Read about my self employed journey as a natural and sometimes not so relaxed wedding and family photographer in York
I did something for the first time in four years today:
I gave myself full permission to an afternoon nap.
As a result even writing this sounds crazy to me and was therefore a bit of an eye opener after I wrote it down. Therefore I thought I share some of my self employed mistakes and revelations for you to learn from it. I would also love some messages and tips about your story and self employed journey. What has helped you to keep yourself happy when self employed? There is many tips and tricks out there, therefore this is part one and I will share more about this later on also taking into account your comments and messages. So please tell me your tips and tricks 🙂
Give yourself full permission to rest
Looking back on it now I think I lost the ability to real and healthy rest when I became a mum. Probably a lot of you can relate. Having a baby around is a full time job in itself but everything else doesn’t stop. The cleaning, cooking, socialising being a good partner and friend. As a result time needs to be made for this. This is when I started to have rests but consequently feeling guilty for them and they were therefore not healthy.
Recognise the difference between guilty and guilt free rest
You don’t have to be totally exhausted to rest! Above all, it is often better to prevent that full stop with regular self care and guilt free rest. Often I felt super guilty for having a nap especially knowing that my partner was out at work I felt I had to do the same. I did recognise in my head that a baby is a full time job and I need to rest but as a result I couldn’t give myself guilt free, full permission to do so.
You are the most important part within your business
My wedding and family photography business in York grew hand in hand with my baby. Therefore it was super important for my self esteem and feeling needed and successful in other ways as opposed to “just” being a mum. This also meant though that very important rest time was taken up by business duties. Especially when starting out I had to learn so much about keeping myself healthy as self employed as there is no boss anymore who tells you your work day has 8 hours or this is your granted weeks holiday.
You are your own boss, be a kind one.
A lot of people go self employed as they don’t want to work for someone else and being told what do to and when to work. This was not one of my reasons as I have always been very lucky with my employers but I totally get it. I see many colleagues running away from exactly that and ending up working themselves even harder than any employer would have done. Quite frankly, that’s what workers rights are for but when being self employed they can all go out of the window. Are you giving yourself full permission to take your entitled holiday? Do you pay yourself a fair hourly wage? Are you making time for guilt free rest that no one can take away from you? If not, you are not being a kind boss and you should ask your inner self to have a word with that boss and tell her or him that this is not ok.
Tips on giving yourself full permission to rest
Put regular rest days or hours in your diary
Write them in with big, red pen. Put on all the glitter on that day and look forward to it. These are meetings with your inner self and can’t be postponed. We wouldn’t treat our customers or employers with as little respect as we do ourselves sometimes. You have the right to rest, as a result it will make your work so much better in the long run. These should be times where you do absolutely nothing. You can sleep, people watch, read a book, go for a walk and feel good about it. I am doing this every third Friday of a month from now on. Please hold me accountable when you speak to me! As I specialise in natural and relaxed photography, I think the more relaxed I can keep myself the better for an authentic business 🙂
Tell your partner, family, clients and yourself that you are taking a rest
“Today is my day off.” You are the one who needs to tell people and also tell yourself, otherwise no one will know including you. And again, don’t feel guilty about it. Give yourself full permission. There is a reason why weekends happen. Humans need down time to recover. Put your emails on auto reply and tell your couples you are having a day off in order not to become a total workaholic. You don’t go to Aldi on Sunday at six and feel angry at them for not being open or going to the hairdressers on a Monday and being upset that they are taking a day off after working Saturday and Sunday to make you look gorgeous. Everyone needs a rest. It makes the world a better place.
Evaluate your achievements and reward yourself
I have recently launched my new website. It was a massive achievement and super hard work. I could have just carried on the next day as if nothing has happened and you know what? I would have therefore probably forgot all about it within a day and didn’t give myself time or permission to feel proud of what I had achieved. Instead I booked a week holiday and made sure I told everyone who asked my how I was that I was really well and proud as I had achieved something great and I am now giving myself full permission to rest. Telling people over and over again has actually helped me feeling the sense of achievement even more rather than just letting it slip into daily routine.
Feel worthy of rest. You are amazing!
Without you your business would not work. Above all, you are the most valuable thing you have control of within your business. You are your own boss, be a kind one.