I’ve been working for myself for little over 4 months now, which is pretty exciting. Being my own boss has been liberating, terrifying and massively educational all at the same time. I still wake up at 3am panicking and asking myself why I left a cushy job. I still sometimes miss the office environment and the social aspect that comes with being at work, eating lunch with colleagues and bitching about the boss. But I’m glad I made the jump and have learnt so much in 4 months of being on my own that I wanted to share with you.
Work computers aren’t fun computers
This is a bit of a weird one but one of my YouTube Channel sponsors recently sent me a gaming notebook. This notebook is strictly for gaming and editing. No work will find its way onto this notebook, nor will I load emails. I realise not everyone can simply buy two computers but the reason I highlight this is far more than just hardware: my biggest lesson has really been about finding balance. Its hard, in the evenings, when you fire up your laptop to watch YouTube videos not to suddenly get pulled into work mode. You no longer “switch off” after 5pm and instead find yourself working all hours – for reference I’ve been up since 4am because I can’t sleep. So guess what I did? Started working!
Make sure you force yourself to take a break.
You’ll get fat
Here’s the big lesson for me: your eating habits will go out the window. It is no secret I’ve battled with my weight for most of my life. But being my own boss and working from home really took its toll on my eating regime. I used to have a schedule: I knew to eat breakfast before work, lunch at around 12, dinner at 6ish. Now I wake up and start working, when 10am hits I realise I haven’t eaten yet. Other days I’m out on the road and have back to back meetings all day. I find myself starving at 3pm desperately looking for something… anything… to eat. Obviously that means a stack of junk food started weaseling its way back into my diet.
In the last few weeks I’ve actually found a way to help with that. USN have launched TRUST Bars. I usually run in the opposite direction when someone mentions protein bars or health slabs. Mainly because they taste disgusting, like broken dreams and definitely not chocolate. Until now, seriously these TRUST bars are delish. They come in three flavours: Coconut and Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Vanilla Cupcake. I’m obsessed with Vanilla Cupcake because it does actually taste like a cupcake. I’ve been tossing these babies in my handbag or leaving one at my desk to snack on during the day. They taste like a sweet treat, fill you up and help someone like me better manage her diet and therefore her weight.
TRUST bars are low in Carbs (7% Carbs so not bad) and also only has 3g of sugar per bar with 22g of protein. I’m not one for reading labels but basically one of these USN bars are a far healthier option than the packet of wine gums I used to stuff in the cubby hole of my car. They’re about R29 from Dischem so I stack up on a few where I can.
You’ll take everything a lot more personally
Bosses, for the most part, are disliked by most. It is just a thing right? We don’t like our bosses. That is, until you become your own one. I’ve become far more forgiving of some of my previous employers’ faults since working for myself. When the buck stops with you you realise how damn hard it is to not only manage a business and make money but also take proper care of the people who help make that business work. Every time someone criticizes a service you offer you feel like they’re criticizing you personally. When you pour your heart and soul into something and it is completely yours you can’t help but turn it into an extension of you, no matter how hard you try. So you’ll feel a lot more – which can be tough.
My only advice here? Grab one of those Vanilla Cupcake TRUST Bars and head out into the sun. 5 minutes with a delicious treat outside makes all the difference to clear your head and get you back on the entrepreneur train.
Any lessons you’ve learnt being your own boss? Drop them in the comments below and lets support one another a bit.