in that I work freelance gigs (some of them longer-term so I guess they would be considered contract…?) so I both have external bosses and am my own boss. If that makes sense? I’ve certainly gotten into the terrible habit of working on the couch with the TV on when I do in fact have an office with both a desk and a comfy chair… not to mention fewer distractions haha. You’ve inspired me to be more intentional about where and when I work to ensure that this lifestyle is sustainable. You have no idea how much I appreciate this wakeup call! Thank you 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness gracious, this was exactly what I needed to read today. I’ve been discussing this topic a lot lately with my husband, because I’m taking on additional work as a virtual assistant now (on top of full-time blogger and social media manager, freelance photographer, and business manager for two start-ups)… and WOW, I can definitely work myself way too hard at times. But I think it’s important to remember what you’ve shared here so that I don’t actually get to a state of burnout!

  5. I read your post and enjoyed them. I agree with you. self-employment is difficult and stressful. but huge things are improving in our life. No one else is there to tell you what to do. to praise you when you’re doing well or to give you that encouragement that you sometimes need.

  6. Totally agree with this! I’ve only been self employed for a year, but I’m already a different boss to myself now than I was back then. I’m glad you mentioned about having na specific work place too. This is only relatively new for me, but it’s already making the world of difference in terms of productivity. I think in my situation too, it’s important to remember priorities. Sometimes I can feel bogged down by work and then get grumpy when I can’t work because of the girls. It’s such a tricky balance, and something I’m definitely working on. I don’t think there’ll ever be ‘the right answer’ but it’s about not being hard on yourself and understanding that you can’t possibly do everything all of the time.

    Claire.x
    http://www.clairemac.co.uk

  7. Being self-employed sounds great, but I can totally understand that there are massive stresses that come along with it. I think setting boundaries and creating a dedicated work space would definitely help with motivation/work life balance. I’m not self-employed and I’m not sure I ever will be, but I think these tips work for both situations x

  8. I’m not self-employed yet but this is something I want to start working towards after putting it off for so long. Some really helpful tips, now I have more space I am going to set up a office area and set myself a schedule to work towards. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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