As 2018 comes to a close, I’m also celebrating another milestone: nearly a year of running my own consulting practice. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing clients, all of whom are tirelessly dedicated to disrupting the status quo in their respective industries. I’ve also had the chance to partner with other top-notch independent marketing, content and design professionals.
And, of course, as any new business owner does, I’ve learned some valuable lessons in the 12-month journey.
There WILL be ups and downs. It’s scary at times to not have the certainty of a full-time gig, but it’s the highs and lows that also make it exciting--and rewarding.
It’s not just about “networking.” It’s about meaningfully connecting with people. A coffee date, a LinkedIn recommendation given, or a business card exchanged doesn’t always produce an immediate return, nor should it. Building, and maintaining, personal and professional relationships without expectation is the key.
Of course, working independently brings flexibility, but it also requires increased discipline. I’ve had to build new habits - from daily sales outreach to an earlier wake-up time - that allow me to get my work done well and on time, but also make what I do repeatable.
Self-care might be an overused word these days, but there is certainly truth to making sure that I’m happy, healthy and rested enough to be successful. After all, I’m a company of one, and I have to take care of my employee!
I’m truly excited to see what the next year brings.