#1 There’s a gestation period where you put in everything you can… in this case, money, time, contacts, energy and hope… in the faith that one day soon it will deliver you a healthy little business.
#2 It can keep you awake at all hours, whether you’re physically working late or starting early, or are woken through the night by worries about there being not enough work or too much work. See point #3.
#3 You fret when it’s uncharacteristically quiet. You fret when it’s unusually manic. Basically, you’re always fretting.
#4 In the early years, it’s all-consuming. To be frank, it’s more of a lifestyle than a regular job and you feel like you’re constantly on call. Then things settle into something resembling a routine, with pockets of you-time included.
#5 You’re always reading up on how to do it better, from honing your core craft to getting a better handle on the business side of things, to how others do it. You’ll consult books, articles, apps, anything.
#6 It’s harder graft than you could ever have imagined. Yet because it’s all yours and nobody else’s, it’s also a whole lot more rewarding. You wouldn’t be without it.
#7 It’s a huge responsibility. The welfare of your little business (and with it, your livelihood) is entirely dependent on you. No pressure.
#8 You remember back to your former life and romanticise certain things. Like someone else being responsible for paying your salary. Paid holidays and sick leave. Overtime. End of year bonuses. Pay rises.
#9 You think that once you get to stage x that y will become easier. And it does. Only you now have z to deal with. Every stage in development brings new challenges.
#10 From time to time you catch a breath and, with a feeling close to pride, look at how it’s grown and what you’ve created.
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© Lesley Dougall Copywriting Limited and 10thingsby.com, 2014. Unauthorised reproduction of content is not permitted. To request permission, email firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me @lesleydougall