About the Challenges of Self-Employment
- Anne Tu QuocPetit Mai
Self and employment: Who knows an accurate description of "self-employment"? Anyone who builds their own business knows that the art of self-employment is finding the middle ground, the balance, and to prevent "self-employment" from becoming self-exploitation.
I had to learn the hard way to protect myself from constant work. Building my own business and being a mother of two small children demanded a lot from me. Getting everything done without neglecting myself took me years of practice and setbacks to learn.
Sure, passion is essential to being successful as a self-employed person. You have to love what you do! Because even then, the challenges are big enough. Motivating yourself every day and not being distracted is part of the supreme discipline. To make matters worse, Petit Mai, like so many start-ups, was founded between my own four walls. It was not unusual for me to devote myself to other things instead of work. Who can concentrate on work when distractions lure our attention in the next room? Today I have a separate studio in our apartment, which makes the whole thing easier. Nevertheless, separating work from my private life was a long learning process, especially because I can still roll into my studio from bed.
An important experience with Petit Mai was this: I do not have to be able to do everything. It took me quite a while to become aware of my strengths and weaknesses. What a relief to admit that you can't do everything! And since then, I no longer have to deal with unpleasant topics for hours. Handing over tasks to someone who even does them with pleasure helps both involved. It saves me time and nerves. I gladly accept the financial expense. That is entrepreneurship.
Building your own business is wonderful. Building your own business also means hard work. It is a long journey, one that is lined with numerous obstacles and setbacks. The biggest obstacle, however, is usually me. In order to freshly motivate myself every day, I make decisions alone and get help when I need it. On some days, I succeed. On others, I stop at the foot of the mountain. But hey; there is no miracle cure. It helps to take one small step at a time. And then the mountain gets smaller and smaller. And suddenly I'm on top of it. And I think about which mountain I want to climb next.
The Creative Hub program has been supporting me for nine months. The monthly meetings with my main coach and the weekly coaching sessions with him over the phone help me to move forward faster, set priorities and make the right business decisions. It is also valuable to have the opportunity to meet other experts and to get coaching for specific questions, which is tailored to my needs.