As I approach the milestone of marking two years of self employment this week on June 1st, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past 24 months. In some ways, writing this post feels like just yesterday (and actually I wrote that post over the course of about six months!) The past two years have brought a wild ride of accomplishments, pride, challenges and many emotions so today I thought I’d share a bit more about the journey.
This Spring Quickbooks reached out about partnering and I was so excited because it has been a tool I’ve used since day 1 of my self employment. It is how I invoice all my consulting clients and how I keep track of expenses. I work within it with my accountant as well and it constantly makes the intimidating financial parts of owning and operating your business feel less daunting.
The partnership was particularly of interest because it involved getting to go to an event in partnership with Dell during Small Business Week. Quickbooks arranged a series of panels that allowed entrepreneurs who use the tool to share advice and talk about how they’ve built their brands and businesses. The event brought together small business owners and self-employed people like myself to discuss business hacks, tips & tricks and personal journey stories. The panelists included:
- Gina Noy, Noy Tax
- Erica & Will Messmer, Darke Pines
- Jon Ackers, Kansas City Hatters
- Stacey Moeller, Tiny Acre Farms
- Farnoosh Torabi, SO Money
- Hannah & Renee England, Wash.It.Later
- Kristen Stiles, sitter.me
- Rachel Blumenthal, Rockets of Awesome
A few of my favorite takeaways and quotes of the day included:
- "When looking at your books remember your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Remember to embrace your strengths and recognize your weaknesses. Get help in the areas you’re intimidated by." – Gina Noy, Noy Tax
- Find as many tools as possible to empower you. Quickbooks, HelloSign, Dropbox, Google Drive, Instagram…ask around to other small business owners and see what works for them.
- Your side hustle can be the on ramp to working for yourself. Don’t try to jump off the bridge right away. Working for yourself doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of planning.
- "Entrepreneurship is inherently vulnerable. And vulnerability is a muscle that you have to flex every day. Let your fear be your fuel. " – Stacey Moeller, Tiny Acre Farms
- "The more you can develop an appetite for fear and risk, the more successful you can be." – Farnoosh Torabi, SO Money
Remember when I shared this post about how my life has changed since being self employed? Well it was so nice to hear from fellow business owners that some of my fears and triumphs are shared experiences – no matter what type of brand or company you are building.
This event validated the fears and anxieties I experience are OK and to be expected. And it was comforting to hear other entrepreneurs emphasize that it is ok to not have all the answers at all times. The event also made an interesting point about defining what looks like success for you and what feels like fulfillment. I think one of the reasons I love running my consulting business alongside wit & whimsy is because it allows me to put passion and effort into two things I really, truly love. Both feel fulfilling and give me a lot of drive. Plus, it ensures no two days are the same and that really inspires me to seize each day.
One thing I’ve come to really learn about working for yourself is that you have to consistently seek opportunities to be inspired. Attending this event gave me a dose of drive and purpose that was very welcomed and reminded me of how many people are out there taking chances, pursuing what they love and working to become masters of their own career happiness.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel grateful to do what I do. Being my own boss has empowered me and also breathed new life into my blogging and it was feeling necessary having started wit & whimsy back in 2006. Life is so short and if you don’t love what you do, you have to change it. If you relate to that, know that things won’t change overnight so start taking baby steps to get you to where you want to be. Goals are powerful motivators.
p.s. 5 ways to prepare for self employment and a brief history of my time in NYC.