Are we ever satisfied? Answers on a postcard…
Self-employment is a wonderful choice. For me, happiness in work = working for me.
Self employment means we have the chance to be free of the boss, to be responsible for ourselves and how we spend our time and finally be in charge of our destiny.
Or so we think!
In reality, being self-employed is about the hardest job choice we’ll ever make.
I genuinely think, that if more of us knew what was actually involved in running a business on our own, most of us wouldn’t do it!
The responsibility, the fear, the lack of skills and the realisation that we have to do EVERYTHING hits us like a brick and never really leaves.
Until that is, we start growing our businesses and need help.
It’s a strange and unnerving feeling bringing ‘outsiders’ in. We’ve spent time getting used to doing everything ourselves, being our own boss and the transition to bringing support in is a massive one.
We need to lead.
To consider others’ and their needs.
To be mindful of how a team works.
To make adjustments.
To have real processes and procedures.
To communicare out loud not in our heads!
The list is endless.
And then the strangest of things happens. We wonder what our OWN role in all of this is now.
After learning how to manage everything ourselves, we have to pass it on. To delegate and let go of some of the tasks and responsibilities to our team.
So, where does that leave us?
In my case, discombobulated for a good few months. MINT has grown rapidly in 18 months. Add Celebrate Difference, our Social Enterprise into the mix and there is a team of 7 and as many again who are freelance and support the businesses monthly.
I was left with an overwhelming feeling of being lost. If everyone else is doing ‘my bit’ what on earth do I do now?
And to be clear, the team are better at their roles than I was, I’ve never had an issue with that. I am mkre than happy to admit where my weaknesses lie!
But settling into this new ‘boss’ role has been a culture shock.
I don’t ever want to be THAT boss: the one that people need to get away from (like the vast majority of mine have been).
Realising the irony of complaining at having to do everything and then being discombobulated at having ‘nothing’ to do was a bitter sweet moment.
The answer? Remember your “why”.
In my case, the team and growth in MINT means we have delivered funded training opportunities to hundreds of people. That we’ve placed more than 110 young people into work via the Kickstart programme and our own former-Kickstarter Holly is now on an apprenticeship.
That the membership has grown in numbers and strength and the community is genuinely unique. That there are more opportunities to support the self-employed community via the new business hub in Consett.
Stepping up and into this new role has really forced me to look at myself and make the changes necessary within, to learn how to do all of this.
Which is a rather MINT result. I am blessed at being surround by such amazing humans who hold and share my vision to support others so close to to their hearts, that all of this is possible.
And now? I can settle into what I do best, generate ideas and opportunities and support the self-employed community personally.