So here’s the thing – I’ve decided to take a break from self-employment.
It feels like that sentence should feel heavy and remorseful – but it doesn’t. As I type it, sat on the sofa in my pyjamas on a Saturday night, with the faint buzz of whatever film Liam is watching and the tapping of the keyboard as I spew out my thoughts and feelings, I feel a sense of relief.
I haven’t “given up”, but my priorities have changed, and now is the time to return to that full-time working life for a while. Not forever, but for the foreseeable future.
I’m actually looking forward to it. I’ve found a great job in an industry I love (non-profit), doing a varied role for a cause that really interests me. Sure, I’m nervous about it, but I’m ready for it. I’m ready to throw myself into one thing for a while instead of balancing several.
Being self-employed is tough. It’s super rewarding, and I’ll miss many of the benefits (hello working when I want, where I want), but I won’t miss the stress that comes with not knowing where your next project is coming from.
That isn’t to put anyone off from freelancing. It takes a long time to establish a business, and I don’t feel I’ve been able to give it my all so far. But I will. I’ll be beavering away in the background when I can to make those important decisions about when I “relaunch” in the future.
I want to simplify my service offering and be more specific about who my ideal clients are. I am stepping back from the business so that over time I can look ~into~ it and learn from how far I’ve come.
One of the things I have learned over the years through talking therapy is that I really struggle with decisions. I feel like they are finite. But they aren’t, are they? Some may feel more permanent than others, but ultimately every choice we make can be changed or adapted in some way. So I made the choice that saving for a mortgage was more important to me than my business right now – and that’s OK.
Because let’s be honest – if I kept trying to make my business work out of desperation, it was never going to work. At times it felt like that. Other times, the better times, it felt rewarding and satisfying because the right projects fell into my lap. When I press play on the business again, those are the only projects I’ll be saying yes to. The ones that excite me. The ones that remind me why I do what I do.
Until then, I’ll be taking that excitement, that energy, and channelling it into something bigger than me. For every opportunity I take, I know that more will come from it and so this new chapter is just the beginning of what’s next.
So the next time you need to make that “big decision” in your life, know that there are many factors to every choice you make, but there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind or pressing pause and doing something different for a while. Who knows what you might learn from it.
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