I realised very early in my working career that I didn’t like working for someone. I hated waking up in the morning just to rush and go make someone else’s pockets fuller. Usually someone who didn’t care if I was having a good time or not. 

As a graphic designer, in Namibia, there’s only so much you can earn if you aren’t a creative director at some agency, a man or person sans colour. 

I knew very early on that I wanted to work and contribute to this world in a way that made sense TO ME. I knew what I wanted to do. I just needed the courage to leave the security blanket my peanut salary brought. 

And after suffering through a few “I fucking hate my job” and mild panic attacks I finally sent in that resignation letter and left. 

Today my business is 2 years old. It’s making  money. My mind is healthy. I am happy. I get to wake up every single day to do what I love. My work doesn’t feel like work. I employ someone full time. I have freedom to do what I want, when I want. 

It’s a pretty good situation. I have no regrets. 

Though, it’s been only two years it actually feels like ten. 

It must be all the stress that comes with running a business. And I run two. 

I have learned so much during this short time. Mostly things one can only learn on the job. I’ve had to learn, unlearn and relearn a lot of things. And I’m still learning, it never ends. 

So today I’d like to share a few things that I’ve learned about being self employed:

  • The first few months are the worst and the most important.
  • Worth ethic and professionalism is your greatest asset.
  • You will spend so much time chasing payments if you don’t put systems in place early on.
  • You’ve got to know your sh*t.
  • Money Management is almost as important as breathing.
  • YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PAPER WORK (bookkeeping, social security, legal docs etc.
  • You are only as good as your last job, so invest in evolving. Invest in self. Invest in company.
  • Celebrate every stride. 
  • Rest as much as you can. Your business won’t run if you can’t, so fuel up often. It’s okay to have an off day.
  • You will get problematic clients, know them, identify them – don’t deal with them twice.
  • Take yourself seriously, reply to emails on time, arrive at meetings on time, show initiative, act like you care, go a little further than expected. People/clients will in turn show up for you.  (The right type of clients that is.)

My biggest lesson, however, has been that I’m capable. That I can do whatever I set my mind to. All I need to do is put in the work.

If you’d like me to go into detail about certain things, simply let me know. 🙂

Till next Monday,

Betty | @bettysibeso

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