Be your own boss: Why you shouldn’t be scared

Do you want to be your own boss, do something you love and spend more time with your children? Going freelance or starting your own business can give you all of these things – yet, many working mums stay stuck in jobs they hate because they don’t think they can do it.

Chené Koscielny, founder of Picknmix Communications, a PR and communications agency in Buckinghamshire, has some advice for mums too scared to take the leap.

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Work out what you’re good at:
Work out what you do best and what you enjoy doing most. Next try to see how these skills can help solve problems for other people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking people won’t pay for what might come naturally to you, whether it’s organising, doing sums or in my case writing, blogging and managing social media to help companies get noticed online and in the media.

Stop making excuses:
If you wait until you’re perfect at everything, you’ll never go freelance or start a business. See it as a journey with lots of learning experiences along the way. Not everything will run smoothly, but if you persevere and learn from your mistakes you’ll have a good chance of success.

Take every opportunity to learn:
If someone asks you to do something you haven’t done before – just say yes.
Then learn on the job or get someone who knows to help, even if you do it at a reduced rate the first time. Getting the experience will be good for you and will help shape what you offer clients.
Managing social media or helping clients with search engine optimisation was not initially part of my offering. Neither was doing video content – but through skills swapping, courses and learning on the job, my range of content creation services is expanding all the time, as is my knowledge.

Stay positive and focused
Even the most brilliant women doubt themselves. And if you’re like me, you doubt every move you make. Shake off those niggling thoughts and just get on with it.
Focus on your achievements and how far you’ve come and don’t dwell on any setbacks along the way.
Congratulate yourself for having the guts of to be your own boss.

Don’t listen to naysayers:
Most of your friends and family may be very supportive of what you’re doing, but be prepared for the naysayers, who won’t waste an opportunity to tell you that you haven’t got a very original idea, you haven’t got the business acumen, you’ve got too much on already and it’ll be so much easier to find a job.
Ignore them and seek out friends and family who are willing to dream with you and offer constructive solutions to any obstacles along the way.

Work that network
Networking is not something that comes naturally to me, but since I’ve started by own business – it has been a godsend. It reminds me that I’m not on my own by bringing me into contact with lots of freelancers and business owners in the same boat and we swap ideas in a friendly, constructive environment.
Through your network you’ll build up contacts, which will lead to work, collaborations, skills swaps and friendships.

Spread the risk:
Not having that monthly pay cheque is seriously scary. For many mums the financial insecurity is the biggest fear preventing them from taking the plunge.

One way of minimising the risk is by not putting all your eggs in one basket. Spreading the risk by working for a number of different clients will mean you wont’ be at risk of losing all your income at once if a client stops needing your services.

Going with the flow and accepting that there will be peaks and troughs is part of the mindset you need to develop to make freelancing or working for yourself enjoyable for you.

Get all the help you need

Paying for childcare or an accountant to sort out your finances might seem ridiculous when you’re not earning much, but outsourcing also means that you’re serious about growing your business and willing to invest money into building it.

Freelancing or working for yourself is hard work, but also incredibly stimulating and rewarding.

Share your tips for freelancers or starting out on your own or feel free to ask questions if you’re on the verge of taking the plunge. Good luck!

Chené Koscielny is the founder of PicknMix Communications, helping clients to raise their profile online and in the media through strategic, quality content.
This includes SEO copywriting, website content, PR and media relations, social media management and video content.
chene@picknmixcomms.co.uk
@CheneKoscielny
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PicknmixCommunications
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+CheneKoscielny/